If You're Getting Journal Suggestions on Your iPhone, Here's How to Disable Them

You might want to put a stop to all those suggestion notifications, especially if you don't use the Journal app on iOS 17.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
3 min read
Apple journal and writing reminder shown on an iPhone

You can put a stop to all those annoying Journal suggestions.

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I use my iPhone to write down my thoughts and feelings all the time, mostly in the Notes app. Recently, Apple introduced the Journal app, to provide a space to reflect on your day, and I tried it out, but it just wasn't for me. I prefer to use the Notes app, maybe because I'm just so used to it already.

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.

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I tried Journal one time, just to see what the hype was about, and then never used it again. But because I used Journal once, I absent-mindedly signed up for Journaling Suggestions, as I sometimes do when I'm quickly skipping through pop-ups when I want to try something out.

Now 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.


If you don't use Journal, you can stop it from having access to your data. 

Bridget Carey/CNET

How to stop Journaling Suggestions from having access to your data

Journal sends you suggestions based on your activities, media use, contacts, photos and significant locations. If you go to your job, take a photo at a restaurant, or spend a bit of time at the park, you may get a suggestion from Journal because it's tracking what you're doing in a way. 

Journal also sends suggestions based on who is around you, so if you're spending time with friends or family members, Journal may use Bluetooth to determine that and send you a notification to include them in your journaling.

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 privacy settings

At the bottom, you may notice the one setting may still be toggled on. If you want to prevent other people from discovering your phone or tagging you in their own journal entries, toggle off Discoverable by Others.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

This will both prevent Journal from having access to your data and stop the app from sending you notifications.

How to stop getting notifications for Journaling Suggestions

Now, if you want to use Journal and don't mind the app having access to your data, you can still keep Journaling Suggestions on, but turn off notifications so that you're not bombarded with reminders to jot down your thoughts and feelings.

Go to Settings > Journal > Journaling Suggestions > Suggestion Notification Settings and simply toggle off Allow Notifications.

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.