Songs, custom tones and more

Apple is still catching up with Android in terms of smartphone customization, but there’s still plenty you can do on an iPhone, including of course setting custom ringtones. Learn how to change your ringtone on an iPhone, including adding custom songs and sounds.

Read more: What iOS does better than Android


You can choose from preset ringtones by going to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone. If you want to set special ones for individuals, like a partner or a best friend, use Contact details > [contact name] > Edit > Ringtone. Adding custom ringtones requires additional steps involving iTunes or the macOS Music app.


How to Change Your Ringtone on an iPhone

Over the years, Apple has built up a reasonably sized library of stock ringtones. You won’t find any famous songs or sound effects, but there is a mix of different loud and soft tones, which can be useful if you have trouble hearing incoming calls or find the default tone shaking. .

Here’s how to replace your general ringtone with whatever’s already loaded on your iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Press on Sounds and Hapticsthen Alarm.
  • Choose a ringtone. Each time you press one, you’ll hear a preview, so you can wear headphones or earphones if it’s going to disturb other people.

You can also set ringtones for individual phone numbers, for example if you want to know it’s your partner calling and not just a telemarketer. However, the steps are different:

  • Open the Contacts app and select the person you are looking for.
  • Faucet Editthen Alarm.
  • Choose a different ringtone from your general ringtone.

How to Add a Custom Sound and Set It as Your iPhone’s Ringtone

Use the iTunes Store

There are actually several ways to add custom sounds and music, but we’ll start with Apple’s favorite method: buying them from the iTunes Store.

  • On your iPhone, open the iTunes Store app.
  • Press the After (…) icon.
  • Select tones. Find a song or effect you want to use as a ringtone, then tap its price to buy it. Make sure you have a payment method linked to your Apple ID.
  • Once the download is complete, you will have three main options: Set as default ringtone, Set as default text toneWhere Assign to contact. You can also hit Do if you want to assign items later using normal ringtone selection.

Using iTunes for Windows or the macOS Music app

If you want to import a song or sound effect that you already have, there are few things you will need to do. First, you’ll need to cut it down to 30 seconds or less (using a copy of the file, not the original!) and convert it to M4R file format. Most free audio editing tools can handle trimming, but for MP3 to M4R conversion, try a website like Convertio.

Once you have prepared your M4R file, all you need to do is sync it to your iPhone via iTunes (on Windows) or Apple Music app (on macOS).

On Windows:

  • Open iTunes, then plug your iPhone into your PC’s USB port.
  • Click on your iPhone icon, which should be near the top menu bar.
  • In the On my device section of the sidebar, select tones.
  • Drag and drop your M4R file into the Tones panel.
  • Click on To sychronize (towards the bottom of iTunes) to make sure the file is copied.

On macOS:

  • Plug in your iPhone, then open the Music app.
  • Click on your iPhone when it appears in the sidebar menu.
  • Drag and drop your M4R file into Music.

Read more: How to Recover iPhone Data With or Without Backup


There have always been several options, but the most famous is Marimba, which debuted alongside the original iPhone in 2007. It’s no longer in the main ringtone list, but you can still choose it by going on Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone > Classic.

They should automatically appear above a gray line in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone. If not, press Download all purchased sounds in the same menu.

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