How to Show Contact Pictures Next to Text Messages on an iPhone 13

Many of the apps on your iPhone can integrate with other apps. Some of these are more obvious than others, such as letting a workout app connect to the Health app.

But another interaction that can be fun involves your contacts and the Messages app.

If you open the Messages app you will see a list of the conversations that you currently have going with different people. But if you have looked at someone else’s Messages app you might have noticed that they have pictures of their contacts next to those messages.

This can be especially confusing if you have already gone through the process of adding pictures to your contacts.

You can show contact photos in the iPhone Messages app by going to Settings > Messages > and turning on the Show Contact Photos option.

Our article continues below with more information on text message contact pictures on an iPhone, including what to do if you don’t have any contact pictures added yet and want to get them set up.

Why Aren’t There Pictures of My Contacts Next to Messages on My iPhone 13?

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Messages.
  3. Turn on Show Contact Photos.

Our guide continues below with additional information on showing text message or iMessage contact photos on an iPhone 13, including pictures of these steps.

How to Enable the Message Contact Photos on an iPhone 13 (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed on an iPhone 13 in the iOS 15.3.1 operating system. This guide assumes that you have already added a contact photo to at least one of your contacts.

If not then you can scroll to the end of this article where we provide two different methods that you can use to set a contact photo on your iPhone 13.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

open Settings

Step 2: Scroll down and choose the Messages option.

open Messages settings

Step 3: Tap the button to the right of Show Contact Photos to turn it on.

I have enabled contact pictures in the image below.

how to show contact pictures next to messages on an iPhone 13

Our tutorial continues below with additional discussion about contact photos on the iPhone 13.

More Information on Adding or Removing iPhone 13 Message Contact Photos

Once you enable this setting the display in the Messages app will change immediately.

If you have added a contact picture for a contact with whom you have a conversation, you will see that picture next to the conversation.

If a contact doesn’t have a photo then you will see their initials in a grey circle next to the conversation. If you have a conversation going with someone that isn’t a contact then you will just see a grey circle with a white silhouette inside of it.

When you open the message conversation you will also see the contact photos at the top of the screen as well. If you tap on the photos there then you will see an information screen for the conversation where you can choose to hide alerts for the conversation, as well as see other things like a collection of the images that have been sent in the conversation.

You can add a contact photo by going to the Phone app, tapping the Contacts tab, then choosing the contact.

On the contact page, you can tap Edit at the top-right corner of the screen, then tap the Add Photo option to search for and select a contact photo for that individual.

Alternatively, you can open the Photos app, select a picture, then tap the Share button at the bottom of the screen. You can then scroll down and choose the Assign to Contact option, where you will be able to select the contact for whom you want to use that picture.

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