I'd like to search my iPhone contacts using a part of a telephone number as a key (search by substring). The integrated spotlight search, however, doesn't return any entries when searching for a full telephone number or for its part. The number formatting in search doesn't appear to make any difference.

Suppose there an entry in the Contacts.app (number is shown exactly as it apperars on the screen):

John Smith

mobile: +41 76 123 23 43

Neither of the following searches in spotlight returns "John Smith", as expected

+41 76 123 23 43



Is it possible to search for a number using spotlight or an alternative application?

Tested on iPhone 3GS with iOS 4.2.1


There is an app for that. :-)

One of the first apps I installed: Contact by Number.

Actually, there are a few others, and this one hasn't been updated since 2008, but it does what you want and has served me well.

  • I have also used this app in the past, it is really useful if someone calls you on a landline and you want to see if it is someone you know.
    – LC1983
    Jan 14 '11 at 16:11

It seems that phone numbers that have the +1 in front of the number can’t be searched in Contacts. When I edited the number and deleted the +1 I could search on any part of the number. This worked in the Contacts app and Spotlight.

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