The Photos app on iPhone and iPad automatically arranges the photos and videos you take into “Memories.” But you don’t have to stick with the automatic selections—you can create your own Memories, too.

What Are Memories?

Memories are a way of automatically organizing your photos and videos into something like an album, but better. For example, if you took a bunch of photos on a vacation to Paris, the Photos app might automatically create a Memory named “Paris.” If you take some photos on Christmas day, it will likely create a Memory named “Christmas.” The dates you took the photos are also displayed, of course. This makes it faster to revisit the photos and videos you took at a particular event or location.

The Memories feature also automatically creates video slideshows of your photos, pairing them with music and transition effects so you can view your photos or share them with someone else as a nice-looking slideshow.

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Memories are part of the Photos app on iPhone and iPad. Photos you take on your iPhone are stored there, and they’ll sync to your iPad and Mac if you use iCloud Photo Library. You can also work with Memories in the Photos app on a Mac.

To view your Memories, open the Photos app, and then tap the “Memories” icon at the bottom of your screen. You’ll see the photos, people, and locations associated with that Memory. You can also tap the “Play” button at the top of the screen to watch a video of your Memory. It incorporates the photos you took, along with automatically selected music and transition effects.


How to Create Your Own Memories

To create your own memories, view any group of photos in your Photos app. For example, you could tap the “Photos” icon, go to the “Years” view, and tap “2017” if you wanted to create a Memory incorporating all the photos you took in 2017.

Or, you could narrow it down to the Collections view and tap a group of photos you recently took (the app categorizes your photos into collections depending on when and where you took them). This allows you to create a Memory from vacation or event photos for which your iPhone didn’t automatically create a Memory.

You could also tap the “Albums” view, tap any album, and then tap a date range to make that album into a Memory. If you want to create an album first, tap “Albums”, tap the “+” button, enter a name, and then select the specific photos and videos you want in the album.

You can even tap the “Albums” view, tap “People”, and then tap someone’s face to create a Memory based on all the photos you’ve taken that contain that person.

Whatever view you start from, scroll down, and then tap “Add to Memories” to create a memory from that group of photos. You’ll see the Memory incorporating those photos appear in your Memories category.


How to Customize Your Memories

After creating a Memory, you can edit it like you would edit any Memory—even the ones your iPhone automatically creates. To edit the photos a Memory contains, tap the “Select” button at the top right corner of your screen, tap one or more photos you want to remove, and then tap the trash can icon.

To edit the Memory’s video, tap the video to start watching it. You can quickly customize the video by choosing a type of music—Dreamy, Sentimental, Gentle, Chill, Happy, Uplifting, Epic, Club, and Extreme are the options. You can also choose the video length by tapping the “Short,” “Medium,” or “Long” options.

To really customize the video, tap the “Options” button at the bottom right corner of the window. You can then choose the exact title of the Memory, the music it includes (you can select your own songs, too), the precise duration of the video, and the photos and videos the memory includes.


How to Keep Memories or Delete Them

The Photos app automatically removes old Memories to make space for new ones. You can stop this from happening, and ensure a Memory stays around, by marking it as a favorite. To do so, tap the Memory, scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and then tap the “Add to Favorite Memories” link.

Of course, when your iPhone clears out an old memory, it doesn’t remove the photos or videos that Memory incorporates—it just removes the Memory itself.

To delete an entire Memory immediately, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap “Delete Memory” instead.

How to Share Your Memories

You can’t share an actual memory (i.e., send a full memory to someone else), but you can share the video of a Memory. Just start watching the video, and then tap the “Share” button at the bottom of the screen. You can share it via a social media website like Facebook, or send it directly to someone via email or a chat app.

You can also share an individual photo or video in a memory by tapping that photo or video, and then tapping the “Share” button.


Memories offer a convenient way to organize your photos and videos by event or location, and to enjoy—or share—a video slideshow of those memories.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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