How to Make an iPhone Display Nickname for Caller ID

by David Weedmark
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Whenever someone calls you on an Apple iPhone, it uses the information in your contacts list to identify the person who is calling. You can associate any name you wish with any phone number in the iPhone Contacts app, including a first name, last name or nickname. If the name and phone number isn't in your contacts list, only the phone number is displayed. Your cell phone service plan must offer the Caller ID option before this feature will work.

Step 1

Ensure you have Caller ID on your iPhone service plan. If you're not sure you have this, ask a friend to call you or call yourself from a different number. If the phone number displays on the screen when your iPhone rings, you have Caller ID on your plan.

Step 2

Tap the "Contacts" app on the iPhone home screen. Scroll to your friend's name if she is already a contact and tap her name. Tap the "Edit" button at the top of her Info screen. If she isn't already a contact, press the "+" button in the upper right corner of the screen to add her as a new contact and type her phone number in any of the phone fields.

Step 3

Tap the "Edit" button to edit an existing contact. Everything in the "First" and "Last" name fields is displayed when that person calls.

Step 4

Tap the "First" name field and use the person's nickname. Leave the "Last" name field blank. Only the nickname is displayed when the person calls.

Step 5

Have the nickname appear with the person's full name if desired by adding a space after the first name and then adding the nickname. Use quotation marks if desired to make the nickname stand out.

Tap the "Done" button to save your changes. The next time your friend calls you, the nickname displays on your screen.


  • There are other ways to customize how your friends' names are displayed when they call you. You can add a photo for any contact by tapping the "Add Photo" button when editing a contact. This prompts you to use an existing photo on your phone or to take a new photo. You can also customize the ringtone and text tone for each contact.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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