On WhatsApp do we see phone numbers appear instead of contact names? Let’s find out together how to solve this problem

Whatsapp name errors

Among the most annoying errors we can run into on WhatsApp we find the error of names displayed in chats and groups: suddenly the name of our friend or relative disappears from the name of the chat, replaced by your phone number.

This error can be due to a number of issues, all quite simple to fix regardless of the phone used for the messaging app.

In the following guide we will show you how to restore names instead of numbers on whatsappthus solving one of the ugliest problems we can find ourselves in while chatting with friends.

READ ALSO -> How do you delete a contact on whatsapp

1) Update WhatsApp contact list

The simplest trick we can use to restore names instead of numbers on WhatsApp on Android phones is to press the new messages icon at the bottom right (in the app home), select the menu with the three dots at the top and finally press on Update.

This simple procedure will update the list of contacts saved within the WhatsApp app. On iPhone this procedure is not necessary, since the contact list is updated every time we open the menu to create a new chat (going from the menu Chat -> top right icon -> contact selection).

2) Check permissions for address book and contacts

A very likely cause of errors with WhatsApp names is the absence of access permissions to contacts and address book.

New versions of Android and iPhone can remove this permission if the app is not used for some time; this shouldn’t be the case with WhatsApp but maybe contacts permission was removed by mistake or after applying wrong guide.


To restore access permission to the address book on Android, press and hold the WhatsApp icon, press the item App infowe open the menu App Permissionswe press on permission Contacts and make sure that the voice is active consented.

Alternatively we can check the access permission to the address book by going to the path Settings -> Apps -> Permissionspressing on the voice Contactsby opening the WhatsApp app and activating the voice consented.

On this subject we can read our guide on how to authorize application permissions on android.


To restore access permission to the address book on the iPhone, all we have to do is open the app Settingspress on the item WhatsApp and make sure the switch next to the item is active Contacts.

Alternatively we can also take us on the route Settings -> Privacy and security -> Contacts and verify that the switch next to the WhatsApp item is active.

3) Fix Android sync problems

On Android phones we can restore names instead of numbers on WhatsApp by solving the synchronization problems of the WhatsApp app (a very common error if we have recently changed phones or reinstalled the app).

To proceed, open the app Settingswe press on the menu Accounts and sync (or similar names), we press on the entry WhatsApppress the WhatsApp item again, make sure the option is checked Contactswe press down on Other and finally we press on the item Synchronize now to start the synchronization of the contacts.

4) Check that the telephone number is spelled correctly

Another cause of the error on WhatsApp names is the absence of the international prefix in the number saved in the address book: without the international prefix, WhatsApp will not correctly recognize the number of the friend or relative, thus showing the display error.

To fix the error we open the app Contacts o Address book on our phone, go to the contact card showing the WhatsApp error and press the icon to change the contact (on Android it’s a pencil icon, on iPhone just press the item Edit).

As soon as we see the phone number add +39 to the beginning of the number and save the new contact. Now all we have to do is open WhatsApp, view the contact list and press on Update or open and close the app (great for doing an information reset).

5) Check WhatsApp server status

If none of the tricks seen so far have worked, we have to consider a probable WhatsApp server error. In this case we can’t do anything to fix it except wait and hope that the names show up correctly again.

To verify if there is a problem with the WhatsApp servers we can use the site Downdetectorable to show WhatsApp problem reports in real time.

Alternatively we can always use Twitter, where users often “take refuge” when WhatsApp stops working properly; to learn more we can read our guide on what to do if whatsapp doesn’t work, doesn’t send or receive and doesn’t connect.


If we are absolutely certain that the number of our friend or relative was entered in the address book (if in doubt, it is better to check) we can restore names instead of numbers on whatsapp checking the access permissions to the address book, the format of the number saved in the address book and the correct synchronization of the WhatsApp app.

As seen in the last chapter it’s not always the fault of the user or the app: WhatsApp can stop working without warning due to an error in its servers.

Still on the WhatsApp theme, we invite you to read our guides on what to do if WhatsApp is slow come on how to block people and contacts on whatsapp.


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