People might be calling each other less, but we still use our phones for communicating over services like iMessage. Why not give your contacts nicknames for easier calling and texting? It makes them quicker to find and looks neater, too.

Being able to send a message to “Mom” instead of having to find your mother’s name doesn’t sound all that amazing, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to skip right past someone when you don’t normally call them by the name that they’re saved as.

This works with everyone, not just family members. If you have a plumber that you use regularly, you can give them the nickname “Plumber,” so you’re not trying to remember who “Bob Tapp” is the next time you’re flooded. Being able to give contacts nicknames is a little feature that doesn’t seem like a big deal until you use it. It even rolls over to Siri, too.

How to Enable Nicknames

First, we should make sure that your iPhone or iPad is set to prefer nicknames where they are available. Open Settings and tap “Contacts” to get the ball rolling.

Next, tap “Short Name.”

Tap Short Name

The resulting screen shows you a list of options. Make sure that “Prefer Nicknames” is switched on.

Switch prefer nicknames on

How to Add a Nickname to a Contact

Now that nicknames are enabled, the next step is to assign a nickname to a contact. Open the “Contacts” app and select the name for which you want to add a nickname.

Open Contacts. Tap the name you want to edit

Next, tap “Edit.”

Tap Edit

Scroll down and tap “Add Field.”

Tap Add Field

Tap “Nickname.”

Tap nickname

Finally, enter the nickname you wish to use. Tap “Done” when you’re finished.

Enter a nickname. Tap Done

Profile Photo for Oliver Haslam Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password's blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
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