iOS Message Notifications: Contact Names Missing

Some users have stated that text message notifications show the phone number rather than the contact name after updating to iOS 9. Reported problems include, but are not limited to:

  • Only iMessages do not display the name
  • Only certain/random contact names are missing

How to fix missing contact names

Here is how you can fix this problem. Please, after you follow each step, check whether the problem is fixed:

1-Restart your device by pressing and holding the on/off button and then slide the slider.

2-Make sure to upgrade to Apple’s latest iOS release by going to Settings > General > Software Update

3-Go to Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage, wait a few seconds then turn back on.

4-Go to Settings > Messages and turn off MMS Messaging and turn back on.

5-Reset your network settings by going to Settings > General >  Reset > Reset Network Settings. Note this action will delete your Wi-Fi passwords.

6-This tip may not be an ideal solution but you may want to try. Try deleting the whole conversation messages from the the affected contact.

7-Try these steps:

a-Restart your iPhone

b-Once the device turns on,  do not enter your passcode, simply lock the iPhone immediately by pressing the Sleep/Wake (or on/off) button.

c-Ask a person to send a text message, note this person should be someone whose contact you are having a problem with.

d-When you receive the message, unlock the phone and read it. After you read it, simply lock the phone again.

e-Again ask the same person to send a message.

f-Repeating these steps will fix this issue but only for that particular number. Repeat this steps for every broken contact.

If your iPhone (or iPad) is not making any sound when a new message arrives, see this article to fix.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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33 thoughts on “iOS Message Notifications: Contact Names Missing”

  1. this worked for me too. my issue was on my iMac. only the #’s were showing up in iMessage. i edited a name on my iPhone and it fixed the issue on my iMac. thanks!! i wish i would have seen this hours ago!!!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The phone numbers instead of names was frustrating but editing one contact fixed all of them too. Great help!

  3. This happened on my new iPhone 7 after upgrading to iOS 11 last night. Tried some of the other things, with no luck, but changing one of the affected contacts did.

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. this worked for me after many hours of searching
    Toggle Contacts Off/On – In iOS 10, go to Settings | Contacts. Go to Accounts and select the account(s) for which your contacts for the Messages app are connected to. Within that (those) account(s), toggle the Contacts button to the off position, wait 10-15 seconds, then toggle the button back to the on position (On = Green). Check to see if the issue has been resolved.

  5. My names disappeared after I logged out of iCloud. When I logged back in they reappeared. I had not previously been connected to iCloud.

  6. I was having the exact issue with my iPhone SE. I tried all the suggestions pretty much, the only thing that worked was turning off the iMessage and then turning it back on.

  7. The only fix that worked for me was to open a contact and update it. I changed one name and clicked Done. All contact names restored after that saved change.


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