We report a novel negative photoconductivity (NPC) mechanism in n-type indium arsenide nanowires (NWs). Photoexcitation significantly suppresses the conductivity with a gain up to 10(5). The origin of NPC is attributed to the depletion of conduction channels by light assisted hot electron trapping, supported by gate voltage threshold shift and wavelength-dependent photoconductance measurements. Scanning photocurrent microscopy excludes the possibility that NPC originates from the NW/metal contacts and reveals a competing positive photoconductivity. The conductivity recovery after illumination substantially slows down at low temperature, indicating a thermally activated detrapping mechanism. At 78 K, the spontaneous recovery of the conductance is completely quenched, resulting in a reversible memory device, which can be switched by light and gate voltage pulses. The novel NPC based optoelectronics may find exciting applications in photodetection and nonvolatile memory with low power consumption.