How do you set a sender of an SMS message to be a known sender?

If it is a plain phone number you can hit the info button and add to contacts sometimes. But this does not work always - I have senders e.g. my bank and my doctor that do not show a phone number just a code. I ask this now as iPhone Messages now puts up a note do I want to Report Junk which it definitely is not.

My bank is also in my contacts and shows in known contacts but message says it is not in my contact list and shows me the Report Junk link.

Also I have known senders that are not in my contacts - I think just by replying. So Known/Unknown senders appears to be rather random.

As seen in other questions here it is probably relevant that I am in the UK.


2 Answers 2


When the phone number is private, it does not show up in the senders. And you can not add it to your contacts list. If their number is already in your contacts list, it will still not match it up, because your phone does not know what the number of the sender is.

If its a short code (4, 5 or 6 digits in various countries), then you can add it to your contacts. However, often, different organisations can share the same shortcode, depending on who they are using to to send their SMSs.

If its an ID (string), then, again, your phone does not know the number. Worse, this ID can be spoofed.

  • The first paragraph seems wrong to me - what exactly do you mean by private, second seems OK, and the last is the case I am after but any reference to it being able to be spoofed. (Actually any reference for how SMS manages the address would be interesting)
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 17 at 14:11

Send a reply to the message and it will be considered known.

But if you want the conversation to show the name of the sender, you should add it to Contacts. You can do this by clicking on the sender, then clicking on "Info", then either "Create New Contact" or "Add to Existing Contact".

  • They already show the name of the sender - the issue is, I think, that they do not have a phone number.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 15 at 7:43
  • If you're talking about those 5-digit codes, those are phone numbers. You can put them in Contacts, and then they're treated as known senders.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 15 at 7:47
  • No they are text strings. e.g. NSandI, Ocado, NHS 111
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 15 at 8:31
  • I've never seen that in a text message. I've gotten spam text messages with an email address as the sender, though.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 15 at 14:38
  • yours are not test = SMS messages but Apple messages
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:26

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