How to Set a Custom Ringtone on iPhone?

Tired of hearing that same old generic ringtone from your iPhone every time you get a call? Or do you just want to set a unique and distinct ringtone for each of your friends and family🎶? This guide shows you 2 Ways of how to set a custom ringtone on your iPhone.

Needless to say, Apple doesn’t make it easy for you and me to set personalized custom ringtones for ourselves. That being said, we’re restricted to using the limited number of free ringtones Apple provides us. At some point, you’ll get bored of listening to the same ones. Besides that, the only other options for a premium or custom ringtone, are the ones that Apple offers at the Tones Store.

However, not everyone may be ready to shell out a few bucks on short 30-second long ringtones. Especially if you want to get multiple ringtones or are keen on trying the latest hits as your ringtone. The cost accumulates, and you can end up paying a little too much.

Therefore, why not opt to craft your own unique ringtones? You’ll not only save cash but also get to edit the ringtones according to your liking.  

On that account, fret not, because you have arrived at the right place. By following the steps highlighted in this straightforward guide, you can easily turn that beloved earworm into your next iPhone ringtone. Furthermore, the best part is, once you get the hang of it, you can just repeat the steps to create multiple new ringtones without a hassle.

If that seems interesting to you, let’s get right into it.

 


Table of contents

  1. Setting Custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes(PC REQUIRED)
  2. Setting Custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband(NO PC REQUIRED)

Method 1: Setting a custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes.(PC REQUIRED)

As stated in the title above, for this method to work, you’ll need a PC with iTunes installed to sync the songs onto your iPhone as ringtones. If you don’t have a PC with you, no worries, you can just skip ahead to Method 2 that only requires your iPhone and the Garageband app, plus, it’s just as straightforward to follow.

If your PC runs Windows, you can download and install the latest version of iTunes from the Microsoft Store. On the other hand, Mac users will need to use the Finder application. 

How to set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes?

 

Downloading a Music File or MP3 File on your PC.

Before getting started, you’ll first need to find a song that you would like to set as your ringtone. This can either already be present in your iTunes library, or you can find a new one through a simple Google search. You just need to type in the name of the track you want, then, followed by mp3.

For this example, we searched the term, “copyright free music mp3”, then found a song from Bensound, which was the first site that popped up and seemed legit. 

Download iPhone ringtone online

 

Disclaimer, we are in no way affiliated or sponsored by Bensound, so download at your discretion. 

On that note, always be cautious when downloading a music file online and only download from legit and trusted sites. Hence, try to stay away from sketchy-looking sites that could potentially lead you to download a malicious virus onto your PC. We would advise conducting a quick scan with an antivirus software after downloading just to be safe.

Or

If there’s a song on Youtube you would like as your ringtone instead, you can download it by:

  1. Heading over to the video on Youtube, then copy the URL of the video.
  2. After that, go to the y2mate.com website and paste the URL in the box. Convert Youtube video to MP3

 

  1. Then under MP3, choose the quality of the song file you would like to download.
  2. Next, click the Download button and then the Download .mp3 button. 

The beauty of this is, you can use this simple method to download any song on Youtube that you desire, and set it as your ringtone, so feel free to give it a try.

 

Steps to Set a Custom Ringtone for Your iPhone using iTunes.

Now that you have a song in the mp3 format, you’ll need to prepare it in iTunes, so that you can sync it to your iPhone as a ringtone. 

  1. Firstly, open the iTunes application on your PC.
  2. From the left sidebar click on Songs, then you’ll need to add the song you downloaded earlier to the library. You can do this either by dragging the file from the Downloads folder to the library.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Or

Select File, then in the drop-down menu, choose “Add File to Library…”, click on the file and click Open.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. You’ll need to snip the song that you wish to set as your ringtone. So right-click on the song, then click Song Info, then on the top bar click Options

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Preferably set the time interval between start and stop at 30-seconds, whether it’s at the beginning of the song or somewhere in the middle. Then click OK at the bottom.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Make sure the song is still selected, and then click the “File” menu. Then click “Convert” and “Create AAC version”. Now, you should see two versions of the track in the iTunes library which is the original and a 30-second version, which is in the AAC format as opposed to the MP3.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. You can right-click the headings and select Kind to differentiate the AAC files from the MP3 files.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Then, if you want you can proceed to remove the original unedited mp3 file by right-clicking the music file and selecting Delete from Library.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. After that, you’ll need to change the extension of the file from .m4a to .m4r so that iTunes recognizes the music file as a ringtone. For this, drag and drop the file from the iTunes library to your desktop or into any folders of your choice. 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Or 

right-click the music file in the library and select Show in Windows Explorer. (If you’re on macOS it’ll be Show in Finder)

Custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. The music file will have a .m4a extension that you’ll need to change to .m4r, which you can do simply by renaming the file. To do this, just right-click the file and select Rename. However, if the file does not end with any extension, its because your windows hides the extensions by default. To show the extension of the file:
  • From your File Explorer window, in the top bar select View, and check the box to the left of File name extensions.Set custom ringtone for iPhone with iTunes

 

  1. After that, you should be able to see the file extension of the music file as .m4a. Proceed to rename the file extension from .m4a to .m4r.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone with iTunes

 

You may receive a warning message stating that the file might become unusable as a result of this, just click Yes at the prompt.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Just like that, you’ve successfully created the ringtone, and all there is left is to export the ringtone to your iPhone. Only a few more steps to go!

  1. Next, connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac with a lightning cable, then open iTunes. If this is your first time connecting your iPhone to iTunes, you’ll get a message on your PC asking to allow the computer to access information on your iPhone. Click “Continue” on the prompt.

Syncing iPhone with iTunes 

  1. Subsequently, you’ll be prompted with the message “Trust this Computer?” on your iPhone, hence tap “Trust” on the prompt. You may need to key in your iPhone’s passcode to trust the PC.  After that, you just have to wait a couple of minutes for your iPhone to sync with iTunes.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Click the phone icon at the upper left corner of the page to access your iPhone’s information.

Syncing iPhone with iTunes

 

  1. By default, you should be on the Summary page, if not, just click on it at the left sidebar. Following that, in the Options section, check the box near “Manually manage your music and videos” by clicking on it. Afterwards, click Sync at the bottom right corner.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Next, under the On My Device category, at the left sidebar, click on Tones.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

  1. Then, drag the song file with the .m4r extension to the Tones library. Subsequently, the ringtone will be automatically synced to your iPhone. Then, just click Done.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using iTunes

 

Feel free to delete the AAC file from earlier in your music libraries if you want to declutter and keep your library clean, as the AAC file won’t play.

After all that’s done, you can disconnect your iPhone from your PC, as the remaining steps will be on your iPhone.

 

  1. Now all that’s left to do is to set the song as your ringtone. To do this, open the Settings app, go to Sounds, tap Ringtone, and simply select the newly-downloaded song from the list.

change iPhone ringtone

 

You can even make the song as your Text Tone, Alerts, or other sounds just by going to the Settings app, then Sounds, and you should be able to see the song under Ringtones.

 

Method 2: Setting a Custom Ringtone for iPhone using Garageband (NO PC REQUIRED)

In my opinion, this is the fastest method for you to set a personalized ringtone for your iPhone as you only need your phone for it to work. Plus, none of the steps requires you to jailbreak or root your phone. 

 

Getting Started

Preferably, your iPhone should be running IOS 13 or a newer OS version, as the new Safari app comes built-in with a downloads manager add-on. Nonetheless, if your iPhone is running IOS 12 or older firmware, we would suggest updating to a newer OS version. Otherwise, instead of using the Safari to download song files, use an alternative web browser app from the app store that comes with a downloads manager such as Opera or Dolphin.

You’ll also need the Garageband app, which is by Apple, and usually comes preloaded with your iPhone. If not, no worries, you can always find it in the app store as a free download.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

Downloading a Music or MP3 file on Your iPhone.

Just like in the previous method, you will first have to download a song of your choice that you wish to set as a ringtone. To do this, just go on the Safari app, search the name of a song followed by “mp3”, and download from any trustworthy and non-sketchy sites.

However, for this example, we went with the second method described in Method 1, and that is to download a song from Youtube. To do this:

  1. Open the Safari app and go to Youtube
  2. Search for the video of your choice, which has the audio which you would want to set as your ringtone.

Download youtube video as mp3

 

  1. Then, copy the URL of the Youtube Video.

Download youtube video as mp3

 

  1. Next, head over to the y2mate.com website, and paste the URL of the video into the box.

Download youtube video as mp3

 

  1. Automatically, you’ll see the title and preview of the video. Under mp3, choose the quality of the music file you want, for instance, we chose 128kbps, then select Download.

Download music from YouTube

 

  1. Following that, tap on Download .mp3 at the pop-up, then you’ll be prompted with a message asking, “Do you want to download… ?”, hence tap on Download at the prompt.

Download music from YouTube

 

  1. You can access and view your downloads by tapping on the downwards arrow icon at the top-right corner of the screen, which is the downloads manager. From here, you can see that your downloaded music is stored in the Downloads folder. 

Download music from YouTube

 

Steps to Set a Custom Ringtone for Your iPhone with Garageband.

After downloading the song or MP3 file, 

  1. Launch the Garageband app. Swipe left till you reach the AUDIO RECORDER page and tap on that page. Then tap on OK at the following prompt.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Next, tap on the grid icon at the upper-left corner, which brings you to a page where you can edit your music file into your desired ringtone.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. When you reach this page, we suggest tapping on the metronome icon at the top, disabling it, as it can be an interference during the editing process.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Following that, tap on the loop icon at the upper right corner. Then, select Files on the top header, since you downloaded the music file from Safari. After that, tap “Browse items from the Files app” and tap on the music file to select it. 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. After several seconds, the song should appear in this list, then tap and drag the file onto the timeline.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Subsequently, tap on the small + icon at the upper right corner, and tap the Section A tab. 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Afterwards, under Manual, change the section length to 30 bars or seconds. This is because 30 seconds is the longest time period allowed for a ringtone.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Then, you can return to the timeline and feel free to edit the track. For instance, you can tap on the track, and select Trim, to choose which segment you would want as your ringtone. If you want to preview the song, just tap the play button on top.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. After you’re done editing, it’s time to export the song as a ringtone. You can do this by tapping the downwards arrow at the upper left corner, followed by My Songs.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone with Garageband

 

  1. Here, you can see your projects, including the ringtone you were editing. By default, the track will be named My Song, hence we would suggest renaming it to something easier to identify. For this, just long-press the music file,  select Rename, type in the name of your choice, and then tap Done.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

Set custom ringtone for iPhone with Garageband

 

  1. After that, long-press the file again, select Share, and select Ringtone

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

You may receive a message stating that, the “ringtone length needs to be adjusted” so tap Continue at the prompt.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. When you reach this page, if you wish, you can rename the ringtone again. If not, proceed to tap on Export at the upper right corner. It will only take about a minute to export the ringtone.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

  1. Following that, you should be prompted with a message stating that the “Ringtone Export was Successful”, and by tapping on the “Use sound as…” button, you can straightaway set the song as your ringtone, text tone, or even assign it to a particular contact.

Set custom ringtone for iPhone using Garageband

 

Otherwise, you can always set the song as your ringtone, by going to the Settings app, tapping on Sounds, then tapping on Ringtone. You should be able to see the new ringtone on that list.

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, you can choose to follow either one of the methods provided in this guide, depending on the one you feel the most comfortable with or seems easiest. 

With that, you can even take it a step further, by repeating the steps to create multiple new ringtones and even set a distinctive one for each of your contacts. To do this, just open your Contacts, go to the particular name, tap Edit at the upper right corner, then tap Ringtone, and choose one from the list. It’s that simple.

Through this, you can personalize your iPhone, hence making it stand out amongst the millions of other iPhones out there, that have an identical and generic ringtone. Lastly, if you end up setting a straight fire ringtone 🔥, don’t get too carried away jamming to your ringtone and do remember to answer the DAMN PHONE.

 

We sincerely hope that you learned something new through reading this guide. Do share this with someone whom you think needs a new ringtone😁.

Written by Saurabh Kovoor

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