Contacts Showing as Numbers Only on iPhone? Here’s the Fix for Not Showing Contact Names!
A frustrating situation can occur where seemingly at random your contacts names are not showing on iPhone, instead only displaying the numbers. When this happens, when you launch Phone app to make or receive a call, you will only see a phone number rather than the contact name, and likewise Messages shows only contact numbers rather than names. Often if you start seeing only contacts numbers rather than names, this can cause some panic for iPhone users as it gives the impression that you have lost all your contacts information and contacts names on the iPhone.
Not to worry, most likely your contacts are not lost at all, they’re still intact and this display issue is either the result of a simple error, bug, or temporary issue, and there’s typically a quick resolution.
This article will walk you through how to fix and troubleshooting contacts not showing on iPhone, and/or contacts names showing as numbers only on iPhone.
How to Fix Contacts Showing as Numbers Only on iPhone
Here are some troubleshooting steps to resolve missing contacts names on iPhone for Phone app, Messages app, and elsewhere where you’d expect to see contacts names rather than just contacts numbers.
1: Reboot the iPhone
The first thing to do is simply to restart the iPhone. This fixes the missing contacts names issue almost every time, and it’s a simple procedure.
You can do this by turning it off and then turning it back on again, or you can issue a hard reboot. You can shut down iPhone through Settings and then turn it back on again too. Below are instructions for forcibly rebooting the iPhone:
Force restarting new iPhone models without Home buttons
- Press then release Volume Up
- Press then release Volume Down
- Press and hold the Power / Sleep / Wake button
- Continue holding only the Power / Sleep button until you see an Apple logo appear on the screen to signify the iPhone has restarted
Force restarting iPhone models with a Home button
- Press and hold the Power button and the Home button concurrently until you see an Apple logo on the screen
Regardless of the iPhone model, after force rebooting the iPhone and the iPhone turning back on again, relaunch the Phone app and the Messages app, and the contacts information should be restored and visible again with contacts names and other info and details.
2: Check if iCloud Contacts Are Enabled
The next most common reason why Contacts suddenly vanish and appear as phone numbers without names attached is that somehow iCloud Contacts has been turned off, but you were previously using it.
Go to Settings > tap your name to access Apple ID settings > iCloud > and look under Apps Using iCloud and make sure that “Contacts” is toggled to the ON position to be enabled.
Sometimes users may have accidentally turned this feature off, or sometimes it seems to turn itself off inadvertently after some iOS software updates, or even after crashes or perhaps entirely at random.
If you aren’t using this feature for some reason, then it’s a good idea to use iCloud Contacts because they’re so easy to recover and restore.
3: Contacts totally missing? Time to recover or restore them
There are a few options available here.
You can restore lost contacts from iCloud with these instructions if you had previously used iCloud to store contacts before, and that will restore contacts to all devices connected to iCloud.
You can restore an iPhone from a recent backup to recover contacts as well, but that should not be necessary unless they have been deleted or removed since that backup was made.
If you exported the contacts as a VCF file at some point in time, you can reimport them to the iPhone that way too.
Have you ever experience the missing contacts issue on iPhone? Have you ever seen all your contacts show up as phone numbers rather than names of contacts? Did the above troubleshooting steps fix the problem for you? Did you find another solution? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.