How To Fix iMessage Contacts Not Showing on Mac

iMessage contacts not showing on Mac can be quite frustrating for MacOS users. Since many of us only recognize our contacts by their name, just seeing a number can be confusing. The good news is that you can resolve the issue using one of several methods. In this article, there are different steps and suggestions to help you solve this problem.

How To Fix iMessage Contacts Not Showing on Mac

Fixing the iMessage Contacts Not Showing Issue on Mac

If in the process of using iMessage you realize the contact names missing, it could create a problem. There are quite a few reasons why this could happen. The potential reasons can include:

Syncing Issues

If your devices don’t sync correctly, it could cause contact names not to appear. Resolve this by signing out and then back in on iMessage. This could lead to new iCloud account sync with your device. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Messages app.
  2. Select “Messages.”
  3. Click “Settings” and then “Accounts.”
  4. Select “Sign Out.”

You can now use your Apple password and ID to sign back in. This way, you will have successfully reset syncing between iCloud and iMessage.

Check Contacts

This option will help you re-sync with iCloud. However, the steps are different from the above syncing solution.

  1. Select the Contacts app on Mac
  2. Click “Contacts” on the toolbar.
  3. Choose the “Accounts” tab.
  4. On the left, select “iCloud account.”
  5. Uncheck the “Enable this account” option.
  6. Wait for a while and recheck “Enable this account.”
  7. On this page, confirm that “Fetch” is set to “Automatically.”

Wait a while before confirming whether the matter is resolved.

Privacy Settings

The wrong settings configuration can lead to iMessage Contacts issues on Mac. This could be the main reason why your contacts can’t be accessed. The solution here involves checking if iMessage has access to your contacts. Confirm this by:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” on your Mac device.
  2. Navigate to “Security and Privacy” and click on Privacy.
  3. Check whether “Contacts” is checked in the “Messages” section. This allows iMessage to access Mac contacts.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Open Mac’s Messages app
  2. Click “Messages” on the menu bar.
  3. From the drop-down menu, choose “Preferences.”
  4. Select “Accounts” under preferences.
  5. On the left, select your iMessage.
  6. Check the window’s right side to ensure that the “Enable this account” checkbox is ticked.
  7. Under the section reading, “You can be reached for messages at,” ensure all email addresses or phone numbers you need on iMessage are checked and listed here.
  8. Go to the “Settings” section. Under “Enable this account,” ensure the “Contacts” checkbox is checked.

If you notice that the contacts checkbox isn’t checked, it indicates that iMessage has no access to contacts. Tick the checkbox, and this may solve the issue of the iMessage contacts not showing on Mac.

Outdated Software

If your iMessage app or MacOS is outdated, it could result in your contacts not syncing on Mac. You must ensure your device has the latest iMessage app and MacOS version. To upgrade outdated Mac software, you need to:

  1. Choose the Apple menu and select “Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Software update” to see whether there are any updates available.
  3. If an update is available, click “Update now” and follow all prompts to download and install it.
  4. Restart Mac.

Network Connectivity

When there is no internet connection, iMessage can’t sync contacts. You need a stable connection to the internet. This can be Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Find the icon that denotes your network status (in the upper right corner of the screen). If it is off, you won’t be able to sync with your contacts. Try syncing again after re-connecting to the internet.

Corrupted Contacts Database

There are instances when you may be dealing with a corrupted contacts database on your device. This can lead to major iMessage issues, including missing contacts. This can be remedied by rebuilding the contacts database.

  1. On Mac, open contacts and click “File.”
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Export” and then “Contacts Archive.”
  3. Select a location and save the “Contacts Archive” file.
  4. Choose “Save.”
  5. Select all contacts in the contacts app by pressing “Command + A.” Click “Delete” to remove all the contacts.
  6. From the menu bar, choose “File.” From the drop-down menu, choose “Import.”
  7. Click “Contacts Archive.”
  8. Select the Contacts Archive file you made earlier and “Open.” This action imports the file to rebuild the database.

After following these steps, check whether the iMessage contacts are showing on your Mac.

Give It Time

Syncing your data takes time if you have just enabled your iCloud contacts or set up your Mac. If you’re in the process of setting up a new device, wait until the notes, events, calendars, reminders, etc. have been downloaded to your Mac from iCloud. Then confirm your contacts have been downloaded as well. A stable internet connection will help facilitate the successful transfer.

Confirm You Are Logged In With the Correct ID

It might seem like a no-brainer but confirm that you are using the correct Apple ID to access your contacts. Do the check by:

  1. Opening “System Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Apple ID.” Look at the Apple ID, which is your email.
  3. If it’s correct, the problem lies elsewhere. If not, sign out and use the correct Apple ID to log in.

Turn Off VPN

If you have an active virtual private network (VPN), this could be the causing the issue. It could be blocking access to user-related and iCloud services. Using a VPN routes network traffic through a remote server – it doesn’t connect to the internet directly. The VPN server can limit or block traffic, causing a sync issue. To fix this, turn it off.

You can try connecting through another VPN server without multiple server locations. Another option that can work is whitelisting iCloud in your VPN settings. This allows iCloud to bypass the VPN.

Check the iCloud Contacts Status

If there are still issues with contacts on Mac, the problem could be with Apple’s servers. It helps to visit Apple’s Official System Status page. A green dot next to the iCloud contacts indicates that there are no problems. If there are red or yellow indicators on related services, allow Apple to fix the issues first.

Although highly unlikely, if none of the steps in this article work, contact the Apple support team. They can offer some further assistance. They can also guide you through diagnosing the issue and offer other troubleshooting solutions and steps.

Always Know Who’s Texting You Before Opening Messages on Mac

Receiving messages or notifications in iMessage with no names can be annoying. You are left with no clue who send the message until you read it. And in some cases, it’s impossible to tell who texted. The above solutions should help you fix this issue on Mac.

Have you ever had an issue with iMessage contacts not showing on Mac? Which solution worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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