I have a friend and I have added his real name in my Contacts. I want to put his nickname in Whatsapp simultaneously. I am using it in Android. How do I accomplish this?

  • AFAIK, you need to rename it in contact list of your phone!
    – Vembu
    Oct 24 '14 at 16:30
  • I don't want to do that. I want two different names for the same person.
    – khateeb
    Oct 24 '14 at 16:31

You can follow these steps:

  1. Rename the contact in your phone book and save.
  2. Go to Settings > Account > whatsapp > sync now (or any similar option)
  3. Check if this has worked.
    • TIP you can force close whatsapp and try.

If the above method doesn't work

  1. Backup contacts
  2. Go to edit contact of the one you wanna change.
  3. Copy the number of that contact.
  4. Delete the contact.
  5. Go to whatapp and refresh whatsapp contacts.
  6. Add the contact number you copied with the desired name you want as a "new contact" in your address book.
  • 1
    I couldn't find the "sync now" option there, but I found "Refresh" here: press the floating button that starts a new conversation in the bottom right corner, press the hamburger menu button, and press "Refresh".
    – Flimm
    Jan 17 '20 at 10:16
  • Renaming the contact in the phone book does not account for simultaneously having the real name in Contacts, as the OP is asking. Jul 19 '20 at 18:33

I am afraid to say this, but this looks highly unlikely.

The reason I am saying this is because I read following Lines in WhatsApp FAQ Page:

How do I add contacts to WhatsApp?

The important part is adding the contact into your phone's address book.

And in the same FAQ Section, at point 3. below lines are mentioned.

Note: WhatsApp cannot sync with Facebook friends, so you will need to manually enter their phone numbers in your address book in order for WhatsApp to find them.

The BOLD Line above is perhaps an indication that the "source" for WhatsApp to get contact info is Phone's "Address Book" and hence it won't allow to have "nickname".

Refer FAQ for WhatsApp at : https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/en/android/21082107 for above mentioned details.


There's a simple solution that worked for me:

Delete the phone number -> save contacts -> and add the number again.

Whatsapp will update itself i.e. Whatsapp name would be changed to whatever is stored in contacts.

  • 1
    I don't think that deleting and readding the phone number is a simple solution. It's a kludge. Sep 24 '15 at 10:05
  • 1
    On my phone I had a regular contact with correct name and a separate WhatsApp contact with the incorrect name. After deleting the WhatsApp contact my friend was still listed in the WhatsApp contact list, this time with the correct name from the regular contact. This means you can just delete the WhatsApp contact -- no need to re-add.
    – thdoan
    Oct 25 '15 at 20:28
  • This was the only solution that worked for me. I had the same scenario as @10basetom. Feb 25 '18 at 11:56

Just go to the contacts list and click on the person whose name you want to change and change it. It will automatically change the person's name on WhatsApp.

  • 1
    OP does not want to change the real name in contacts but change only only in Whatsapp. Nov 19 '15 at 2:07

If you don't have a name for that contact at all, and it is just the number, then add that number to a contact in the address book (or contacts) app that came with the phone with the name of your choice. Allow Whatsapp to view your contacts and it will automatically rename that contact with the name you entered in settings.

Hope this helps.


For Whatsapp Users on Android platforms on phones like the MOTO G. Please use these steps:

  1. Access your phone book.

  2. Select the Contact/name you want to change or edit.

  3. When the contact/name shows up on the screen, tap/touch on the Pencil [at the upper right hand corner of the screen] icon to edit.

  4. If you are on Lollipop, tap on the Triangle sign at the bottom [left] of the screen.

  5. Lollipop does not give any confirmation if the edit is successful[or not]. Check if the edit has gone through.


For Android phones.

There is another way. Say, you entered a new contact on whatsapp as An Unknown contact. Then you want to change it to a real name.

First add this contact with his real name, say, John Franklin. Then in the contacts click on a chain icon. It is on middle right and is chain shaped. There you will see a list of contacts to link with. Find the An Unknown contact and click on to link these two contacts. Close the phone contacts and look up in whatsapp. The contact name will be updated.


You need to delete the "linked" WhatsApp contact in your address book.

Here is how to do it on a Samsung phone:

  1. Open the Samsung contacts app.
  2. Find the contact.
  3. Rename the contact name there.
  4. Press the hamburger menu button, and press "Add/remove linked contacts".
  5. Press "Unlink" next to the WhatsApp linked contact entry
  6. Go back to the list of contacts in the contacts app, find the now separate WhatsApp contact entry, and delete it.
  7. Open WhatsApp and find the contact. WhatsApp will automatically recreate the linked contact, but using the new name.

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