iPhone contact names are missing but searchable in messages? Fix

If your iPhone contact names are missing, you could be dealing with one of many iOS issues that are surfacing in recent times.

It’s hard to know for sure what the problem is. Still, there is no cause for alarm. We have a couple of easy fixes that would restore the names fast. Check them out below:

How to fix your contacts showing up as numbers on the iPhone

These are some of the solutions that work when it comes to restoring contacts on your iPhone or iPad.

#1. Reboot your iPhone

This is a common fix for many smartphone issues. Turn your iPhone off then back on to see if the contact names will appear.

#2. Edit one of the names

Launch the contacts app and edit one of the contacts. Make one simple change to an existing contact or add a new one and click “Save”. Then you can restart your device.

This action refreshes the contacts database and fixes the issue of missing contact names.

Read Also: How to delete all contacts from your iPhone at once

#3. Reset synching

When your iPhone is not showing contact names, you could be dealing with a synching problem. To fix it, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings, then go to Contacts, followed by Accounts
  2. Select your account (iCloud, Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, etc.) and turn OFF contacts synching
  3. Restart your device
  4. Launch Settings, select Contacts, go to Accounts. Click your account and turn contact synching back ON

#4. Reset iCloud contacts

First, check if iCloud contacts are enabled. You might have turned it OFF accidentally or it went OFF on its own after a software update causing the contact names to disappear. Make sure you turn them ON.

Ideally, you can reset by turning them OFF then ON again.

  1. Open Settings, select Apple ID, click iCloud, toggle OFF Contacts
  2. A prompt will appear on the screen asking you to delete or keep previously synched contacts
  3. Select Delete from my iPhone. You won’t lose the contacts because they’re still saved on iCloud
  4. Restart the iPhone then go to Settings, pick Apple ID, followed by iCloud and toggle Contacts back ON

#5. Ask Siri

The solution to iPhone not displaying contact names for incoming calls and messages could be as simple as asking Siri to fix it.

This smart virtual assistant can save you lots of inconveniences and hassles. Ask Siri!

#6. Reset message settings

  1. Go to Settings and select Contacts
  2. Look for Short Name and toggle it OFF
  3. Go back and check if the contact names are back. If they’re back, return to the Short Name and toggle it ON
  4. Also, you can adjust the Sort Order and Display Order options

To reset iMessages

  1. Go to Settings then select Messages
  2. Look for iMessages and toggle it OFF and ON

Read Also: How to sync your iCloud contacts with Gmail

#7. Combine contact lists

Check your phone to see if there is more than one contact list with duplicate contacts. This could be the reason for the missing iPhone contact names because your iPhone doesn’t know which name to show for the duplicate or triplicate contact.

To solve the issue, combine the duplicate contacts into one contact list.

#8. Change the region

The other approach that can fix your missing contact names issue on iPhone is to change the region/language of your device, reboot, then change it to what it was.

  1. Open Settings and select General
  2. Click Language & Region then change it to something else
  3. Restart your phone

#9. Add or remove the country code

Some iPhone users recommend adding the country code to the contact number to help restore the missing contact names.

Others suggest removing the country code from the contacts. You should try both and see if they work.

#10. Reset MMS Messaging

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to Messages and select MMS Messaging
  3. Turn it OFF then back ON
  4. Go back and check if the issue has been resolved

#11. Reset your network settings

If none of the solutions above work, you could be dealing with a network issue. The best way to find out is to reset your network settings:

  1. Open Settings and select General
  2. Look for Reset and click Reset Network Settings
  3. This action will reset all your network settings to default
  4. Go back and check if the contact names are visible

#12. Sign out of your iCloud account then sign back in

Try signing OUT and back into your iCloud account to see if the missing contact names reappear.

#13. Wait

If you’re not in a hurry to figure out why your iPhone contact names disappeared and how to get them back, you could wait a couple of days. They may show up.

#14. Use third-party data recovery tools

There are several third-party data recovery tools for iPhone that you can use to restore the missing contact names. The challenge is searching for the best one.

You should take your time to read reviews before committing your money. The reputable tools have a money-back guarantee policy if they don’t solve your issue.

#15. Get in touch with Apple support

Lastly, if none of the solutions works for you, get in touch with the Apple support team and let them know about your problem. Ideally, you can take the iPhone to an apple store near you.

Be sure to take the original warranty with you. Also, tell them about all the solutions you’ve already tried.

That wraps up our solutions for missing contact names on iPhone. Try them out and let us know which one works for you.

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