I got a call from a phone number that is not stored in my address book, and in the call log, under the number, a name was suggested: "Maybe: X" (where X is the guessed name).

Where is this guess coming from?

6 Answers 6


iOS scans your email for contact info. If the phone number is not in your Address Book, for matches, it looks to your email to see if anyone with this number sent you email. If it finds the phone number associated with a contact from your email, it will show you "Maybe:" with its guess of the person's name.

You can disable this feature, if you want, by:

  1. Go to Settings --> Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  2. Under Contacts, toggle the switch labeled Contacts Found in Mail to the OFF position
  • If I search macOS Mail app for the last four digits of the phone number, I get zero results.
    – 2540625
    Mar 12, 2020 at 22:10

This is part of the Proactivity features new with iOS 9. It looks at info in emails to make an educated guess at who's calling.

On this Apple page, the new feature is shown and described.

iPhone with Maybe: John Appleseed in calling interface under phone number

Who’s calling?

Incoming call from an unknown number? If that number appeared in an email, iOS 9 lets you know who might be calling. And if someone sends you an email with contact information, the details can automatically be added to Contacts.


I believe there is a bug in iOS 11.2 that can result in "Maybe" being displayed even when "Find Contacts in Other Apps" is disabled (equivalent of iOS 10 "Contacts Found in Mail".

I turned iMessage off on my 11.2 device. Then I reenabled it. After doing that most, but not all, of my messages display with the Maybe: prefix even with "Find Contacts in Other Apps" disabled.

I've seen bugs with Spotlight and Contacts in iOS with large number of Contacts. I think this might be related.

So if you are using 11.2 you may need to wait for a bug fix.


If you want to turn off this feature: For iOS 10 > go to settings > contacts > Contacts found in Apps > turn off


Every other answer here is suggesting the name is pulled from an automatic search of Mail app. I searched Mail app and found no correlation.

But then I noticed at one point the text message mentions the suggested name. So in my case, it pulled the name from the content of text message's history.

  1. Settings
  2. General
  3. Messaging
  4. Turn on group messages.

Then :

  1. Settings
  2. General
  3. Reset
  4. Reset network settings

then delete the thread that was causing issues and restart conversation

  • This question is about the call log, not conversations in Messages.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 30, 2016 at 5:26

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