How to Create 'Memories' Photo Slideshows on the iPhone and iPad

Your iPhone and iPad can create slideshows of your favorite memories

Memories are custom slideshows that your iPhone or iPad can make for you. The feature is easy to overlook, but once you start creating quick and easy slideshows from your own photo collection, you may find it to be both convenient and invaluable.

To access Memories, launch the iOS Photos app and select For You. Select See All to view the entire cache of generated Memories.

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How to Create Photo Memories

Memories are created automatically in iOS. All you need to do is continue capturing images and video, and Photos will dynamically sort them into Memories based on dates and the amount of media generated over a certain period.

If you'd like to create your own Memory from a collection of photos or videos, you will have to do it manually. That means sorting them into a customized album.

How to Manually Create a Memory

Not all of your actual memories fit snugly into Photos' interpretation of events, holidays, and gatherings. So you may want to create your own album or Memory to better reflect reality. Here's how to create new Memories in Photos for iOS:

  1. Launch the iOS Photos app and select My Albums.

    Selecting My Albums on iPad.
  2. Select the +New Album icon in the bottom-left corner.

    Selecting a New Album on iPad.
  3. Name the album and select Save.

    Naming new album and saving.
  4. Select the photos you'd like to add to the album. You can browse photos by album, or by navigating through your entire camera roll.

    You can also add photos from your camera roll individually or as you take them. After creating a new album, select Done. When viewing any photo you'd like to add, select the Share icon, then select Add to Album and choose the album you just created.

    Selecting photos for the new album.
  5. Return to the Albums screen. Under My Albums, select the album you just created.

    Selecting the new album.
  6. In the album title banner, select the ... icon then select Slideshow. The album will display as an automatically generated Memory.

    Select the Play icon to view a full-screen slideshow of the custom Memory.

    Selecting Slideshow.

How to Create a Memory of a Specific Person

This is a cool trick that will create a dynamic slideshow from the photos and videos you have of a specific person.

  1. With Photos open, select the People.

    Selecting People under Photos.
  2. You will see a collection of albums featuring various people recognized by the Photos app. Select one to display all the photos your camera roll has of that person.

    This feature does now work for every face in your camera roll — only faces found in multiple photos that your iOS device can easily detect.

    To add additional photos for this person, select the Menu icon, then select Confirm Additional Photos.

    Photos filtered by person.
  3. Select the Play icon to display a full-screen slideshow of that person.

    Selecting Play.

How to Create a Memory of a Specific Date or Event

You can follow the same instructions to create a memory and slideshow for a specific date or event in your camera roll. Here's how:

  1. Open the Photos app and select the Photos tab.

  2. Navigate to the date or event in question using the Years, Months, or Days tabs.

    Photos on an iPad
  3. Once you've isolated a selection of photos or videos, select the Menu icon indicated by three horizontal dots.

    Selecting the Menu.
  4. Select Play to download to arrange the photos and videos in a slideshow.

    The Play button is only available under certain conditions, so it is often easier to manually create an album and then convert it into a memory.

    Selecting play.

How to Edit a Memories Slideshow

Despite its automatic functionality, the Memories feature is not perfect at recognizing people, places, or events. For this reason, Photos allows ample ways to edit Memory slideshows. Here's how:

  1. Open any Memory and select the Play icon to begin playing the slideshow.

    Selecting play.
  2. Tap anywhere on the screen to reveal the editing options.

  3. Select a mood for the Memory by choosing any of the following: Dreamy, Sentimental, Gentle, Chill, Neutral, Happy, Uplifting, Epic, Club, or Extreme.

    Selecting a Mood.
  4. Select a length for the Memory: Short, Medium, or Long.

    Selecting length of slideshow.
  5. Select Edit in the top-right corner to fine-tune the slideshow. Here, you can change the title, title image, music, and duration. You can also change which photos and videos are included in the slideshow.

    Selecting Edit.

The Title section allows you to edit the title, the sub-title and choose the font for the title. In music, you can choose one of the stock songs or any song from your device's library. When you edit the duration of a Memory, the Photos app will choose which photographs to add or subtract, so you will want to do this before you edit the photo selection. This allows you to fine-tune photos after you've chosen an appropriate length.

You can add a photo by tapping the "+" button at the bottom-left of the screen, but you can only add photos that are within the original collection. So, if you created a memory of 2018 photos, you can only add photos from that 2018 collection. This is where creating a new album helps out. If you don't see the photo you want, you can back out, add the photo to the album, then start the editing process again.

You cannot place a photo at a particular point within the slideshow. Photos are placed in the same order as they exist in the album, which is generally sorted by date and time.

How to Save and Share Memories

Sharing a photo in the Photos app

Now that you have a custom Memory slideshow, you may want to share it.

You can share a slideshow or save it to your device by selecting the Share button while it is playing. All the standard share options are available, including AirDrop, Messages, Mail, YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, etc. You can even import it into iMovie for further editing. 

If you select Save Video, the slideshow will be saved to your Videos album in a movie format. This allows you to share it to Facebook or send it as a text message at a later point in time.