When you get a call from a number that is not stored on your iPhone contacts or address book, it will sometimes show a name for it with the prefix “maybe”. For example – Maybe: John Appleseed.
When you see something like this on your device, you might get alarmed. Is your device security compromised? Has someone hacked your iPhone? Actually, none of that. It’s just a “feature” that helps you get an idea of who that person actually be.
It’s just your iPhone trying to be too smart.
This particular suggestion comes up in the call logs, contacts, and even in the calling screen.
What does “Maybe: Name” mean in iPhone contacts?
When you receive a call from an unsaved number, what your iPhone does is that it tries to gather as much information as possible from others apps on your iPhone such as mail, iMessage, etc.
Then it tries to make an educated guess on who might that number belog to. But why does it say “maybe”? Well, for security and privacy reasons. That is why we say it’s a guess. iPhone doesn’t actually 100% know who the number belongs to; it’s just a guess.
Disable Siri Suggestions for contacts
All of the above-mentioned ‘smart’ activities are performed by the smart assistant Siri below. Siri has a feature where it suggests and shows different things to the user at different points of time when it thinks the user might need it. As any smart assistant, Siri learns from you, the user, and tries to get better over time.
If you are not very pleased with the Siri suggesting contact names, you can easily handle this by turning off Siri suggestions.
To do this, follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings > Mail.
- Click on Siri & Search.
- On the top, make sure to disable ‘Learn from the app‘.
Once you finish these steps, you need to perform the same steps for the Messages app as well.
When you have completed the above steps, Siri will stop trying to guess the contact names by learning from these apps. Since these two are the main sources for all these guessing games, you should now stop seeing ‘Maybe’ caller id suggestions on your iPhone.
Create new contact based on the suggestion
Now, this trick doesn’t actually stop your iPhone and Siri from making guesses rather these will help you to stop seeing the ‘Maybe: Name’ sort of suggestions on your device.
- Open the Phone app and go to the Recents tab.
- Tap the info icon at the right corner of the phone number of the suggested contact.
- Tap on Create New Contact and add any necessary details.
- Tap Done and save the contact.
One small thing to keep in mind before you do the above steps is to make sure that the suggestion is actually right. Verify the contact before adding it to your iPhone address book.
Update an existing contact
When you receive a call from an unknown contact on your iPhone, and when iPhone suggests a name, try to verify who the number actually belongs to.
If you do find out that it belongs to an existing contact on your device (but has slightly changed that Siri was smart enough to suggest), then go ahead and update the contact details to your existing contact.
This way, iPhone will stop showing the “Maybe” prefix in front of that particular number everywhere in the device.
To update an existing contact:
- Open the Contacts app.
- Locate the contact that needs to be updated.
- Tap on the contact when you find it.
- Click on Edit at the top right corner.
- Update the number and any other information that needs to be updated.
- Tap Done to save the changes.
Update your iPhone
If you think that the contact suggestion is an error or bug at Apple’s part, check if an update is available for your device.
If the contact suggested as ‘Maybe’ is already available in your iPhone and is up to date, then the suggestion might very well be a bug.
Software updates usually come with bug fixes, so it wouldn’t hurt to check for an update and actually update the phone if available.
To update your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
Now your iPhone will automatically check for updates and tell you if one is available. If yes, proceed to update the device.
Now that we have seen all the available ways to get rid of the ‘Maybe’ contact suggestion on iPhone, it is worth noting that it’s just a suggestion and it will not have any real impact on how your device works.
If it’s useful, it’s useful or else, meh. If you cannot find a way to get rid of it, I would suggest leaving it as it is. After all, there is no privacy issue since there absolutely zero information exchange. Your device is 100% safe and secure.