iMessage Showing Only Numbers, No Names. How to Fix?

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You get an iMessage but only your friend's numbers show, no names. Yet you are sure that you didn't tamper with any settings that could be causing the issue. As frustrating as it can be to try and find out who sent you that message, you should know that this is not an isolated incident. A lot of iPhone users have reported the same problem with their devices.

While the cause may not be clear, this article will share with you some of the ways you can fix this problem.

1. Try to Change One Name Slightly

The first thing you should try to fix this problem is to make a slight change to one of the names in your contacts. Open the Contacts app and edit one of the names. The change doesn't have to be significant; you can simply add a number or symbol. When you save the contact, a "refresh" of the contacts will be triggered, fixing the problem.

change contact's name

2. Try to Edit the Country Prefix

Some people have also found that by removing the country code from the number can also work to "refresh" the contacts and fix the problem. Here's how to do that;

Step 1: Open the Contacts app from the Home screen of the device.

Step 2: Tap on the contact whose country code you want to remove.

Step 3: Tap "Edit" in the upper-corner and tap in the number field to remove the country code.

Save the changes and see if this fixes the problem. It is worth noting that sometimes adding a county code at the beginning of a number will also have the same effect.

remove country prefix

3. Try Turning Off Contacts in iCloud

Toggling Contacts in iCloud can also work to fix the problem especially when you have synced your contacts with iCloud. Here's how to do it;

Step 1: Open Settings and the Tap on Your Apple ID at the top of the menu.

Step 2: tap iCloud and then turn off "Contacts".

Step 3: When prompted, choose to "Delete from my iPhone".

turn icloud contacts off

4. Close Messages Completely and Restart the iPhone

If none of the above solutions work, try closing the messages apps completely and then restart the iPhone.

Step 1: Double tap on the home button to bring up the multi-tasking screen.

Step 2: Locate the messages app and the swipe up on the preview window to close the messages app.

Step 3: Now restart the iPhone and open the messages app to see if the problem has been fixed.

5. Make Sure Your Contacts Are Syncing

You can also check to see if your contacts are syncing with you preferred third-party accounts such as Outlook, Google, Yahoo and others. Here's how to do that;

Step 1: Go to Settings > Accounts and Passwords or if you are using iOS 10 and earlier, go to Settings > Mail > Accounts.

Step 2: Check that "Contacts" is turned on if you want to contacts to sync with the device.

sync contacts

6. Manage Multiple Contact lists on iPhone

This problem can also arise when you are using multiple contact lists. If you have separate lists or work, family and friends issues can occur when you try to sync all of these contacts on the same device. If you use multiple contact lists try to combine the duplicated contacts into a master list. You can merge duplicated contacts on the iPhone with these simple steps;

Step 1:  Open the Contacts App and then scroll through the list of contacts to find the one you'd like to merge.

Step 2: Tap on the "Edit" button and scroll down to find the "Link contacts…" option.

Step 3: Tap on it and you'll go back to the list of contacts. Select the name you want to merge with the one you are editing. Tap on it and then tap on "Link" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.  Tap "Done."

Repeat this with all the other duplicated contacts, although if you have too many, you may want to use one of the many "Merge Contacts" apps available.

manage multiple contacts

7. Fix the Issue By Fixing Your iOS

Sometimes the problem can be a software issue that is hard to diagnose and fix. A third-party tool like iMyFone iOS System Recovery can be used to fix the system and get the device working correctly again. The following are some of the program's features;

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Key Features:

  • It can be used to fix any issue with your iOS device including an iPhone stuck on the Apple Logo, Recovery Mode or any other software issue.
  • It comes with two modes of recovery; the standard mode that guarantees no data loss and the Advanced mode that can be used to fix more stubborn problems.
  • It is easy to use and highly reliable.

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Begin by installing iMyFone System Recovery to your computer, launch the program and then follow these simple steps to fix the device;

Step 1: Connect the iPhone to the computer using USB cables. From the recovery modes presented, choose "Standard Mode."

interface of iMyFone iOS system recovery

Step 2: Click "Start" and then follow the instructions to put the device in DFU/Recovery Mode.

 enter DFU mode under Standard mode

Step 3: Once the device is in DFU/Recovery Mode, you will need to download the latest firmware for the device before the errors can be fixed. Simply click "Download" and wait for the process to be completed.

download firmware

Step 4: The program will begin fixing the device as soon as the download is complete.

fixing ios issues

The device will restart in normal mode with the iOS reinstalled the device should be working normally again.

8. Other Tips You Can Try

The following are some additional tips you can try if you are still having problems;

Check that Your Regional Settings are Correct

Go to Settings > Apple ID Profile > iTunes > App Store > Apple ID> View Apple ID and update the region if it is not correctly set up.

Toggle iMessage On/Off

Go to Settings > Messages > iMessage and the turn off iMessages. Wait a few seconds and then turn it back on again.

Reset Network Settings

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and enter your passcode when prompted.

We hope one of the above solutions will help you get back to enjoying iMessages again. Share your thoughts with us on this issue and any other you may be having.