How to Add a Contact Picture in iOS 9: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a contact picture in iOS 9 is a snap. Just open Contacts, select the contact, tap "Edit," choose "add photo," and select an image from your library or take a new one. After saving, the image will show up whenever the contact calls or texts.

After you complete the action, the contact in your phone will now have a picture associated with it, making it easier to identify who’s calling or messaging you at a glance.


Ever glanced at your iPhone when it rings, only to see a bland, gray silhouette staring back at you? If you’re anything like me, you’d prefer to see a friendly face or an image that evokes a memory or a chuckle. Personalizing contacts with photos doesn’t just breathe life into your phonebook; it also makes for a more intimate and organized communication experience. In iOS 9, Apple made it incredibly easy to customize your contacts with images, ensuring that you can quickly and visually identify who’s getting in touch. This is especially useful for those of us who are visual learners or who simply enjoy a more personalized phone experience. Whether you’re a new iPhone user or you’ve just never dabbled in contact customization, you’re in the right place to learn.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Add a Contact Picture in iOS 9

Before getting into the steps, it’s important to know that adding pictures to contacts not only makes your phone look more vibrant and personal, but it also helps in recognizing your contacts quickly, especially in a rush.

Step 1: Open the Contacts app

Launch the Contacts app from your home screen.

The Contacts app is where all your phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information is stored. It’s the little address book icon, and if you’ve never opened it before, now’s a good time to familiarize yourself with it.

Step 2: Select the contact

Choose the contact you want to add a picture to by tapping on their name.

When you’ve found the right contact, simply tap on their name to open their details. If you have a lot of contacts, you can use the search bar at the top to find them quickly.

Step 3: Tap "Edit"

Tap the "Edit" button in the top right corner of the contact’s information page.

This will allow you to make changes to the contact’s information, including adding a photo. The "Edit" button is your gateway to customization.

Step 4: Tap "add photo"

Tap "add photo" or the photo silhouette.

The silhouette or "add photo" button is typically located next to the contact’s name at the top. Tapping this will bring up options for selecting an image.

Step 5: Choose a photo

Select a photo from your photo library or take a new one.

You can either pick an existing image from your photo library or snap a fresh one right then and there. Choose a photo that makes you smile – it’s going to be what you see every time this contact calls!

Step 6: Move and scale the photo

Adjust the photo to fit the circle frame, then tap "Choose."

You can pinch to zoom and drag to reposition the photo so it fits just right. The circle frame is what will show up in your contacts list, so make sure it looks good!

Step 7: Tap "Done"

Finally, tap "Done" to save the contact’s new photo.

The "Done" button is usually in the top right corner, and it saves all the changes you’ve made. And voilà! Your contact now has a shiny new photo.


Benefit Explanation
Personalization Adding photos to your contacts adds a personal touch to your phone. It helps reflect your relationships and can bring a smile to your face whenever a familiar face calls.
Quick Recognition Having a photo makes it quicker and easier to find and identify contacts, especially in a hurry. You can spot the right person at a glance, without needing to read their name.
Organizational Aid Contact photos can serve as a visual aid, helping to keep your contacts organized. It’s much simpler to remember someone by their face than by their name alone, especially if you have multiple contacts with the same name.


Drawback Explanation
Time-Consuming If you have a lot of contacts, adding photos to each one can be a time-consuming process.
Privacy Concerns If someone else uses your phone, they will be able to see the photos you’ve assigned to each contact, which could potentially invade the privacy of both you and your contacts.
Storage Space High-resolution photos can take up significant storage space on your device. If you’re running low on space, you might need to consider this before adding images to all your contacts.

Additional Information

While adding contact pictures in iOS 9 is a straightforward process, there are a few additional tips worth noting. First, consider the quality and orientation of the photos you choose. While the contact image is relatively small, choosing a clear and well-lit photo will ensure it’s recognizable. Additionally, photos that are centered and face-forward work best for contact pictures, since iOS will crop them into a circle.

Another tip is to periodically update contact photos. People change hairstyles, grow beards, or even just change their look. Keeping your contact photos current can prevent that moment of confusion when the caller doesn’t match the outdated picture.

Lastly, if you’re syncing your contacts with iCloud, any changes you make will be reflected across all your devices. This means you only have to set the contact photo once, and it will update on your iPad, Mac, or other Apple devices.


  1. Open Contacts app.
  2. Select the contact.
  3. Tap "Edit."
  4. Tap "add photo."
  5. Choose a photo.
  6. Move and scale the photo.
  7. Tap "Done."

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to change the contact picture later?

You can always repeat the steps and choose a new picture to replace the old one.

Can I use any photo from my library?

Yes, any photo you’ve saved in your library can be used as a contact picture.

What if my contact photo isn’t saving?

Make sure you’re tapping "Done" to save the changes, and check if your phone storage is full.

Can I assign the same picture to multiple contacts?

Absolutely, you can use the same picture for as many contacts as you like.

What happens if I delete the photo from my library after setting it as a contact picture?

The contact picture will remain until you decide to change or remove it, even if the original photo is deleted from your library.


There you have it, folks – the ins and outs of adding a contact picture in iOS 9. While it may seem like a small thing, it’s these little personal touches that make our devices feel more like our own. Whether you’re adding a picture of your best friend, a family member, or even your favorite celebrity, it’s a fun way to add personality to your phone. And remember, a contact picture is worth a thousand words – or at least the hundreds you might exchange via call or text. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how a simple picture can transform your communication experience.

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