I’ve become quite a fan of the Apple News app on my iPad and iPhone, but there are a couple of news sources it includes that I dislike and don’t want to see. Can I block or remove news sources in Apple News?
Thought it appears that the Apple News app has its own secret algorithm and set of news sources, the fact is that you can make some changes and adjustments to both sources and topics. It’s not, however, at all intuitive, surprisingly so for an Apple designed application. The basic idea is one you’re probably familiar with from social media, with “likes” and “thumbs up” and similar, but while those were fairly obvious when Apple News launched, they are rather buried now.
More than that, however, is that you can block or deprecate individual news sources. They do seem to sporadically show up anyway, particularly in the paid-subscriber-only Apple News Plus sections (which I wish I could turn off too since I’m not a subscriber, but that’s another story), but you’ll still see them quite a bit less. For me, the two news sources that bug me the most are BuzzFeed, which has endless numbered lists of insipid topics, and Forbes, which has good articles but annoyingly click-bait-y titles. A fixable problem!
First off, here’s Apple News on my iPhone:
Lo and behold, two BuzzFeed stories with their standard formula of XX this, that or the other. Do I care about “22 actors who looked just like their animated counterparts” or “28 couples from romantic dramas whose onscreen chemistry left me parched”? Nope. Do others? Yes, the site does really well, actually, and is a savvy publishing company. But not in my feed, please.
You block a news source by tapping to read the story. I’ll do that on the 22 Actors piece:
You can get more or less of these sort of stories by tapping on the thumbs up or thumbs down on the very bottom, but we don’t want to vote the story down, we want to block the newsfeed itself. To do that, tap on the share icon on the top right (the square with an arrow coming out of it). Why is this where the block feature is located? I have no idea and I doubt anyone will ever stumble across it randomly. Be that as it may, tap on the share icon on the top right…
The entire lower portion now is overlaid by the share window and you can see that it’s primarily to share via text message (the first row), various iOS apps like AirDrop, Messages and Facebook, and then a few individual options, Copy Link and Save Story.
But swipe up, there are a lot more options!
You can see the definition of both the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons, you can check out just that particular news source channel or sign up to follow the channel (which will bring more stories from that source into your Apple News) or, the one we want, “Block Channel“. I’ve highlighted it above.
Tap on it and you’ll get a warning:
It is indeed exactly what I want: “If you block BuzzFeed, News will stop showing stories from this channel. You can always change this later.” A tap on “Block” and it’s a done deal!
That’s it. With a bit of work you can amplify the sources you really like and block the ones you dislike, customizing Apple News to have the ideal mix of sources and stories for your interests and preferences. Hope that helps!