The detection and processing of novelty plays a critical role in memory function. Despite this, relatively little is known about how novelty influences memory in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review sought to address whether AD patients are still sensitive to novelty; whether novelty triggers memory processes as is observed in healthy subjects; and whether it is possible to promote novelty to enhance memory at the different stages of AD. The studies reviewed showed that novelty processing is mostly impaired in AD patients, whereas it can be preserved under some conditions in MCI, particularly when cognitive demands are otherwise low. We further identify outstanding questions that should be addressed in the near future in order to more robustly establish the fate of novelty processing and detection in the course of AD. Doing so would allow to improve current models of memory impairment in AD, leading to a more comprehensive view of the sources of memory decline and could lead to neuropsychological and/or pharmaceutical rehabilitation programs.