Recently, I was having this problem: Every time when I receive a message , the message app was showing its phone number instead of its contact name even though I had saved the contact information of this particular person in my iPhone. For example, I had a friend named Selma and her number was (217) XXX XXXX. I saved her (this number) as Selma. However when Selma sent a message, it was showing her number, (217) XXX XXX and not her name, Selma, even she was listed.
I was able to fix this problem. This short article explains how I was able to fix this. If you are having this problem, this article will teach you how you can troubleshoot it. Here is how:
Phone numbers instead of Contact names (iOS devices)
Please note that we explained this issue before when users were having a very similar problem with then-new iOS 9 update. Please read that article also. If you are still having issues, then please try the following tips:
- It seems that iCloud Contacts may cause this. If this is the case, here is you can fix it:
- Restart your device. You can restart your device by going to Settings > General > Shut Down and start again.
- Force quit the messages app and open again. To close the app (if your device have a Home button), double press the Home button, and swipe up the Messages app. If your device does not have a Home button, e.g, iPhone X, swipe up from the home screen and then swipe up the Messages app. And then reopen the Messages app.
- Go to Settings > Messages and turn off MMS Messaging (under the SMS/MMS section) and then turn back on.
- Try to disabling Short Name. Please tap Settings > Contacts > Short Name and toggle it off. Please note that Short Name is turned on by default. Short Name lets you see your contacts’ first names (or last name or nick name depending on your settings) instead of the full name.
- Check the contact number. Make sure it is in this format: + country code (area code) phone number (like: +1 217 721 0000) if it is not in this format, change it and fit in this format. This may be an issue especially if you have international contacts saved. You may want to do this because your iOS device may not recognize it. Here is how you can change a contact name and number:
- Open Contacts
- Tap the name of the contact that you would like to change its number
- Tap the Edit button (upper right corner)
- Tap the number field
- Make your changes
- and then finally tap Done (upper right corner)