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Basics: How To Order iPhone Contacts By First or Last Name

The iPhone lists your contacts alphabetically, but did you know you can change whether it sorts by first or last name? To change the way the iPhone sorts your contacts, just follow these steps:

1. Tap Settings:

2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars:



3. Scroll down and tap Sort Order:

4. Choose Last, First or First, Last:

And that’s it. You may notice another option labeled Display Order. This determines how the iPhone’s contacts are displayed, but not sorted. For example, if the display order was First, Last, then a name would be displayed Anne Hathaway, even though the contacts are ordered alphabetically by their last name. If Last, First, then Hathaway, Anne.

Be sure to check out more of our iPhone Basics.

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  1. John says:

    Hi, my contacts are now ordered and displayed in first name last name order. however when I go into messages to send a text, the contacts are again in last name first name sequence. Please advise how this can be changed to first name last name. Thanks in advance, john.

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  2. genie says:

    i set my setting to first name, last name on both sort and display but when i go to contacts nothing has changed . . . what do I do?

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  3. Richard says:

    I was trying to group my contacts and so I downloaded Grouper. I type in the name of a new group and nothing happens. Are there settings that I am missing out on to ensure I can do this? I am on the Iphone 4 if that matters.

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  4. Joycelyn says:

    hi, i’m new to iphone. I realise that the iphone contact number will always appear ‘-’ between the numbers. Eg: 6555-5555. Is there anyway to get rid of the ‘-’ that’s in between the numbers?

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  5. Patricia says:

    Hello, I have a new to me g3.

    Same as Genie. Made the changes in sort and display, but no change in contact list.

    Do we need to delete on contact list and re-sync?

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  6. claire says:

    i have the i 4 just got it for work and i need to group over 200 contacts out of my contacts list and send weekly monthly updates for work. can you advise me the best thing to do ?

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  7. claire says:

    i need to send group messages from my phone for work i need to group a certain amount of people and save them as clients so i can txt that certain group whenever i want.

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  8. John says:

    Thanks, Alan– saved me a lot of time. BTW, how did you get Anne Hathaway’s number? Can you share it?

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