How to Show Full Names in Messages and Mail on iOS 7

iOS 7 has been out for a few weeks now, and you’ve no doubt updated already and are probably confused by all of the little changes. The big changes are very welcomed, but it’s the small changes that are kind of annoying you right now. This includes the default use of only first names showing up when texting or emailing someone.

This isn’t too big of a deal to some people, but to others, it can be confusing. What if you know more than one Dan? If the Messages app only shows the first name, you may get confused and accidentally send the wrong text to the wrong recipient. However, we’ll show you how to change this setting so that it shows their full names no matter what.

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Showing Full Names in Messages and Mail

To show full names with emailing or texting people, simply open up the Settings app and navigate to Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Short Name. There will be two settings here: Short Name and Prefer Nicknames. If you want your text messages and email to always show the full name of a contact, turn both of these settings off.

2013-10-03 14.49.23However, if you want a little customizability, you can turn on Short Name, and then you’ll be given a list of options as far as how you want names to show up. You can choose between First Name & Last Initial, First Initial & Last Name, First Name Only, or Last Name Only. Usually, most people can select the First Name & Last Initial option if they don’t want the full names to show and still be okay if they have multiple contacts with the same first name.

Adding Nicknames

Nicknames can be useful for a variety of reasons, but a lot of people will use them for their parents and other relatives. To assign a nickname to a contact, open the Contacts app and choose a contact from the list. Now tap Edit in the top-right corner. You’ll notice there is no field for you to enter a nickname, but scroll down and tap on Add Field, and choose Nickname. Type in the nickname that you want to give that contact and hit Save.

If you have Prefer Nicknames turned on in Settings, iOS 7 will show that nickname instead of the real, full name of that person. This also means that you can use that nickname when talking to Siri, such as saying “call my dad.” Siri will know to call “Bob Smith” because you have a nickname set up for him.

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