After upgrading iPhones to iOS 11 an iMessage issue is reported by many iPhone users that while composing an iMessage and while adding sender details, instead of related sender list in search box, iMessage suggested grouped numbers. The iMessage suggested contacts group are stored numbers and contact groups by iPhone of recent group messages that one has created/used in passed. Some of the groups messages are even deleted by iPhones users but still comes up in suggested contact for a new iMessage message. What is more interesting is that for some users iMessage is suggesting groups of contacts that have never messaged together.
Clearly this type of behaviour is not expected by users and there does not seems to be direct way to turn off suggested contact issue in iMessage. The issue create a really mess in the suggestion that it is difficult to find out actual person in the suggestion list. This seems to be issue with new iPhone software release iOS 11 as almost all iPhone models including iPhone 6s/7, iPhone X and iphone 8 are affected by this bug.
To Stop Group Message Suggestions in iPhone ,iOS11, please follow below possible fix:
Fix1 :Turn off siri suggestion:
Go to SETTINGS > CONTACTS > Siri & Search >Turn "Find Contacts in Other Apps" and "Search & Siri Suggestions" both to OFF. After turning off Siri... power off your phone and back on. This should help to individual contact first vs group contact.
Fix 2: (Workaround) Put a period (.) after name:
Actually its more a workaround than a fix. Type the name of the individual you want to text and then put a period ie a dot . . The group they come up first will not be the first option anymore, but the individual contact will come first.
Fix 3: Remove cluster group from suggested list one by one
This is bit painful and lengthy fix, When you type in the name of the person to whom you wish to send a text and the list of contact clusters appear, you will notice an "i" in a circle next to the "cluster" of contacts. Tap on the "i" and you will be taken to a screen called "RECENT" and to the right of "RECENT" you will see "REMOVE". Click on "REMOVE". You will then be asked if you want to "REMOVE FROM RECENTS". Click on "REMOVE FROM RECENTS".
It only works IF the "i" is available in front of group name but for some groups there is no ‘i’ and are greyed out.
Fix 4: Update to latest release :
As there are no updates from Apple on the issue and its fix, but lots of users have complained this bug to Apple that iMessage is showing group suggestion instead of person only. We hope Apple will soon roll out a permanent fix for the issue. So please keep updating your iPhone to latest iOS release.