How to assign photos to contacts on your iPhone or iPad

How to assign photos to contacts on your iPhone or iPad

Adding pictures to the contacts in your iPhone or iPad is a great way to make the people in your life more recognizable. You can add them using the Photos app, the Contacts app, and even import them from social networks like Facebook. Once you've added the photos, you'll see them in iMessage, in phone favorites, and more!

How to assign pictures to contacts using the Photos app for iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the photo you'd like to use for a contact.
  3. Tap on the Share button in the bottom left corner.
  4. Tap on Assign to Contact.
  5. Tap on the contact name you'd like to assign it to.
  6. Position the photo as you'd like it to appear inside the circle and tap Choose.

How to assign photos to contacts using the Contacts app for iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Phone app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the contact name that you'd like to add a photo for.
  3. Tap on the Edit button in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Tap on Add Photo.
  5. Either take a new photo or tap on Choose Photo to open your Camera Roll to pick an existing one.
  6. Find the photo you'd like to use for your contact in your Camera Roll.
  7. Position the photo like you want it and tap on Choose at the bottom when you're done.
  8. Tap Done on the contact card to save your changes.

How to import contact photos from Facebook on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Facebook.
  3. Turn On contact syncing.

Facebook should now merge existing contacts and add new entries for folks you don't have. This includes whatever their current Facebook profile photo is. As folks update them, their photos should also update. Keep in mind that the Facebook method does allow Facebook access to your contacts and will add new people that you may not want in your Address Book. You may also get duplicates if Facebook doesn't recognize some folks you already have. Just something to keep in mind. If you want contacts to stay just as they are, adding photos manually from the Camera Roll is typically a better option.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to assign photos to contacts on your iPhone or iPad


I have photos for ALL my contacts, even businesses. I'll take a photo of a storefront for their contact (i.e. pizza shop). I'm retarded like that. Haha!

Is it just me, or with iOS 7, do contacts only appear as small circles in the top right when on the phone? I remember that some contacts appeared as full screen images when on a call (but they had to be added in Contacts on a laptop/desktop in order to achieve that).

Or am I crazy?

There have been rumors that iOS 8 will resolve that. I think some screens in the keynote showed larger full screen images for callers like it was prior to iOS 7.

With iOS 8 I still see inconsistent contact pics when using the phone -- sometimes it's full-screen, sometimes it's a small circle in the top right corner. Strange...

For me, it shows full screen for the contact who I assigned a picture manually. But for the contacts that pulled the picture from Facebook, it shows the small circle

I don't use FB for contacts; the only difference I can think of is the contacts I assigned via the iPhone, and those I assigned via the Contacts app on iMac. (By the way, I inadvertently clicked the "Report" button, please disregard. Sorry!)

The Facebook sync method is super convenient - but it doesn't really update for some reason. I'm stuck on some 1 or 2 year old profile pictures for a lot of my contacts!