How to Create Custom Ringtones for iPhone

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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The first iPhone was released in 2007. However, Apple has not yet provided us with a quick way to use an audio file as a ringtone. In their defense, the available methods are quite simple and achieve the desired result. If you want to know how to make a ringtone for your iPhone, we have described the steps in the easiest way.

In this article, we will show you how to turn your favorite audio file into a ringtone, and we describe the steps to set specific ringtones for contacts and text messages. You will also learn how to purchase and download ringtones from iTunes.



How to change your ringtone?

  1. Launch the “Settings” app.
  2. Tap "Sounds and Haptics".
  3. Select the sound you want to change under "Sounds and vibration patterns".
  4. Tap a ringtone or alert to hear the sound, then set the one you like as a new ringtone.

Redownload ringtones purchased with your Apple ID

  1. Launch the “Settings” app.
  2. Tap "Sounds and Haptics".
  3. Click on any sound from "Sounds and vibration patterns".
  4. Click "Download all purchased sounds".

How do I make an audio file a ringtone on my iPhone?

To convert and use an audio file as a new ringtone, try the following on macOS or Windows:

  1. Install the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Select an audio file that is no longer than 40 seconds or iTunes won't copy it to your phone.
    • If the file is longer than 40 seconds and you want to use a section of it, you can use an audio editor to cut it to the part you want to use.
    • Your file must be in ACC format or .m4r extension before it can be used as a ringtone; proceed to step 9 if so. To convert your audio file to ACC format:
  3. Drag and drop the file to iTunes, then find it under "Library" > "Songs".
  4. Select the file then click "File" > "Convert" > "Create AAC version".
  5. You will now have two copies of the same audio file in your library; the original and the AAC version you just created. To differentiate between the two, in the library, right-click on the headers and select "Type" to activate the column.
  6. Right-click the one that says "MPEG Audio File" (MP3) to remove it from your library if you want.
    • To change the ACC file extension so that iTunes recognizes it as a ringtone:
  7. From the iTunes library, drag and drop the ACC file to your desktop.
  8. Change the file extension to .m4r.
  9. To transfer the file to your ringtone, connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using your USB cable.
  10. Unlock your iPhone. If this is your first time connecting your iPhone to your computer, you will be asked to confirm that your iPhone is trustworthy and then enter your iPhone PIN.
  11. Via iTunes, click the device icon displayed on the left side of the Library navigation bar.
  12. In the "My device" section on the left sidebar, select "Sounds".
  13. Drag and drop your .m4r file into the "Sounds" section of iTunes. Use copy-paste if drag-and-drop doesn't work.
    • The new ringtone will be synced to your phone and displayed under 'Ringtones'.
  14. To choose your new ringtone, launch the "Settings" application.
  15. Click on “Sounds and Haptics” > “Ringtone” then click on your personalized ringtone to set it as the default ringtone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although iOS devices have one of the simplest interfaces, some functions are not always easy to understand. If you still have questions about iPhone ringtones, keep reading.



How to make iPhone ringtones on PC?

The following steps are identical to the steps above. To convert one of your audio files into a ringtone for your iPhone, follow these steps:

1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC.

2. Select an audio file that is no longer than 40 seconds, otherwise iTunes won't copy it to your phone.

· If the file is longer than 40 seconds and you want to use a section of it, you can use an audio editor to cut it at the part you want to use.

· Your file must be in ACC format or .m4r extension before it can be used as a ringtone; proceed to step 9 if so. To convert your audio file to ACC format:

3. Drag and drop the file to iTunes, then find it under "Library" > "Songs."

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4. Select the file then click "File" > "Convert" > "Create AAC version".

5. You will now have two copies of the same audio file in your library; the original and the AAC version you just created. To differentiate between the two, in the library, right-click on the headers and select "Type" to activate the column.

6. Right-click the one that says "MPEG Audio File" (MP3) to remove it from your library if you want.

To change the extension of the ACC file so that iTunes recognizes it as a ringtone:


7. From the iTunes library, drag and drop the ACC file to your desktop.

8. Change the file extension to .m4r.


9. To transfer the file to your ringtone, connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using your USB cable.

10. Unlock your iPhone. If this is your first time connecting your iPhone to your computer, you will be asked to confirm that your iPhone is trustworthy and then enter your iPhone PIN.

11. Via iTunes, click the device icon displayed on the left side of the Library navigation bar.

12. In the "My Device" section on the left sidebar, select "Sounds." »


13. Drag and drop your .m4r file into the "Sounds" section of iTunes. Use copy-paste if the drag-and-drop method doesn't work.

· The new ringtone will be synced to your phone and displayed under 'Ringtones'.

14. To choose your new ringtone, launch the "Settings" application.

15. Click on “Sounds and Haptics” > “Ringtone” then click on your personalized ringtone to set it as the default ringtone.

How do I create my own iPhone ringtones for free?

Here's how to create a new ringtone through the Music app using macOS:

1. From the Mac dock, select the "Music" application.

2. Find the song you want to set as ringtone in your songs, albums, artists, playlists and genres. You cannot use Apple Music songs due to copyright.

3. On the downloaded song, right click.

4. Select "Get Info" > "Options".


5. Check the "Start and end time" boxes, then choose the start and end points for your ringtone. The total duration should not exceed 40 seconds.

6. Then press “OK”.

7. Select the song then click "File" on the Mac toolbar.

8. Select "Convert" > "Create AAC version".

9. Now drag the AAC version of the song to your desktop.

10. Right click on it then “Rename”.

11. Change its current .m4a extension to .m4r, then confirm the change in the pop-up dialog.

Save the ringtone to your iPhone

1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable. If this is your first time doing this, you will be asked if you want to trust the connection.

2. Then navigate to “Finder”.

3. Under 'Locations', select your phone.

4. Now drag the ringtone file into your iPhone sync window. It will now be available as a ringtone on your phone.

Set your new ringtone

1. Launch the “Settings” app.

2. Select "Sounds and Haptics".

3. Locate your audio file and click on it to set it as your new ringtone.

How do I set a text tone for a specific contact?

1. Launch the "Contacts" app, then find and click the person's name to open their contact card.

2. In the upper right corner, click on "Edit".

3. Select "Ringtone" or "Text Ringtone" to set a new sound.

How do I set an alert for text messages?

1. Launch the “Settings” app.

2. Navigate to "Sounds and Haptics" or "Sounds".

3. Click on “Text Tone” and then on one of the following:

"Vibration" then select an option,

A sound under "Alert Sounds", or

· “Tone Store” to get an iTunes alert tone.

Can you buy ringtones on iTunes?

To buy an iPhone ringtone from iTunes:

1. Launch the iTunes Store app.

2. Click on the three-dot horizontal menu.

3. Select "Sounds".

4. Find the ringtone you want then select the price.

5. Choose a ringtone to set automatically or select "Done" to decide later.

6. You may need to provide your Apple ID password to complete the purchase.

Original iPhone ringtones

While setting unique ringtones for incoming calls and SMS alerts isn't a quick process, luckily Apple still allows it. Using your own ringtone as opposed to the default "Opening" ringtone that everyone else uses can keep you from reaching for your phone every time someone else rings!

Now that you know how to make your own iPhone ringtone, have you made a ringtone exactly how you wanted? Have you received any compliments or comments on your ringtone? We'd love to hear about it, let us know in the comments section below.

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