How to Disable Journal Suggestions on Your iPhone – CNET

I like to write down my thoughts and feelings pretty much all the time, but I do it in the Notes app on my iPhone. Apple introduced the Journal app not too long ago, to provide a space to reflect on your day, and while I initially thought I would use Journal every day, it turns out I don’t use it at all. 

There’s nothing wrong with Journal, it’s a perfectly fine app. I have friends and family who use it daily. I’m just personally not interested in journaling on my phone. You would think I could just ignore the app, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

I tried Journal one time, just to see what the hype was about, and then never used it again. Because I used Journal once, I inadvertently signed up for Journaling Suggestions.

I get suggestions from the Journal app nearly every day now, in the form of notifications, asking me to reflect on whatever I just did, whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, a long bicycle ride or a trip to the grocery store. It knows what I do because I gave it access (without really thinking about it) to my location, photos, contacts and more.

Journal knows what I do, where I go and who I do it with. Because I don’t want to journal anything, I’d prefer Journal not to have access to this personal information, and I certainly don’t want to receive any additional notifications.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to stop Journal from bugging you ever again. I’ll show you two ways to do it: disable Journaling Suggestions, and stop Journal notifications. Here’s what you need to know.

While you’re here, check out how to fix all the most annoying features and settings in iOS 17, and the best iPhone options out there in 2024.

Watch this: What I Learned Using Apple’s Journal App


Besides the annoying notifications, if you don’t keep a journal, you may not like that the Journal app has access to all of this data. Not only that, this personal information can be shared with other journaling apps that use Apple’s Journaling Suggestions feature.

According to Apple, any information collected is treated as outlined in Apple’s Privacy Policy, which includes end-to-end encryption and other privacy features, but you might just prefer Journal not to have access to your information entirely.

To stop Journal from having access to your information (thus also stopping notifications), go to Settings > Journal > Journaling Suggestions > Suggestion Privacy Settings and hit Turn Off All at the top of the page. A pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to turn off all Journaling Suggestions.

Journaling Suggestions notifications settings Journaling Suggestions notifications settings

You can also configure the notifications so that you only receive notifications in your lock screen or notification center instead of getting banner notifications, but if you want to completely remove notifications, keep Allow Notifications off.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Note: This only disables notifications but allows Journal to still have access to your data, and you’ll still see suggestions if you go inside the Journal app.

For more, read all the new features on iOS 17.4 and 17 hidden iOS 17 features and settings.

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