How to Display Nicknames for Contacts on an iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Displaying nicknames for contacts on an iPhone is a simple process that can be done in a few steps. By assigning a nickname to a contact, their name will appear as the nickname in your messages, phone calls, and other communication apps. This is a handy feature for when you have multiple contacts with the same name or when you want to remember someone by a certain name.

After you complete the action, the assigned nickname will be the primary identifier for your contact across various iPhone applications. It will show up in your messages, phone calls, and any other place where the contact’s name is displayed.


Have you ever been confused about which ‘John’ or ‘Emma’ is calling when their name pops up on your iPhone? Or maybe you want to personalize your contact list by adding nicknames for your family and friends. Whatever the reason, being able to display nicknames for contacts on your iPhone is a nifty feature that can make your life a little easier.

Assigning a nickname to a contact on your iPhone not only helps you to quickly identify who you’re communicating with, but it also adds a personal touch to your interactions. This feature is especially useful for those with a large contact list, where differentiating between people can sometimes be challenging. Plus, it’s a fun way to reference the special people in your life. So, whether you’re a social butterfly with hundreds of contacts or someone who prefers a smaller, more personalized contact list, this guide will be relevant to you. Let’s dive into how you can start using nicknames for your iPhone contacts with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: Displaying Nicknames for Contacts on an iPhone

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what this process will accomplish. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have set up a nickname for a contact, and this nickname will be what you see across various communication apps on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Contacts App

Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.

The Contacts app is typically found on the home screen of your iPhone. It has a gray icon with the image of a person and colorful tabs on the right side. Tap on this app to get started.

Step 2: Select a Contact

Choose the contact you want to add a nickname to.

Once you’re in the Contacts app, scroll through your list of contacts or use the search bar at the top to find the contact you wish to assign a nickname to. Tap on their name to open their details.

Step 3: Tap on the ‘Edit’ Button

In the top right corner of the contact’s information page, tap ‘Edit.’

The ‘Edit’ button is located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This will allow you to make changes to the contact’s information.

Step 4: Scroll Down and Tap ‘add field’

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap on the ‘add field’ option.

You might have to scroll past the phone numbers, email addresses, and other saved information to find the ‘add field’ option. This will give you more fields to fill out for your contact.

Step 5: Choose ‘Nickname’

Select ‘Nickname’ from the list of additional fields.

After tapping ‘add field,’ a list of new field options will appear. Choose ‘Nickname’ to add a personalized name for your contact.

Step 6: Enter the Nickname

Type in the desired nickname in the newly created field.

A new field labeled ‘Nickname’ will now be available. Here, you can enter the pet name, alias, or any other term you use to refer to the contact.

Step 7: Tap ‘Done’

Once you’ve entered the nickname, tap ‘Done’ in the top right corner to save the changes.

After entering the nickname, make sure to save your changes by tapping ‘Done.’ This will ensure that the nickname is stored and will be displayed across your iPhone applications.


Personalized ExperienceAdding nicknames to your contacts allows you to create a more personalized and meaningful experience when communicating with friends and family.
Easy IdentificationNicknames can make it easier to identify and differentiate between contacts with the same name or similar names.
Saves TimeWhen in a rush, a nickname can save you time by quickly displaying the contact you are looking for without having to sift through other details.


Confusion for OthersIf someone else uses your phone, they might be confused by the nicknames and have difficulty finding the right contact.
Less ProfessionalUsing nicknames can appear less professional if you’re using your phone for business purposes and a nickname unintentionally pops up.
Possible OverlapThere’s a chance that you might assign the same nickname to multiple contacts, which could cause confusion.

Additional Information

While displaying nicknames for contacts on your iPhone is a cool feature, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember that the nickname will appear in messages and calls, so choose something appropriate for all contexts. You might not want your boss’s contact to pop up as ‘the tyrant’ during a business call!

Also, nicknames sync across devices if you use iCloud, so the nicknames you set on your iPhone will appear on your iPad and Mac too.

Another tip, if you want to quickly call or message someone using Siri, you can use the nickname you’ve set up. For example, saying “Hey Siri, text Mom” will work if you’ve set ‘Mom’ as a nickname for your mother’s contact.

Lastly, if you’re someone who loves to stay organized, using nicknames can help to keep your contact list tidy and personalized. So don’t hesitate to get creative and make your contact list truly your own.


  1. Open the Contacts app.
  2. Select a contact.
  3. Tap on ‘Edit.’
  4. Scroll down and tap ‘add field.’
  5. Choose ‘Nickname.’
  6. Enter the nickname.
  7. Tap ‘Done’ to save.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I assign the same nickname to multiple contacts?

If you assign the same nickname to multiple contacts, it might cause confusion when searching for the contact or when receiving calls and messages.

Can I use emoji in nicknames?

Yes, you can use emoji in nicknames for a fun and personalized touch.

Will the nickname override the contact’s real name?

The nickname will not replace the contact’s real name in the contacts list, but it will be the primary name displayed in messages and calls.

Can I remove a nickname?

Yes, you can remove a nickname by editing the contact, deleting the nickname, and then saving the changes.

Do nicknames sync across all my Apple devices?

Yes, if you use iCloud, the nicknames you set will sync across all your Apple devices using the same iCloud account.


Displaying nicknames for contacts on your iPhone is a simple yet powerful way to personalize your communication experience. Whether it’s for easy identification, saving time, or adding a touch of personality, setting up nicknames can be beneficial in several ways. However, be mindful of the potential cons, such as causing confusion or appearing unprofessional in certain contexts.

Remember that the nicknames you choose should be appropriate and helpful, as they will be the primary identifiers for your contacts in various apps on your iPhone. So, go ahead and give your contacts some flair with unique nicknames. And who knows, your phone might just feel a bit more like an extension of your personality. Happy naming!