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What to Do When Your Messages Show Numbers instead of Contact Names

You decide to read one of your messages and realized that you are having a problem. Every time you try to view a message that you have received from your phone, the application shows the phone numbers instead of the nicknames that you have assigned to your friends, families, and other social groups. This can be the case even if the numbers are already saved on the Contacts of your iPhone.

An example of this scenario is: You might have a friend called Anne with the following number: +214 XXX XXXX. You saved Anne’s number on your contacts list. Note that the numbers are all correct. However, every time that Anne sends you a message, you will see her +214 XXX XXXX number and not her name even though you already saved her number.

The good news is that: this problem can be fixed. This is why this article is written. If you are having trouble fixing this, then read on:

Phone Numbers are Showing on the Message List on your iOS

This issue is not new. When the update for the iOS 9 was launched, users have reported that they have also experienced this problem. You can refer to other articles regarding the update. If you want to get it fixed as soon as possible, here are some tips that you can follow:

iCloud Contacts

The main cause of the problem might be the way your iCloud Contacts is synced with the contacts of your iOS device. Here are the steps that you can do to fix this issue:

  1. On your iOS device, tap Settings
  2. Go to your Name on your iCloud Account
  3. Select iCloud
  4. Search for the Contacts and Turn it Off
  5. Delete your previously synced iCloud Contacts on this Device.
  6. Wait for a few Minutes
  7. Turn back on the Contacts
  8. When there’s an option to Merge, simply tap on it.

Reboot your Phone

Sometimes, the problem can be easily fixed when you turn off your phone and turn it back on again. In order to do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your device’s Settings. Simply tap on General. Scroll Down and choose Shut Down. Wait for a few minutes and turn it back on again.

Force Quit the Messages Application

  1. Close the app by pressing the Home button twice.
  2. Simply swipe up the Messages App in order to close it.
  3. If you are using iPhone X or your iOS does not have a home button, go to the home screen.
  4. Swipe up and search for the Messages app. Swipe it up and try to open the Messages again.

Turn Off MMS Messaging Temporarily

  1. In order to do this, go to your phone’s Settings.
  2. Select Messages
  3. Scroll Down to the SMS/MMS Section
  4. Tap on Turn Off MMS Messaging
  5. Wait for a Few Minutes and Turn it Back On

Disable Short Names

  1. In order to disable the short names, you can go to the Settings
  2. Select Contacts
  3. Tap on Short Names and Toggle it off.

The short names function by letting you see your contact’s first names instead of seeing their full names. You can pick the contacts’ first or last name depending on your preference. This is commonly turned on by default.

Check the Contact Number

You can try this if one or two of your contacts’ messages are showing a phone number instead of a name. You can also double check every contact’s entries in order to make sure that they have the right format. This can be helpful when you are just first trying to use your iOS device.

Make sure to follow the format of the + sign, the country code, the area code, and the number. Change the numbers in order of the format and see if it works. This can be an issue common to international contacts. The iOS device might not able to recognize the saved international number.

  1. Go to Contacts
  2. Tap the Name of a Contact
  3. Select Edit
  4. Edit the Number Field
  5. Save the changes by Tapping Done.

A Final Word

If all of the above does not work, you can always contact Apple Support. You can also go to an Apple Center and have your phone checked.

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