How to Modify or Disable Facebook's "On This Day" Feature

Until now, Facebook's "On This Day" feature might remind you of painful memories, such as a death. Photo © Chris Raymond

Since its creation in 2004, Facebook has continually added new features to enhance the experience of those using this social media platform, which is currently estimated at 1.39 billion worldwide. Among these functions is "On This Day," which automatically shows a post to users on the anniversary of the status update. This article explains how you can modify or even disable Facebook's "On This Day" function to avoid reminders about unhappy events, such as the death of a loved one.

What is Facebook's "On This Day"?

Introduced in March 2015, Facebook's "On This Day" feature automatically shows you "past status updates, photos, posts from friends and other things you've shared or been tagged in – from one year ago, two years ago, and so on." While this development is great for rediscovering the anniversary of that vacation you took in Cancun, the birth of your child or some other memorable Facebook status update you posted in the past, this function cannot discriminate between happy and unhappy moments.

Thus, Facebook's "On This Day" feature might also remind you about the day you broke up with your significant other, lost a job or experienced the death of someone you love (assuming you previously posted about such events on Facebook and have "On This Day" enabled.) After its launch, some users enjoyed this new functionality, while others hated the unwelcome and unexpected reminders about moments they'd prefer not to think about or would like to simply forget.

How to Modify or Disable Facebook's "On This Day"

Fortunately, based on user feedback, Facebook introduced filters to its "On This Day" function in October 2015 that provide greater discrimination about what the social media platform reminds you about and what it ignores. While not perfect, users who still want to employ this feature can now exclude specific people and/or dates from Facebook's "On This Day" search in order to avoid unwelcome, unexpected reminders about painful events, such as the death of a loved one.

To modify who/what Facebook's "On This Day" feature shows you:

1. Log-in to your Facebook account on your desktop computer

2. On your "News Feed" page, click "On This Day" under the "Apps" section in the left-hand column

3. Click the "Preferences" button and enter the name of the Facebook user(s) you'd rather not see and/or select the date(s) you'd like excluded from this function

To disable/turn-off Facebook's "On This Day" feature:

A. Follow steps 1 and 2 above

B. Click the "Notifications" button and select "Off"

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"Introducing On This Day: A New Way to Look Back at Photos and Memories on Facebook," March 24, 2015. Facebook. Retrieved October 28, 2015.

"Facebook 'On This Day' Lets You Keep Track of Your History" by Alyssa Newcomb, March 24, 2015.

ABC News. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 

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