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Question: iPhone messages not showing contact names

Yesterday imessage on my iphone was showing the contact name when someone texted me. Now it is showing only the phone number. I have not knowingly changed any settings. What do I need to do to change it back to showing the names?

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iPhone 5, iOS 10.2.1

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Sep 20, 2017 4:10 AM in response to dsewanee In response to dsewanee

None of the above worked but I just got it fixed. (The numbers instead of names happened to me because I signed out and into icloud trying to fix something)


So I went to Settings > Contacts > Short Name and then turned the Short Name in this menu off, and looked at my messages and it was fixed, and then turned short name on again. (I also first played about with orders for the Sort Order and Display Order in Contacts before going to short name, not sure if this had an influence)

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Mar 2, 2017 2:18 PM in response to dmarie05 In response to dmarie05

Close Messages completely and restart your phone.


Tap the home button twice to bring up the app multitasking screen. Swipe to find the Messages app and then swipe up on the preview window to close the app.


Restart your phone and then see what happens.

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Sep 20, 2017 9:06 AM in response to dmarie05 In response to dmarie05

My problem of missing names replaced by phone numbers got fixed when I changed the entries in my contacts to the standard formula: + countrycode (areacode) phonenumber. Problem has occurred when some new numbers were added for the overseas contacts. After the correction all US numbers look like this: +1 (555) 555-1212 and the overseas numbers look like this: +49 555 111 222 for mobiles and +49 55 555 11 22 for the stationary numbers.

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Sep 6, 2017 8:19 AM in response to Diana.McCall In response to Diana.McCall

Diana.McCall wrote:


Hi dsewanee. Try making a trivial edit to one of your contacts. Then restart the device, power off, not just sleep.

That is exactly what worked for me very recently when I had to backup and re enter my contacts from an Exchange email account that I was losing at work.


I used a third party app from the App Store to backup and restore the contacts and then made a minor edit to one contact and all of the names reappeared rather than the phone numbers.

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Mar 2, 2017 2:28 PM in response to Demo In response to Demo

Thanks for your help. I followed your directions and 3 of my messages have names with them but most don't. I just had my son test text me and his message shows up as a number instead of his name. Scrolling through my messages I have one from yesterday that showed the name yesterday and today it shows a number.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 2, 2017 2:18 PM in response to dmarie05 In response to dmarie05

Close Messages completely and restart your phone.


Tap the home button twice to bring up the app multitasking screen. Swipe to find the Messages app and then swipe up on the preview window to close the app.


Restart your phone and then see what happens.

Mar 2, 2017 2:18 PM

Reply Helpful (13)
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 2, 2017 2:28 PM in response to Demo In response to Demo

Thanks for your help. I followed your directions and 3 of my messages have names with them but most don't. I just had my son test text me and his message shows up as a number instead of his name. Scrolling through my messages I have one from yesterday that showed the name yesterday and today it shows a number.

Mar 2, 2017 2:28 PM

Reply Helpful (5)
Question marked as Helpful

Sep 6, 2017 8:19 AM in response to Diana.McCall In response to Diana.McCall

Diana.McCall wrote:


Hi dsewanee. Try making a trivial edit to one of your contacts. Then restart the device, power off, not just sleep.

That is exactly what worked for me very recently when I had to backup and re enter my contacts from an Exchange email account that I was losing at work.


I used a third party app from the App Store to backup and restore the contacts and then made a minor edit to one contact and all of the names reappeared rather than the phone numbers.

Sep 6, 2017 8:19 AM

Reply Helpful (6)
Question marked as Helpful

Sep 20, 2017 4:10 AM in response to dsewanee In response to dsewanee

None of the above worked but I just got it fixed. (The numbers instead of names happened to me because I signed out and into icloud trying to fix something)


So I went to Settings > Contacts > Short Name and then turned the Short Name in this menu off, and looked at my messages and it was fixed, and then turned short name on again. (I also first played about with orders for the Sort Order and Display Order in Contacts before going to short name, not sure if this had an influence)

Sep 20, 2017 4:10 AM

Reply Helpful (97)
Question marked as Helpful

Sep 20, 2017 9:06 AM in response to dmarie05 In response to dmarie05

My problem of missing names replaced by phone numbers got fixed when I changed the entries in my contacts to the standard formula: + countrycode (areacode) phonenumber. Problem has occurred when some new numbers were added for the overseas contacts. After the correction all US numbers look like this: +1 (555) 555-1212 and the overseas numbers look like this: +49 555 111 222 for mobiles and +49 55 555 11 22 for the stationary numbers.

Sep 20, 2017 9:06 AM

Reply Helpful (8)
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Question: iPhone messages not showing contact names