iPhone not recognizing numbers that belong to contacts in address book!?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by OCDMacGeek, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    I'm having a new issue that is very odd. When my wife (and certain other contacts in my address book) call me, the iPhone displays their phone number instead of their name. Obviously, it should display the name since the phone number that is calling is a known number.

    If I call out from address book, it shows the name. This problem is only for incoming calls, and then only certain ones.

    I have an original iPhone with the latest software update.

    Any ideas?
  2. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    Is the area code for each number stored in the contacts? Check that the incoming caller ID number *exactly* matches what you have listed for them in your contacts.
  3. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    Yes, the area code is in the contacts exactly as it appears in the caller id. I have even taken the step of specifically adding the number to an existing contact, so that the precise number is in the address book. It still doesn't connect with the name and recognize it.

    I'm going to do a full restore and see if that helps.
  4. OCDMacGeek thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    To make matters even more strange:

    When I have a call in my recent calls list that wasn't recognized by the address book, and I call the number back, something odd happens.

    It goes to the springboard and has the green "Touch here to return to call" on the screen. But when you touch it, you can't go to the phone screen. When you hit the phone icon, you also can't go to the phone screen. There is no way to hang up unless the other person hangs up.

    Strange as heck. If I call from my own favorites or contacts list, it works fine. Only problem is when I dial the 1 (xxx) xxx-xxxx number that wasn't recognized in the address book.
  5. davidemm macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2008
    I realize this is an old thread, but I am having this same exact problem. So far it is only for one contact in particular. Dialing from the contacts list, it goes to the springboard with the green bar at the top. I have discovered that if you hit the top lock button it will hang up the call.

    Also, even weirder, when this contact calls me (from either number listed on the contact), the phone does not ring. Instead the screen flashes on and off a few times, and then the call appears in the missed call list (as a number, of course, not the name of the contact).

    I used to have no problems with calling this contact. All other contacts still work. I sync my address book with an Exchange server (Nuevasync), and I am using a 3GS with 3.0.1 firmware.
  6. davidcie macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    Having a very similar problem here that started with iPhone OS 3 and carried on to iOS 4.0. Symptoms? Created a blank contact, went to "Recents" in Phone, added number to an existing contact. Calls and text messages from this person are still not recognised by my phone. Have not seen any of the odd screen flashes described above.

    Has anyone found the culprit to the above problem? I sync my contacts with Google, could that be the cause? Very odd as it's just this specific number.
  7. JenniferD macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Any updates/solutions to this problem?

    My iPhone 4 does the same thing. It's new. Everything is up-to-date. The contact it doesn't recognize is my husband who is my most-frequent text/call recipient. He's in my favorites. I've tried everything I can think of. Even the voice recognition doesn't recognize his nickname.

    I know this thread is older, but I was wondering if anyone had any updates or found a solution since then?
  8. ThE.MeSsEnGeR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2009
    Caracas, Venezuela
    apparently not, because it's now happening to me on my iPhone 4 running 4.3.3 :( it's frustrating!!
  9. JfromCT macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Found a solution!!!

    More accurately, my brother-in-law did. (He's smart about these things.) Like others who posted, although with a new Iphone4s, incoming calls were only showing telephone numbers, even though I had these folks in my contacts EXACTLY.

    Turns out- it was a carrier issue, with a simple solution. I have Verizon, so I dialed *228 and hit option 1 to reprogram, and a few minutes later I was back in business!

    Different carriers might have different #'s to reprogram, (I suppose even the number I used for Verizon might change,) so if the above doesn't help, the phone service provider customer support should be able to help you out with the above problem.

    I joined MacRumors Forums specifically so I could post this, having found solutions to other problems that others were kind enough to have posted.

    Hope this helps someone!
  10. Swut macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    Southern California
    Reprogramming "Solution" did not work

    I just moved back to Verizon from AT&T and tried the *228 trick. No go. I also tried deleting email account with all of the contacts, waiting 'till they were gone off the phone screens, then re-adding them, then rebooting the phone. No luck. Itis still where incoming calls display numbers and 4 out of 7 of my favorites are listed as numbers rather than names.

    The phone still only sees names on a few of the contacts (4 out of 7 on my favorites). No rhyme or reason for why particular contacts are recognized while others are not.
  11. Swut macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    Southern California
    Problem solved but slowly

    My previous post appears to have been premature as the problem fixed itself overnight. I tried the *228 - option 1 trick and reboot twice over about two hours with no success then posted the message above. Oddly, when I got up this morning, the problem had corrected itself, so my suggestion is try the *228--1--reboot trick but wait a couple of hours before concluding that it did not work.

    The only other thing I did was contact Apple technical support and schedule a callback for this morning. It may have been that Siri thought it would be funny to fix the IPhone just before the call (causing embarrassment being more entertaining than causing frustration).
  12. gcarino1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    Works for me as well

    I wanted to not only thank the previous posters for solving my problems (*228 "reporgrams" your phone on Verizon) but I also wanted to enter a few keywords and descriptions of my original problem. It took me SO LONG to find the phrasing that eventually lead me to this thread.

    btw - my *228 worked immediately and didn't even require a reboot.


    My problems started when I returned from a trip to China and got back to the US.

    International formats are xxx-xxxx-xxxx (one extra number than the US). After I returned to the US, I could not dial any of my contacts unless I manually went in and added a fully qualified country code: +1 xxx-xxx-xxxx for the US. My contacts also now grouped the numbers funny expecting 8 digits instead of the standard 7.

    I was going to grudingly add +1 to my key contacts but *incoming* calls failed to match my contact numbers now. That's what actually lead me here.
  13. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    gcarino, where you able to resolve your problem? The *228 trick did not work for me. When you go into settings->phone, what does yours say? Mine is no longer (555) 555-5555, but 5555555555. In order to show the parenthesis ( ), I have to put a 1 in front of every number. It's frustrating. I have so many contacts, it will take me a day.
  14. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    Great, I get a text and it shows up as XXXXXXXXXX and doesn't come up as a name. There's no escape from this terrible programming error.
  15. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2011
    So I found out why the *228 trick did not work for me. Turns out it was because I didn't have a Verizon sim card. I exchanged my iphone 4s for a fresh replacement due to faulty camera but the apple genius didn't bother to pop in my sim from the old into the new iphone.

    I inserted a foreign sim card to see if it would work back in early December. When I took the sim card out and re-activated, my phone numbers were no longer recognized when calling/texting. I called Verizon and they sent me a sim card. I popped it in, activated, and did *228 and now everything is recognized again.

    Hope this helps out other people who were in the same boat as me.
  16. BoramiO macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    Same thing. I tried *228 yesterday

    Im having the same problem. I have an IPhone 4S on Verizon. My contacts aren't being recognized. I spoke with a tech yesterday who told me to try the *228 reprogramming approach. I rebooted and still didn't fix it. My numbers try to save as (XX) XXX XX XX. My numbers should save as (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Anyone hear of any other solutions?
  17. BoramiO macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    Yoohoo!! Fixed it!!

    I redid *228 and chose option 1 and called again and did option 2. I don't think it fixed so I played around and it fixed. Not sure what if it was the *228 or the settings. I went into Settings > General > International > Regional Format > then I clicked a random country besides US. Clicked the back arrow to bring me back to the International screen. Checked a contact, then went back into the Regional Format area and clicked United States. All is fixed! Hope this helps!
  18. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I just got back from Hong Kong yesterday. When I landed at JFK, I still had a HK pre-paid SIM in my iPhone, and was surprised when my iPhone chose to roam on AT&T (no data) instead of kicking back over to Verizon. I ended up taking out the HK pre-paid SIM, but I didn't put my Verizon one back in until I read your post. *228, without the VZW SIM in, didn't fix anything. Putting the VZW SIM back in and dialing *228 did fix most everything. Still two txts that are nameless, but that's better than 50+ that were earlier today.

    Thanks again! :)
  19. J19rut2000 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2012
    Iphone not recognizing contacts and showing numbers

    I was having similar issues with the numbers showing instead of the contacts when I was receiving calls even though the numbers should have been a recognized contact in my address book. I have Verizon as a carrier and dialed *228# option 1 to reprogram the phone and *228# option 2 to update the roaming and neither worked. After trying several resets, I realized that the problem was that I had the cell phone number of the contact listed under cell phone and Iphone in the contacts. Because I came from another carrier, this is how my phone book transferred. I was having this issue mostly with contacts who also had Verizon and/or had an Iphone. I went in to the contact and deleted the cellular number field because the number was stored under the Iphone tab in contacts. This seemed to resolve the issue.
  20. lochsa4 macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2012
    Official Apple response to this issue

    Link to the response and text:



    When receiving a phone call or message (SMS/MMS/iMessage), one or more of the following may occur:
    ■Does not match saved Contact with same mobile number.
    ■Received call or SMS while the sender is roaming on another carrier's network does not match saved Contact with same mobile number.


    Try the following basic troubleshooting steps, one at a time, to resolve the above symptoms:
    1.Verify that you have the contact on your iPhone. Tap Phone > Contacts and locate the contact. Verify that the contact's phone number is listed.
    2.Update to the latest version of iOS.
    3.Change the language of your device and then change it back.
    4.Try putting the phone number in the contact in international format by adding a plus sign, "+", and the country code before the mobile number in the contact.
    5.If that does not solve the issue, try the following: ■Calls: Tap Phone > Recents. Tap the chevron next to the phone number, and then tap Add to Existing Contact. Locate the contact and add the number as "Other".
    ■Messages: Tap Message, select the message to view it, then tap Add to Contacts. Locate the contact and add the number as "Other".

    Additional Information

    If you are using using Verizon as your provider and iPhone displays the ten-digit number instead of the name of the other party, please follow these steps:
    1.Dial *228 from your iPhone.
    2.When prompted, select option 1.
    3.When complete, you will hear a confirmation message.
    4.Force the Contacts, Messages, and Phone applications to close using the following steps:
    1.Ensure that you have recently opened the Contacts, Messages, and Phone applications.
    2.From the Home screen, double-click the Home button to display the recently used apps.
    3.Tap and hold the icon for the Contacts application until a red minus appears.
    4.Tap the red minus to close the app.
    5.Repeat the previous step for the Messages and Phone applications.
    6.Tap the Home screen to return.

    5.Turn iPhone off and then back on.
  21. wizardchef, Feb 4, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012

    wizardchef macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2012
    I tried all of this and nothing works. This is a bad bug in the iPhone software that really ought to be fixed. I now have to memorize the numbers of my friends to know what is texting/calling.

    Stranger yet, my problem seems to be limited to only my text messages. A phone number from a caller is recognized, but that same phone number when received as a text message is not. ???? Anything I am missing about setting up text messaging??
  22. ronbuckles, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    ronbuckles macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Found a solution

    Mine started doing this last week. I found I had added contacts from a map lookup that include the "+ 1" plus area code and number. None of my other contacts had included the "+1". It seems as soon as I did that it made all the rest of the contacts number not usable. I removed all the new "+1" telephone numbers and turned off all apps and did the *228 option 1 reset like above and everything went back to normal. Good luck folks...
  23. thiek macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2012
    Solution for Sprint iPhone 4s

    I have the Sprint iPhone 4s and started seeing this same behavior after I returned from Germany where I had been using a German SIM card. I visited the Apple store and after many failed attempts, they said it was a CDMA communication error and were only familiar with this issue on the Verizon network. I then stopped at the local Sprint store, explained the situation again, and they were unable to provide any useful information. I convinced them to replace the micro SIM with one of the Sprint blanks, reset the network connections, and this resolved my issue.

    When Sprint provides the iPhone, it comes with a SIM installed. If you get a replacement from an Apple store (as I did), be sure you remove the Sprint SIM first, because Apple won't check, and won't provide one. This was the root of my issue.

    Hope this helps others out there...
  24. Refnoredcard macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Same problem...with Verizon...resolved!

    Soon after getting my 4S (Verizion), I had this problem. Called Apple who quickly identified the issue, had me do the *228, 1, and everything worked.

    Recently ran through a complete erase and restore of the phone (in preparation for something that Apple doesn't want me to do to my phone). After restore, but before any mods, ran into the same issue.

    Tried changing regional settings and tried the *228, 1 & power cycle, neither work. Cycled power on the phone, opened Phone, Contact and Messages apps, then followed the Apple KB TS2326 Additional Information...for Verizon, step by step VERBATIM. Upon power on, works fine (names show up in Phone -> Recents. Not sure why opening then closing the apps would make a difference, but hey, it worked!
  25. spaceillusion, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012

    spaceillusion macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2012
    My iPhone has corrupted data in Address Book DB

    I have the same problem.
    I have tried so many different ways but cannot resolve.

    so I jailbroke my iPhone and checked iPhone's Address Book Database, AddressBook.sqlitedb using SQLite Manager add-on for Firefox.
    and.... I got it !!!

    ABMultiValue, one of AddressBook.sqlitedb tables, has lost record_id which must linked ROWID of the AMPerson table. two records had phone numbers caused problem. I deleted that records in ABMultiValue table.
    and put back the modified DB file into my iPhone.
    OR simply delete AddressBook.sqlitedb.

    Now Reboot the iphone using SBSettings or by turning off/on.

    when I got my first iPhone, I had synced google contacts that have duplicate numbers.
    I think those numbers cause problem in my iPhone.

    I hope this helps out other people. thanks.

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