Troubleshooting Guide – Contacts Not Showing in Messages – How to Fix the Issue




Are you facing the frustrating issue of contacts not showing in messages? If so, you’re not alone. Many smartphone users encounter this problem which can make it difficult to find the right contacts when composing messages. In this blog post, we will explore the common causes behind this issue and provide you with troubleshooting steps to get your contacts to appear in messages again. Let’s dive right in!

Common Causes of Contacts Not Showing in Messages

There can be several reasons why your contacts are not showing in your messages app. Understanding these causes can help you identify the root of the problem and find an appropriate solution. Here are some common causes:

Synchronization issues between contacts and messages apps

One of the primary reasons for contacts not showing in messages is due to synchronization issues between your contacts and messages apps. Sometimes, the sync feature might be disabled or there may be conflicts between the settings of these two apps. This can prevent the contact information from being displayed in the messages app.

Incorrect settings in messages app

Another common cause could be incorrect settings within your messages app. It’s possible that your app is not configured to display contacts or the wrong contact display option is selected. These settings need to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly to ensure that contacts are visible in the messages app.

Outdated contact list

An outdated contact list can also be the culprit behind your contacts not showing in messages. If you have recently made changes or added new contacts, it’s essential to keep your contact list up to date. Failure to do so might result in contacts not appearing in your messages app.

Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Contacts Not Showing in Messages

Now that we have identified the common causes, let’s go through some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:

Step 1: Check Contact Synchronization

The first step is to ensure that contact synchronization is properly enabled for all your accounts. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to the system settings on your smartphone and find the “Accounts” section.
  2. Select each account and verify that contact synchronization is turned on.
  3. If contact synchronization is already enabled, try force syncing your contacts by going to the contacts app and accessing the sync options.
  4. Check for any conflicting sync settings that might be preventing contacts from appearing in your messages app.

Step 2: Review Messages App Settings

The next step involves reviewing the settings within your messages app. Pay close attention to the following:

  1. Confirm that the display options for contacts are selected in your messages app.
  2. If the issue persists, try clearing the cache and data of your messages app. This can help resolve any temporary glitches that might be affecting contact visibility.
  3. If you’re using any third-party SMS apps, consider disabling them temporarily and test if your contacts appear in the default messages app.

Step 3: Update and Reboot Device

Keeping your device up to date is crucial for the smooth functioning of apps and services, including contact synchronization. Follow these steps:

  1. Check for any available software updates in your device settings and install them if necessary.
  2. After updating, reboot your device. Restarting can often resolve minor software glitches that might be preventing contacts from showing in your messages app.

Step 4: Manually Add or Merge Contacts

If the above steps didn’t solve your issue, you can try manually adding any missing contacts or merging duplicate contacts:

  1. Open your contact app and manually add any contacts that are not showing up in your messages.
  2. If you suspect duplicate contacts, merge them to ensure that all relevant contact information is consolidated in a single entry.

Step 5: Contact Provider Troubleshooting

If you’ve exhausted all other options and contacts are still not appearing in your messages app, it’s time to reach out for external support:

  1. Check the contact provider’s status to see if there are any known issues with their service that might be affecting contact synchronization.
  2. Contact customer support of your contact provider and explain the issue. They might be able to provide further assistance or insights specific to their service.

Additional Tips and Best Practices

Here are a few additional tips and best practices to help you avoid future issues with your contacts not showing in messages:

Regularly backup contacts

Backing up your contacts regularly is essential to ensure that you don’t lose any important information. Consider using a cloud-based backup service or even exporting your contacts to a file that you can store securely.

Keep contacts and messages apps up to date

Always make sure to keep your contacts and messages apps up to date with the latest versions. Developers often release updates to fix bugs and improve app performance, which can impact contact synchronization.

Use a reliable third-party contacts backup app

If you want additional peace of mind, you can consider using a reliable third-party contacts backup app. These apps often offer advanced features like scheduled backups and easy restoration options.


In conclusion, having your contacts appear in your messages app is essential for seamless communication. If you’re experiencing the issue of contacts not showing in messages, it can be frustrating and hinder your productivity. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this blog post, you should be able to identify and resolve the underlying causes of the issue. Remember, if the problem persists, don’t hesitate to reach out for further assistance from your contact provider or smartphone manufacturer. Happy messaging!


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