How to Block People or Dates in Facebook’s “On This Day” Memories

Facebook is a virtual diary of most of the things that happen in your life, and the Facebook Memories feature automatically prompts you to look back at past events on any particular date.

But that can mean reliving painful memories too—which some people aren’t thrilled with. If you don’t want to be reminded of certain events or memories, here’s how to stop Facebook from showing them.

What Are Facebook Memories?

Facebook Memories is actually a pretty cool feature, and 90% of the time, it’s a great way to take a look at your social life. It will find who you made friends with in years past, and it will show you goofy photos from that epic party two years ago. Facebook pushes these as notifications in your news feed.

But you have to remember that this is a machine generating all those moments. It can’t feel, and it can’t understand emotions, so it’s going to make mistakes. Your past is a part of who you are today. And often, there is some baggage that you have learned to deal with and live with, but you might not want to be reminded of it suddenly. Unfortunately, that’s what Facebook Memories does.

Journalist Julia MacFarlane, for instance, got an unpleasant reminder of one of the scarring experiences in her life:

Renowned web developer Eric Meyer went through a horrible year after his daughter died. He didn’t want to recap the pain. But Facebook sent him a popup notification in his timeline that showed his daughter’s face surrounded by illustrations of dancing people and balloons. Meyer wrote on his blog:

Those of us who lived through the death of loved ones, or spent extended time in the hospital, or were hit by divorce or losing a job or any one of a hundred crises, we might not want another look at this past year. To show me Rebecca’s face and say “Here’s what your year looked like!” is jarring. It feels wrong, and coming from an actual person, it would be wrong. Coming from code, it’s just unfortunate. These are hard, hard problems. It isn’t easy to programmatically figure out if a picture has a ton of Likes because it’s hilarious, astounding, or heartbreaking.

As Meyer pointed out, there is an algorithm failing here, but there is also a human failing. The human failing was that Facebook pushed this to users without giving them a way to opt-out. But the social site has since introduced ways to do this.

How to Block People in Facebook’s ‘On This Day’

Screenshot of Memories on Facebook

Facebook now lets you hide memories of your friends or anyone else on Facebook if don’t want to see reminders associated with that person, like an ex after a bad breakup. Here’s how to do it.

  1. On a computer browser, click on Memories on the left-hand side of your Facebook home screen.
  2. Click Hide People.
  3. Start typing the name/s of people you don’t want to see in your memories.
  4. Choose the appropriate person from the suggestions Facebook offers
  5. Click Save.

That’s it, memories associated with that person won’t show up in Facebook Memories anymore.

How to Block Dates or Date Ranges in Facebook Memories

Screenshot Memories on Facebook hide date ranges

Facebook also lets you hide certain dates or entire date ranges. Here’s how to do this:

  1. On a computer browser, click on Memories on the left-hand side of your Facebook home screen.
  2. Click Hide Dates.
  3. Use the calendar to select Start and End dates to choose either a single day or a period of consecutive days.
  4. Click Save.

That’s it, memories from that particular date range won’t show up.

How to Turn Off Facebook Memories Notifications

Facebook memories home screen notifications

You can actually switch off Facebook Memories notifications in your news feed entirely, just like you can get rid of annoying Facebook notifications. It’s a simple process too.

  1. On a computer browser, click on Memories on the left-hand side of your Facebook home screen.
  2. Click Notifications.
  3. Choose from All Memories, Highlights or None.

That’s really all there is to it. Now you won’t see Facebook Memories suggestions in your news feed, but you can still check them out any time by going to the direct URL for Facebook Memories.

If there are memories you would like to share however, click the Share button under your memories and show them to people. Remember, you don’t need to share them publicly, Facebook’s Facebook’s photo privacy options let you select the audience.

Learn to Live with Your Past

You might not want to give up on Facebook, so these filters for Memories should let you use the social network without unnecessary issues. More often than not, the Facebook Memories feature actually ends up with pretty boring memories. But you can control what it does and doesn’t show you.

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