FIX: Names not Showing up in iMessage

There was a time when people used to remember everyone’s mobile number or landline number. But now, the time has gone and people are using modern smartphones which come with the option to save as many numbers as you want.

Which then spoiled our habit of remembering numbers because we no longer need them. Since it’s a machine it can always fault and issues imagine if your phone stops showing names and you only get to see numbers across the phone. Be it the Messages app, recent calls or anywhere else.

It would be such a nightmare to find out how they are texting us only by looking at their phone numbers. Unfortunately, for a lot of Apple users, something like this happens quite frequently.

Names not Showing up in iMessage

This issue is triggered randomly for some users while for others it is triggered on performing certain actions like updating to the latest iOS version or if you log out of iCloud, or you try to log out of your Apple ID and then log back in.

The reason could be anything but the problem is the same, your iPhone will start to show numbers instead of names.

If your iPhone is also showing only their numbers instead of the contact names, then you can try a few of the troubleshooting methods that are written below, through which you might be able to fix the issue.

Restart Your Device

The very basic and most common fix to any of the problems is to try and restart our iPhone. Restarting the iPhone might fix the issue. Make sure to completely close the Messages app, this includes closing it from the background as well.

You can close it from the background simply by opening the app switcher by swiping up from the bottom edge and then pausing in the centre of the screen. Then swipe up the messages app to close the app.

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Once you have closed the app, you can start your iPhone by shutting it down and then turning it on again. After the phone has booted completely, you can go to the Messages app to check if the problem is solved or not. If it isn’t solved, then you can try the other steps mentioned below.

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Slightly Alter One of the Contact names

Changing one of your contacts might fix the sync issue or the contacts issue that your iPhone is facing, it could be that your phone isn’t able to access the contacts of your account, so changing a bit from your contacts might help the phone in accessing it properly.

So, you can try altering any of your contacts by going to the contacts app and then opening one of the contacts that are plagued with the problem. Now tap on the Edit button and then edit the name slightly. You don’t need to completely change the name of the contact; you can add or remove a single letter of the name and then don’t forget to save the contact.

Changing or modifying the details of the contacts can refresh your contact list, which can help you with the problem. Now, go to the Messages app and check whether the issue is resolved or not. You can change the name of the contact back to the original name, whether the issue is fixed or not.

Check the Country Code

If your contact list has any international number saved, and incidentally only those numbers are affected by this plague, then you should check that you have correctly entered the country code in the saved contact.

If the country code is not correct, then the number you are receiving texts from and the one saved in your contacts will be different. Thus, your iPhone will not show the number with the saved name.

Turn iMessage Off, then On

This fix is a pretty simple one. You need to turn off the iMessage and then turn it back on. If the problem is only with the iMessage conversations, then most likely it could be because of any server connectivity issue with iMessage and to fix it we can try a hard reset of iMessage.

  1. On your iPhone, go to settings and then scroll down and tap on the Messages.
  2. Now, you need to turn off the toggle for iMessage.
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  3. Wait for a few seconds and then you can turn the toggle back to the on position for iMessage. Once you have turned on the toggle, you can go to the Messages app and check if the issue is solved or not. If it isn’t fixed, then you can try the other method mentioned below.
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Turn Off, then On Short name Setting

This fix might be out of the context, but many users have reported that changing this setting has fixed the issue. if by any chance you have recently logged out and then logged in to iCloud, then you should not skip this method to fix your problem.

  1. On your iPhone head to settings and then scroll down to find and tap on Contacts.
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  2. Now, from the contact settings, you can tap on the Short name setting.
  3. Inside the short name settings, you can turn off the toggle in front of Short Name. Since you are here inside the setting, you can also turn off the toggle for prefer Nickname.
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Head to the Messages app to check if your problem persists or has been solved. If the problem is solved, you can go to the settings again and then turn on both of the toggles that you just turned off.

Make Sure your iCloud Contacts are Syncing

This method is mainly for those who use multiple Apple devices and are having trouble with contacts. There are chances that either your contacts aren’t synced at all, or they aren’t getting synced properly with iCloud. This could be the one major reason behind the whole contacts not showing issues on your iMessage. Follow through with the tutorial to fix this issue.

  1. On your, iPhone go to the settings and then tap on your name card located at the top of the settings.
  2. Inside it, find and tap on the iCloud.
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  3. Once you are inside the iCloud settings, find and check if the toggle for Contacts is turned on. If it isn’t on, make sure to turn it om. If prompted, tap on Merge.
  4. If it was already turned on, switch it off. Click on Delete from my iPhone if a dialogue box appears that asks about keeping the previously synced contacts from your phone or to delete them.
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Now, you have to wait for a few seconds and then turn it back on and tap on merge when asked. Check if the issue is fixed or not.

Check that other Contacts are Syncing

If by any chance you are using any third-party accounts other than iCloud, then you need to make sure that those contacts are also syncing properly. You can go to your iPhone’s settings and then scroll down to Contacts to find out.

  1. Inside the Contacts settings, you need to tap on the option for Accounts.
  2. Now, tap on the option for the third-party accounts.
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  3. Ensure that the toggle for Contacts is on. If it was already on, then you can turn it off and then on again after waiting for a few seconds.
  4. Make sure to repeat the same process for all of your third-party accounts that are synced on your iPhone.
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Reset your Network Settings

Last but not the least, this fix might be able to fix your problems if all of the above-mentioned problems failed, you can try this one as well. However, trying this method will result in deleting all of your saved Wi-Fi passwords.

So, if this isn’t worth doing, then you can skip this one. But if it doesn’t matter to you, then you can proceed to the tutorial below to fix your iMessage issue of not showing contact names.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone and then head to the General option.
  2. Now, you can scroll down to the end and then tap on the Reset button.
  3. Inside the Reset page, you need to tap on the Reset Network Settings.
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That’s it, now your network settings will be reset, and it might fix your iMessage contacts sync issue. If any of the solutions provided above didn’t fix your problem, maybe it’s time that you visit the Apple service centre and have a professional help you out with this problem.

Alternatively, you can also try to reset your iPhone to factory settings and then set it up fresh, this might fix the issue but would take a lot of your time.

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