Yesterday I got a call from my wife and the iPhone said "Maybe Mrs. SSteve". The phone number was the international version of a U.S. phone number and her custom ringtone didn't play:

Incoming call

Voicemail is also showing international versions of U.S. phone numbers and also shows "Maybe" (normally it just shows the name and no phone number at all):


Contacts isn't formatting phone numbers at all:


Contacts on my iPad still formats numbers the way I expect:

Contacts on iPad

I'm running iOS 12.3.1 on an iPhone 6. I remember seeing recently that there was a carrier update. I must have installed it because Settings -> General -> About doesn't show an available carrier update.

I tried iPhone Contact List Default Country Wrong but dialing *228 says the number isn't allowed.

I tried setting my Region in Settings -> General -> Language & Region away from United States and back but that didn't work. Where else does iOS get the region for phone numbers?


When I was writing this question and was in Language & Region, I tried setting the iPhone Language even though I didn't expect it to do anything. It was already set to English but I went ahead and selected "English (US)". It went to a black screen that said "Setting Language" (or something similar) for a while and when it was done all the phone numbers are displaying correctly. So I guess it's possible the language wasn't set to "English (US)" but I can't imagine why. Anyway, since I already went through the effort of editing the screenshots and writing the question I figured I'd leave this here in case it's helpful to someone.

  • It's perfectly OK to answer one's own question, it can help others who face the same issue. Consider selecting the check mark by your answer to indicate that the answer provided is correct. Jul 22 '19 at 0:59
  • @David Thanks. I will, but I have to wait two days.
    – SSteve
    Jul 22 '19 at 6:14
  • I had a similar problem after traveling abroad with an eSIM/physical-SIM combo. All my local (to home) numbers were saying they were coming from as different country (and I don't live on a board or anything). After calling Apple support, we eventually had to "Reset Network Settings," which solved the problem for me. It took a minute or two and required a reboot, but I didn't lose anything from the phone except maybe wifi passwords. Jul 22 '19 at 12:43
  • Like Christopher, I got this problem from my esim/phys sim adventure overseas, first time I have used it. I tried the language -- no fix for me. Tried reset network settings -- also no fix for me. I am in USA and if I dial 510-555-1212, an Oakland, CA # -- it still thinks that is Australia. I'll try to post when I fix!
    – JDH
    Aug 27 '19 at 22:23
  • OK, for me it came down to turning off "dial assist" (search your settings for the dial assist menu). To get that menu available, i had to have a second SIM in the hard sim slot in addition to my primary AT&T line (now on the e-sim), so I popped one in temporarily.
    – JDH
    Aug 27 '19 at 22:34

iOS apparently gets the region from a buggy codebase, unfortunately. I'm glad you were able to solve this!

Like Christopher and JDH, an overseas adventure with an eSIM & Physical SIM messed me up - and it even persisted across a backup.

Given no combination of changing region (and restarting via power off), language (incl. a full restart), and Dial Assist (of course incl. restart via power off as well) will get the iPhone dialer to show the standard (###) ###-#### phone number format format, I have one last idea. I believe I still have a foreign SIM in the phone (although the line is disabled in favor of using my eSIM as my only, Primary line). I'll remove it. Even if that fixes the formatting, I'll still reset my phone as I upgraded from 13 to 14 without setting the phone up as new and it's showing its age (iPhone 11 Pro).

Thank you for the thread!

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