How to Add Custom Ringtones to Your iPhone

iPhone incoming call.

The iPhone has been around for a long time, and yet there’s still no easy way to add your own custom ringtones, but it is possible. If you don’t want to buy ringtones or use the ones that came with your iPhone, you can make your own with iTunes.

This process has changed a bit with iTunes 12.7. The library “Tones” that you could previously sync to your iPhone has been removed, but you can still manually place ringtone files on your phone. All the ringtones you had stored in iTunes are now in C:UsersNAMEMusiciTunesiTunes MediaTones on a PC or ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Tones/ on a Mac.

Update: We had some problems with the version of iTunes downloaded from the Microsoft Store, but the version available for download from the Apple site worked perfectly. If you’re having trouble, try installing the version downloaded from Apple.

Step One: Get iTunes

You almost never need to use iTunes with a modern iPhone, but adding your own custom ringtones still does.

On a Windows PC, you will need to install the latest version of Apple iTunes. On a Mac, iTunes is already installed and ready to go. This process will work on a Mac or Windows PC.

Update: Apple no longer offers iTunes for macOS Catalina. Here’s how to get custom ringtones on your iPhone with the latest version of macOS. The instructions in this article still work if you’re using iTunes on Windows or if you have an older version of macOS that still has iTunes.

RELATED: How to Add Custom Ringtones to iPhone from macOS Catalina

Step two: choose an audio file

Of course, you will need an audio clip that you want to convert and use as a ringtone for this. You probably already have an idea of ​​what you want to use. if not, go ahead and find something you like. You can use absolutely any sound file you find.

Your ringtone file should be no longer than 40 seconds. iTunes will refuse to copy ringtones longer than 40 seconds to your phone.

If the file is long and you only want to use part of it, you can trim it to the desired part using an audio editor. You can use any audio editor you like. We like the free and open-source audio editor Audacity for audio editing, but it’s more complex than necessary for simple things like this. So we recommend a simple online tool like To use this website, click on the button “Open file” and find the MP3 or other type of audio file you want to edit. It can also extract audio from video files if you download them.

Click on "To open."

Select the part of the audio file you want to use and click the button “Record”.

Select the part of the audio file you want, then click "Save."

Download the edited clip to your PC by clicking again “Record”. This is the file you will need to import into iTunes.

Click on "Save."

Step Three: Convert MP3 to AAC

Chances are your sound file is in MP3 format. You will need to convert it to AAC format to use it as a ringtone. (If your sound file is already in AAC format or has an .m4r extension, you can skip this part.)

First, add the audio file to iTunes and locate it in your library. You can do this by dragging and dropping the file directly into the iTunes library. Look under Library > Songs for the after file.

Drag your audio file into itunes.

Select the audio file in iTunes and click File > Convert > Create AAC Version.

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You will end up with two copies of the same song file in your iTunes library: the original MP3 version and the new AAC version.

To keep track of who’s who, right-click the headers in the library and activate the column “Kind”.

Activate it "Kind" column, which allows you to sort files by file type.

You will see a new column “Kind” telling you which file is which. the “MPEG audio file” is the original MP3, while the “AAC audio file” is your new AAC file. You can right-click on the MPEG audio file version (i.e. the MP3) and remove it from your library if you wish.

Both AAC and MPEG versions are present.

You now have your ringtone file as an AAC file. However, you need to change its file extension for iTunes to recognize it as a ringtone file.

First, drag and drop the AAC file from iTunes library to your desktop or any other folder in your system.

Drag the AAC version of the file to your desktop or any other folder of your choice.

You will get the ringtone file as AAC file with .m4a file extension. If you don’t see an extension after the filename, you’ll need to enable file extensions. Right click on the file, click “rename” or press the rename button, and change the file extension to .m4r. For example, if the file is called Song.m4a, replace it with Song.m4r.

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Change the file extension to .m4r.

Step Five: Add the Ringtone File to Your Phone

Finally, connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac with its included USB to Lightning cable – it’s the same cable you use to charge your iPhone.

Unlock your iPhone and tap on the option “Trust” on its screen to confirm that you want to trust your computer if you haven’t already connected your phone to iTunes on this PC or Mac. You will be prompted to enter your PIN.

Faucet "Trust" then enter your device's PIN.

In iTunes, click the device icon that appears to the left of “Library” in the navigation bar.

Click on section “Tones” under On My Device in the left sidebar.

Go to the tones folder.

Drag and drop the .m4r ringtone file from its folder to the Tones section of iTunes.

Update: If drag and drop doesn’t work, use copy and paste instead. Select the ringtone file in File Explorer and press Ctrl+C, or right-click it and select Copy. Then click in the list of tones in iTunes and press Ctrl + V to paste it.

Update: This part seems to break with the Microsoft Store version of iTunes. If you can’t drag and drop or copy and paste the file into iTunes, try downloading and installing iTunes from Apple’s website instead. Scroll halfway down Apple’s page until you see “Looking for other versions?” then click “Windows”. Click on “To download” once the option appears.

Drag and drop (or copy and paste) the ringtone you created into the ringtones folder.

iTunes will sync the ringtone to your phone and it will immediately appear under Tones here.

The new ringtone should sync immediately.

Step Six: Choose Ringtone

You can now grab your iPhone and head to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone, and choose your custom ringtone. Any custom ringtones you’ve added will appear at the top of the list here.

Go to "Sound and Haptics," then touch "Alarm" and select the file you added.

RELATED: How to Give Your iPhone Contacts Special Ringtones and Vibration Alerts

You can also assign this ringtone to a specific contact, so you know who is calling just by the sound.

To delete ringtones, reconnect your phone to iTunes and return to On My Device > Ringtones. Right-click a tone and select “Delete from Library” to remove it from your device.

If you want to delete the ringtone, right click and click "Delete from library."

If you’re not running out of space, there’s really no need to delete the ringtones you add. You can have as many as you want!


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