4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 2:21 PM by Ralph Johns (UK)
mggio Level 1 (0 points)

Let's say my name is "Johnathan Smith" and when I log in to messages it always says "Johnathan Smith" at the top of every buddy list.


I want to change this name to "John Smith". If I click on the name, there is no option to change it. It will only say "View as Name" or "View as Handle".


It's not clear where Apple seems to be getting this name from so I don't know how to change it!


Some things I tried that did not work:


1) Logging in to aim.com and changing my name there. AIM now knows my name is "John Smith" but Messages still claims I'm "Johnathan Smith".

2) Disabling my Messages accounts. Deleting my Messages account. Disabling the buddy list. Logging out. Rebooting the computer. None of this was enough for Messages to pick up my new name. I'm still "Johnathan Smith".

3) Going to System Preferences and to the Users and Groups pane and changing my Full Name to "John Smith".


I don't know what else there is to try. It is very important that I can change this name. Any advice??

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Messages application
  • VikingOSX Level 6 (15,671 points)

    Look at the name within your Apple ID.

  • mggio Level 1 (0 points)

    It's not the Apple ID at all. These are AIM accounts and not related to an apple id at all.

  • mggio Level 1 (0 points)

    I finally figured this out.


    The solution was to go to the Contacts app and change my name there.

    My contact -- the one with my name -- had my AIM addresses listed there. Messages must be looking up the AIM address in the contacts list and taking the full name from there. When I change my name there, it changed in Messages.


    I have no idea why this is what did it, but it worked!

  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,094 points)



    Messages and iChat before that is closely linked with the Contacts app (Formerly the Address Book)


    When you Add A Buddy you can add the First Name, Last Name and Create an entry (Address Card) that the Contacts app uses.  (You can also link to an Existing card)


    In the Bonjour Buddy List Messages uses your My Card from the Contacts app (Head and Shoulders icon) and Broadcasts this as your Buddy name to be displayed on other people Bonjour Lists.


    As you have found the top of th Buddy Lists can display the Handle (AIM screen Name or Jabber ID) or the Name from the Contacts list > My Card.


    Other related items

    With the Messages window with a chat open go to the View Menu > Buddy Names

    You can use Full Names, Short Names (Nicknames or First names) and handles here as well.

    If you have a Buddy List "Front" the some Menu and option changes the Buddies  in the same way.






    10:21 PM      Wednesday; November 14, 2012

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