How do I change the phone number on my iPhone?

The iPhone is so much like a mobile computer that it can be easy to forget that it's still a phone. And like all phones, your iPhone has a phone number. But what if you want to change your number?

In this feature, we'll look at the number on your iPhone, how to access it, what it does, and how to go about changing the phone number on your iPhone.

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How to change the phone number on your iPhone: Find your iPhone's phone number

How to change the number on your iPhone

You probably already know your iPhone's number: it's the number you give to people when you want them to call you! 

The rise of the mobile, however, has gradually worn away at our ability to remember our phone numbers. Partly it's because the numbers themselves are longer than the five-digit home numbers we used to have back in the 90s; but more importantly it's quite rare these days that you actually need to remember it. The Recents section of the Phone app has put paid to that.

Regardless of why you can't recall your phone number, the easiest way to find your iPhone's number is to dive into Settings.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down to the fifth section and tap Phone

You'll find your phone number at the top of the screen, labelled My Number.

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How to change the phone number on your iPhone: Change the number listed in Settings

The Phone section of Settings can also be used to change the number on your iPhone. Here's how to change the phone number on your iPhone.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Tap My Number
  4. Use the delete button to remove the old number
  5. Use the keypad to enter the new number
  6. Tap Save
  7. Restart the iPhone

Be warned, however, that changing the phone number listed in Settings may not achieve the effect you are looking for.

When you change the number in the Phone app, this doesn't change the number that you use to call people (or that they use to call you). Your SIM card (the card provided by your phone company) determines that number. If somebody dials your old number, they'll still get through to you. And if you call somebody, they'll still see your old phone number.

Changing the number in Settings is useful when ensuring that it matches the number provided by your phone company - if you move to a new phone or a new provider, for instance.

The number listed in Settings should match the number on your SIM; indeed, if you change the number to something else, it should revert to the old number so that it matches the SIM. It's important to check, however, because it doesn't always switch. This is especially important if you picked up your phone second-hand because it may still have the old number.

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How to change the phone number on your iPhone: Contact your phone provider

If you want to change your actual phone number to a different number in the sense that most people would understand it - ie, your friends will need to call a new number to reach you, the new number appears on your friends' phones when you call them, and the old number won't work any more - then you'll need to get in touch with your mobile phone company and ask them to do it for you. This cannot be accomplished on the iPhone itself.

Most phone providers offer an online service so you can switch from your old number to a new number. Some providers allow you to transfer your number for free, while others levy a charge. Here are some links to information on changing your number for popular UK mobile phone providers:

O2 Customer Services

Vodafone: How do I change my number? [admin fee charged]

EE: Get in touch

Three: Call 333 from your phone or 0333 300 3333

GiffGaff: Log into www.giffgaff.com and click Change My Number

If you want to change your number because you're receiving harassing phone calls, it's particularly important to let the phone company know because they will have special procedures in place to deal with nuisance callers. In the meantime you can choose to block the nuisance number.

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