I setup my Verizon iPhone 4S by restoring from a backup of my 3GS.

Now my contact's phone numbers aren't formatted at all. They now look like 5555551234 whereas they used to be formatted like (555) 555-1234.

In the Messages app, most conversations are no longer linked to a contact's name, only phone numbers are shown.

Creating a new contact exhibits the same problem.

Adding +1 to the beginning of each contact's phone number(s) seems to help, but I'd rather not have to manually edit all of my contacts.

1 Answer 1


My Verizon iPhone 4S appears to have been in some sort of international mode by default.

The fix is to 'Program' the phone via Verizon's system:

  1. Open Phone and dial *228. This is the Verizon over-the-air programming number.
  2. When the system answers, press 1 for "Program or activate your phone"
  3. Wait through the music for the call to disconnect. You should get a prompt stating something like, "Service Update Complete"
  4. Open the Task Manager and kill the Phone, Message, and Contacts Applications
  5. Wait a few minutes (I waited 3 just to be extra safe)
  6. Open the Message App to verify the fix.


Edit: I had to do this again on December 2nd (perhaps because my carrier profile was updated?).

  • What does open the task manager and kill the phone mean. I can't find the task manager
    – user13073
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 3:55
  • To open the task manager, all you need to do is double-click on the home button. It will bring up a bar along the bottom of your screen. Hold your finger on one of the icons until they wiggle, and then tap each red minus icon to quit the corresponding app. To exit out of the task manager, click on the home button again. Hope this helps!
    – Fake Name
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 5:16
  • 1
    I can’t believe I wasn’t told about this at the Apple Store when I got the phone. This trick worked like a charm for me too. But I did wind up having to trash a few SMS threads in order to get the threading to work again. If you know someone switching recommend that they do this immediately after they set up their new phone.
    – roosto
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 15:13
  • The 'Home Button' ? And what / where is that?
    – user13429
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 0:37
  • @Marts apple.com/iphone/tips/images/screen_picture_20101206.jpg
    – Jon-Eric
    Commented Nov 10, 2011 at 16:59

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