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How to disable nicknames for Messages, Phone, and Mail in iOS 7

When Siri came around with the iPhone 4S, we were then able to give ourselves a nickname for her to call us. This nickname then got added to our contact card. If you shared that contact card with anyone, they'd then have your nickname attached to it. Ironically, if you have nicknames enabled in iOS 7, that's the name that will show up for them in message threads, their Contacts, and any other communication you have with that person. In some cases, nicknames can be quite silly and you may not want that displaying for a certain contact.

Luckily you can completely disable iOS from using nicknames. Here's how:

Keep in mind that Nicknames are different than Short Names, which we've already shown you how to editing settings for.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Under the Contacts section, tap on Short Name.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and turn the option for Prefer Nicknames to the Off position.

That's all there is to it. iOS will no longer use nicknames that you have set for contacts. You will instead see the proper names you've set for them in your Contacts.

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

8 Comments
  • Or you can just create a second contact card of yourself to share with others and one with all of the information Siri has. I've input family members, multiple emails, and all sorts of unnecessary info in my "Siri contact card"
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  • I myself have been hoping Ally would share that wallpaper with us as well. Hopefully the wait won't be much longer. :(
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  • How do I see what my short name might possibly be, under General for name I've named my iPhone Aero's iPhone is this what people see?
  • So, my nickname has been "You Son Of A Bitch" for the past two years almost. Yesterday, I went from iPhone 4s to 6 and I guess iOS thought it would be cool to make my nickname show up in my emails even though I've never had it set like that. Luckily, I don't really do anything professional with my email but I did have a large email group with all of the leaders in my church in which my name was changed to You Son Of A Bitch. I have obviously disabled it now, but I'm waiting to see if anybody noticed.. If anything, I bet it just confused a few people but it would be interesting to hear the replies! Just thought it was mildly entertaining, hope you enjoyed my tale.