If WhatsApp is only showing phone numbers and not contact names, here are some fixes you can try.
Are your saved contacts’ names missing from WhatsApp? The issue usually occurs with a specific contact you’ve recently saved. Other times, it affects all the contact names in your phone’s address book. Where does this issue come from, and how can you fix it?
In this article, we’ll explore possible causes of WhatsApp not showing contact names. Additionally, we will show you several fixes you can try to resolve the issue and see the contact names again.
Why Does WhatsApp Stop Showing Contact Names?
WhatsApp stops showing contact names for various reasons. Here are a few of them:
- The WhatsApp backend is having technical difficulties.
- You’ve recently saved the contact, which WhatsApp hasn’t retrieved yet.
- The contact list on your phone has been unintentionally deleted.
- Your phone no longer recognizes SIM cards with saved contacts.
- WhatsApp cannot access the contact names because your operating system restricts it.
- There is a problem with WhatsApp sync.
Now that you know the causes of WhatsApp not showing contacts, let’s explore fixes we can try to fix this issue.
1. Perform Some Preliminary Checks
Apply the following preliminary checks before you get into serious troubleshooting:
- Restart WhatsApp to rule out temporary issues.
- Restart your phone to ensure the problem isn’t caused by a bug in your operating system.
- Disable any app you’re using to use two WhatsApp accounts simultaneously.
- Ensure that no other instant messaging apps are active on your device.
- Ensure WhatsApp is up-to-date.
- Delete any apps that may interfere with WhatsApp, such as status saver ones.
If the above preliminary checks do not help, start applying the remaining fixes.
2. Ensure the Problem Isn’t Coming From the Backend
The WhatsApp backend undergoes unforeseen issues from time to time. While engineers work to fix the problem, users continue to encounter bugs in the application. Therefore, you should check whether WhatsApp’s backend is responsible for WhatsApp not showing contact names.
To verify that, visit Downdetector’s official website. In the top-right corner, type “WhatsApp” into the search bar and press Enter. After that, click WhatsApp or WhatsApp business, depending on which platform you’re experiencing the issue. Downdetector will inform you if the app is down.
If no issues have been reported there, indicating WhatsApp’s backend isn’t the root of the problem, begin applying the remaining fixes.
3. Save the Contact if You Haven’t Already
WhatsApp only displays the names of the contacts that you have saved in your contact list. When you receive a text from a new number, WhatsApp alerts you that this person isn’t in your contact list.
As you haven’t saved their contact in your phonebook before, WhatsApp won’t display the contact name because it doesn’t exist. Therefore, you need to save the contact to make the name show up in WhatsApp
You don’t need to manually save the contact if you’ve already spoken to them on WhatsApp. You may add or block a contact on WhatsApp by simply opening the chat. Select Add to contacts, give the contact a name, and then save it.
When a contact is saved, WhatsApp will show their name rather than their phone number. Ensure that the number is saved in the appropriate international format.
4. Wait for the Contact to Show Up
Newly stored contacts aren’t always displayed right away in WhatsApp. Sometimes, retrieving the contact name requires several minutes or a restart. Has WhatsApp recently failed to display a contact name you recently saved? If so, quit WhatsApp and open it again.
Refreshing all of your contacts should be done if restarting the app does not work.
5. Refresh Your WhatsApp Contacts List
With the help of a useful refresh option, WhatsApp may rapidly retrieve newly saved contact names. The steps to update saved contacts are as follows:
- Launch WhatsApp.
- In WhatsApp, click the new chat button in the bottom-right corner.
- In the top-right corner, click the three vertical dots.
- Click Refresh.
This will fetch your latest contact list.
6. Fix Issues With Your Phone’s Address Book
WhatsApp may not display contact names if there is an issue with your phone’s address book. When that occurs, WhatsApp isn’t the only app that’s impacted. Any other app that uses those contacts will no longer display the contact names. Additionally impacted are Telegram, Signal, the Messages app on your phone, and others.
Is the issue with contacts not appearing on your device a common one? If so, there is a problem with the address book on your phone. Your phone’s address book should be fixed, at which point WhatsApp will resume showing contact names.
You can get help from our tutorial on how to solve contacts not showing up on your iPhone, especially if the issue is with your iOS device.
7. Ensure Your SIM Card Is Active
Do you store your contacts on your SIM card or on your phone? If you always go with the latter option, be sure your phone can access the SIM card.
Frequently, negligence like dropping the phone, switching the SIM card, or other carelessness moves the SIM card out of its slot and stops your phone from detecting it. The contacts saved to that card won’t be displayed if the SIM can’t be detected.
Check to see that your SIM card is properly inserted in your smartphone, that it can be recognized by it, and that your contacts are still stored on it. Continue to the following step if the SIM card is operating normally.
8. Eliminate Operating System Restrictions
You can successfully stop snooping eyes from watching you by using the right permission settings. The OS of your phone might not even permit trusted apps to access the data they require if you set these permissions too narrowly.
For instance, if WhatsApp does not have access to your saved contacts, it might simply display contact numbers. It is imperative to eliminate this possibility as a result.
Open the Settings app on Android and select Apps.Permission manager can be accessed by tapping the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
Next, select WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business from the list of programs by going to Contacts. Verify that the circle next to Allow is checked.
Open the Settings app on iOS, select Privacy and Security, and then select Contacts. Activate the switch next to WhatsAp.
9. Revert the Latest OS or App Update
Updates for Android are frequently released to resolve security flaws, patch problems, and bring new features. The same holds true for Android applications like WhatsApp.
To take advantage of new features and maintain the security of your device, you must install these updates. But occasionally, newly published versions have defects that lead to unanticipated problems. You should roll back the update if you experienced the same issue as the group after updating WhatsApp or your operating system.
Consult our article on how to downgrade Android if you are unfamiliar with the procedure. Similarly, you may use ADB to downgrade Android apps without losing any data.
10. Check for Sync Issues (Android)
If you’ve disabled automatic contact syncing, it won’t matter if you give WhatsApp access to your contacts. The procedures listed below can be used to resync contacts and validate that sync settings are enabled:
- Your Android device’s Settings app should now be open.
- Next, click Users and Accounts.
- Click WhatsApp.
- Contacts has a checkbox next to it.
- Tap Sync now from the More menu or the vertical dots in the top-right corner.
For different phones, the aforementioned stages could appear differently. Do you also fit that description? If it occurs, you should visit the official website of the company that made your phone to learn how to control the contact sync settings.
Make Contact Names Visible Again on WhatsApp
WhatsApp can turn into a significant memory challenge when it simply displays the contact number and not the name. You should be able to get WhatsApp to display contact names once more by using the solutions in this article. You should reinstall WhatsApp from fresh if none of the workarounds work, however this is a less preferable option.