Social Media

How to Use Snapchat Memories: Everything You Need to Know

Dan Price Updated 15-10-2018

Snapchat Memories—introduced in 2016—shifted Snapchat away from being the platform of self-destructing photos and videos, to being direct competition for Facebook.


Snapchat Memories is now a key component of Snapchat, but do you know how to use the feature effectively? Here’s everything you need to know about using Snapchat Memories.

Your Personalized Album of Snaps

Snapchat Memories offers a personalized album of your favorite snaps and stories that you access by swiping up on the camera home screen. And it’s one of the things every Snapchat user should know 12 Snapchat Features All Users Need to Learn Snapchat Streaks, Filters, and other must-know features can change your Snapchat game. Here's how to use the twelve best features. Read More how to use.

Previously, you could download your snaps and stories directly to your phone. Now, you can save them within the app itself for even easier access. This makes for a fun, more engaged way to share your memories with friends and family without scrolling through unsorted camera rolls, while still keeping your “private” shots safe.

Everything you save to Snapchat Memories is securely backed up by Snapchat using Google’s reliable App Engine Cloud. This means that even if you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to access your saved snaps and stories next time you log in to the app.

Understanding the Memories Tab

When you open up Memories within Snapchat, you’ll see a reverse chronological list of your saved snaps and stories. Snaps are displayed as rectangles, and stories as circles.


To search for specific snaps and stories, click on the Search button in the top-left. This search feature will not just look for words within your captions, but also recognizable objects (like cats or hats), as well as location (if you’ve allowed Snapchat to access your location).

The Select button in the top right enables you to select one or more of your saved snaps and stories. You can then send these to friends, delete them, add them to your current story, share them on other platforms, or move to the My Eyes Only folder (more on that later).

Saving Your Snaps and Stories to Memories

Just before you send a snap to a friend or publish it to your Story, click on the Save button at the bottom of the screen. This will save that snap to your Memories. Alternatively, if you long-hold the Download button, you can also choose to Save to Camera Roll and Memories.

If you want to save your currently viewable Snapchat Story (My Story) to Memories, navigate to the Stories screen. Click the Save button that’s next to My Story. This will save the entire Story to your Memories.


Naturally, you can only save your own snaps and stories to Memories, not anyone else’s.

Posting Old Snaps and Stories

One of the main benefits of Snapchat Memories is the ability to re-share your old snaps and stories. This is perfect for some #TBT posts. These can either be added to your current story or sent individually to friends.

Note that all old stories and snaps that you share will have a black border around them, as well as a timestamp, to make it clear how old they are.

  • To re-share a saved snap, long-hold the snap from within Memories, then edit as you normally would. Click the blue Share button and choose to either add the snap to your story or select the friends you want to send it to.
  • To re-share a saved story, long-hold that story, and make any edits. Click Send Story, and choose where you would like the story to be sent. You also have the option of only sending individual snaps from within your stories.

Create New Stories From Your Memories

If you’ve created loads of snaps and taken loads of photos during your holiday and saved these to Memories, you can easily compile these into a brand new story.


To do this, click the Select button in the top right, and choose each of the snaps, stories, and photos from your Camera Roll, which you want to compile. Then click the circular + button at the bottom of the screen. A new story will be created.

To name your new story, long-hold the story, click the hamburger button (top left), and click “Rename Story“.

You can then share this story as explained earlier.

Understanding “My Eyes Only”

How many times have you allowed a friend to browse through your camera roll, only to realize there’s a photo in there you just didn’t want them to see?


That’s what “My Eyes Only” is for. This is a private album that you can add your private snaps and stories to.

Click the Select button within Memories, then choose one or more snaps or stories to make private. When you’re done, click on the Padlock button at the bottom of the screen, and click Move. The first time you do this, you’ll be asked to provide a 4-digit passcode. Make sure you choose something you’ll remember. If you forget this, Snapchat can’t help you recover those Memories.

Why Snapchat Memories Is a Game-Changer

There are two main reasons why introducing Memories was a very smart move by Snapchat.

Saving snaps and stories used to be incredibly frustrating. This turned a lot of people (and brands) away from the platform because they didn’t want to spend time creating content that would simply disappear. Now that’s changed. Snapchat is already popular 7 Reasons Snapchat is a Teenager's Favourite Social Network The latest craze amongst the adults of the future is the secretive photo-sharing service Snapchat. Why do they love it? Read More , with more users than Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And Memories is helping Snapchat continue to grow.

But more importantly, Snapchat is helping to revolutionize the way we store, share, and look back on our memories. Up to now, social media has offered us a way to create semi-public albums of photos, and streams of status updates.

Snapchat is instead offering a searchable archive of stories that we’ve lived through. Each of these stories now comprises filters, stickers, captions, images, and short-form video. If images paint a thousand words, Snapchat stories could easily paint a million. It offers a whole new experience when we’re looking back at old memories, or showing them to our friends and family.

Not only can we rest easy knowing that our private photos are behind lock and key. But with stories offering so much more than a set of photo albums, what we have is a camera roll on steroids. A camera roll that comes alive, and brings our memories to life. Plus, it allows us to snap later, rather than right now, so we can spend more time in the present.

Mix this with Snapchat’s most creative users 25 Snapchat Accounts You Need to Follow Right Now To get the most out of Snapchat, you need to follow the right people. Here are several Snapchat accounts you should start following. Read More , and you have an app everyone should be using. If you run into issues, find out what to do when Snapchat isn’t working Is Snapchat Down or Not Working? Here's How to Fix It Is your Snapchat down or not working? Here are several tips and fixes for when Snapchat is down or not working. Read More .

Related topics: Photo Sharing, Snapchat.

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  1. grace
    March 16, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I tried finding old snaps in memories but they where deleted. I guess after a year there gone. how do I get snaps from a year ago?

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      I'm not sure to be honest. If they've been deleted and you didn't back them up yourself, then I would assume you can't access them anymore :/ Hopefully I'm wrong!

  2. idyho
    December 30, 2016 at 12:57 am

    I saved all my stories to memories but they are not backing up. When I go to memories, it state I have 27 remaining, I have tried to download multiple times but the backup stalls. I though about logging out but it states that I have 38 memories that have not been backed up yet that I will lose if I log out. I have cleared cache (not memory cache), I have made sure I'm running most recent version, and I have restarted. Any ideas how I can get my memories to backup?

    • Rob Nightingale
      January 2, 2017 at 10:19 am

      I'm not sure, I'm afraid. Some people report that logging out then logging back in again can help (though I've not tried this myself), and also you should ensure you have the latest version of Snapchat.

  3. snapperdog
    December 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    They should at least let you JUST save your pics to your camera roll and not go to memories if you don't want to put your pics in the cloud. The latest release you don't have a choice.

    • Rob Nightingale
      December 14, 2016 at 10:13 am

      It would be a cool feature, but that would mean you rely on the app less, which isn't what Snapchat wants, unfortunately!

  4. Sarah Flowers
    November 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I really don't like this memories thing. In the camera roll it uploadef ALL my pics from my phone and those are extremely private and I do not want them on there!!! Can other people see your camera roll? Please tell me how to completely deactivate the memories. I don't want it. And when I do delete dome off there it deleted it off my phone. Please help I am terrified. I don't want to felete my account.

    • Rob Nightingale
      December 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Hope you managed to sort this out, Sarah!

      Memories are not public. They are only viewable if you show them to people. The only thing that's currently viewable by people who follow you on Snapchat is your "My Story".

      If you go to the settings page in Snapchat (Swipe up, then click the settings cog), scroll down and click "Memories", and you can choose where to save your new snaps to (to Memories, direct to the camera roll, etc).

      There's also an option to "import all snaps from camera roll". This may have been what you pressed by accident in the past. Make sure you don't press this again, or you'll get another ton of snaps being saved to Memories.

      • Krys
        February 2, 2017 at 6:57 am

        How do I undo that STUPID feature! I have the same problem and I want to block snapchat from accessing my photos.

      • Krys
        February 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

        I want to block snapchat form my private photos on my device. I am almost ready to scrap snapchat all together if I cannot undo this STUPID feature.

  5. Kris
    November 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    When I activated memories on the Snapchat app it deleted the Snapchat folder on my phone that had all my previous pictures. And they did not move over to memories before they disappeared. Any suggestions for recovery?

    • Rob Nightingale
      December 14, 2016 at 10:21 am

      I'm not sure if there's any way to recover these, Kris! To stop this happening in the future, go to the settings page in Snapchat, click "Memories", then select to save your snaps to camera roll. This will mean they're not just stored on Snapchat (it also means anyone can see these if they have access to your camera roll).

  6. Brett
    November 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    When I go to post a picture from my camera onto my story it says "Camera Roll ismt backed up by Snapchat". So I can't share an old pic

    • Rob Nightingale
      December 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

      If you go to the settings page in Snapchat, click on Memories, and take a look at "Backup Progress", what is the status?

  7. Colton Adams
    November 5, 2016 at 1:53 am

    If you save the message and the other person doesn't save that message will it show up on their saved messages on chat?

    • j
      November 8, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Yes. Both parties do not need to save the chat. Only one person does and it'll still be present for both parties to see.

  8. Jess
    October 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Does anyone know how to save memories quickly onto your camera roll? Im trying to make a video from my trip and i have HUNDREDS that im trying to save individually and its very tedious.
    Also i lost a lot of footage that didnt even save onto memories! I think its because i didnt have internet, but its so frustrating! Is there anyway to retrieve lost footage?
    I dislike this feature very much... I see the benefits, but its done more bad than good for me.

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      So far there doesn't seem to be a way to bulk download these to your camera roll, I'm afraid.

  9. Barbara
    October 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Hate this feature! No way to restore deleted snaps that were in memories like you can with camera roll..and it's a hassle to save to both

    • Kurorin
      October 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      If you want to save the snap that's stuck in Memories:
      A bit tedious, but go into memories (swipe up from camera), tap on the snap you want to save (I’ve only been able to do one at a time), tap on the image and tap on ‘edit and send’ at the bottom. Then, tap on the three horizontal lined icon on the top right, and select ‘save to camera roll’. :) Hope this helps!!

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Unfortunately not. Though saving to camera roll from Memories is probably the best way to have a backup.

  10. Kayla
    September 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I hate this feature. Even worse, I hate That once I accidentally clicked "start memories" I cannot go back.

    If I want to save my pictures to my phone, because I take photos on Snapchat that seem to look better than my camera, I have to go through the process of deleting them off memories because I don't want everyone seeing them.

    Stupidest idea. There should be a setting where you can decide whether the save or download button sends it to your memories, to your phone, or both. And it should be a remembered setting so I don't have to hold it down to save to both places, just to go back and delete it from my memories. Horrible "upgrade" to snapchat. I want my pictures saved to my phone quick and easy like it used to be. Memories seriously ruined Snapchat for me.

    • Kurorin
      October 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      If you want to save the snap that's stuck in Memories:
      A bit tedious, but go into memories (swipe up from camera), tap on the snap you want to save (I’ve only been able to do one at a time), tap on the image and tap on ‘edit and send’ at the bottom. Then, tap on the three horizontal lined icon on the top right, and select ‘save to camera roll’. :) Hope this helps!!
      + And if you want to change the settings so that it saves to camera roll instead, go to your main Snapchat page (the one with the huge ghost icon in the middle), click on settings (the gear in the top right corner), scroll down to Memories. Tap on Memories, and tap on 'save to...', select 'camera roll only'. :)

      • Rob Nightingale
        October 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm

        What Kurorin said :)

  11. Noureeen
    September 20, 2016 at 3:14 am

    how can I get my photos back from backup? they're not in
    memories anymore but it says that they're in backup

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      I guess deleting the app, then downloading it again should give you the option of downloading your backed-up memories, though your backed up memories are synced quite often, so if you've deleted your snaps, they're likely deleted from your backup, too.

  12. Noureeen
    September 20, 2016 at 3:14 am

    how can I get my photos back from backup? they're not in
    memories anymore but it says that they're in backup!!!!

  13. emma
    September 17, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    how do you get photos back that are in "backup"? I accidentally deleted them from
    my memories and now it says that they're in "backup".

  14. emma
    September 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    how can I get my photos back from backup? they're not in
    memories anymore but it says that they're in backup

  15. Amy
    September 4, 2016 at 1:47 am

    In memories, is the camera roll seen by anyone who is my friend if they go to it? What does it mean when it says, " Your camera roll is not backed up by snapchat"???

    • Megan K.
      October 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      I'm wondering the same thing and am completely worried. I'm very upset, because I don't want ppl to see anything from my camera roll.

    • Megan K.
      October 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      I'm wondering the same thing. I'm completely worried and upset. I don't want anyone to see my pictures from my camera roll.

    • Cassidy
      November 1, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Your snapchat memories are not public to everyone. No one can access your memories except for you. It's like a camera roll for snapchat. Now, for the camera roll setting, when it says "your camera roll is not backed up by snapchat" it just means that while snapchat saves your other memories (like stories etc) it doesn't save your camera roll on the app. So if you delete a photo from your camera roll then it will delete on the camera roll setting on snapchat too. Get it?

      • Brett
        November 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

        It doesn't allow us to post any pics from our camera roll onto our stories

  16. Ansh
    September 3, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Where memories photos are saved

  17. Kay
    August 8, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Can you recover accidentally deleted snaps from memories?

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Not that I know of...

  18. Lamegame
    August 3, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Retarded that they have now moved the rec button in order to squeeze in the memories button. Terrible idea, people are accidentally failing to record golden moments due to that damn button jumping up few millimeters after opening it. Cannot describe how frustratingly retarded this is

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      I'm sure everyone will get use to it :)

  19. JOhn
    August 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    How do I save memories to my computer? Or post them to facebook?

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Hit the download button, then choose where to save them...

  20. Hannah
    July 31, 2016 at 12:08 am

    I accidentally deleted a saved snap, can I recover it?

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      As far as I know, there's no easy way to do this, sorry Hannah.

  21. Steph
    July 30, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Heya I signed out of snapchaf after taking pictures and saving them onto my memories but singing back in and they have disapeared how do I get them back??

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      I've never come across this issue, so am not sure, sorry, Steph. You might be best checking the Snapchat website for more info?

  22. Hello
    July 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    How do I get the videos onto my computer?

    • Rob Nightingale
      August 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Hit the download button then choose to save the video to your phone, then you can transfer it to your computer like you would any other video you record...