How do I add custom ringtones and Sounds to my Android phone?

Custom ringtones and notification sounds allow you to personalize your Android phone and make it your own. In the early 2000s, custom ringtones became incredibly popular, with the custom ringtone industry generating over $600 million in revenue in 2006 alone. While ringtones may not be quite as ubiquitous today, many Android users still enjoy setting custom sounds for their ringtones, notifications, alarms and more.

Adding custom sounds to your Android phone is a straightforward process that involves just a few simple steps. First, you’ll need to locate or create the custom sound files you want to use. Then, transfer these files onto your Android device. Next, use a file manager app to find the sounds and select them for different purposes like ringtones or notifications. Finally, go into your sound settings to set each custom sound.

This guide will walk through the full process step-by-step. With just a bit of effort, you can enjoy unique ringtones, alarm sounds, and notification tones that help make your Android your own. So read on to learn how to easily add custom sounds that give your phone more personality.

Locate Custom Ringtones and Sounds

There are a few different places you can find and download custom ringtones and sounds for your Android phone:

  • App stores like Google Play – Search for “ringtone” or “notification sounds” apps. Many apps like Ringo Ringtones offer thousands of free ringtones and sounds to download.
  • Sites like Zedge – Zedge has a huge collection of free ringtones, notification sounds, alarm sounds, and more to download to your phone. Browse by category or search for specific sounds.
  • YouTube – Search for “notification sound” or “ringtone download” on YouTube. Many channels provide free sound downloads in video descriptions.
  • Online audio libraries – Sites like offer royalty-free sounds to download.
  • Create your own – Use audio editing software to cut your favorite song sections into ringtones or record custom notification sounds.

The key is finding sources that allow free downloads of high quality MP3, M4R, or other audio files that you can add to your Android phone. Avoid sites that seem spammy or want you to pay. Stick to reputable apps and sites.

Transfer Files to Your Phone

Before you can set custom ringtones, notification sounds, or alarm sounds, you’ll first need to get the audio files onto your Android device. There are a few different ways to transfer files from your computer to your Android phone.

One option is to connect your phone directly to your computer using a USB cable. This allows you to access your phone’s storage as if it were an external drive and copy files over. Just plug your phone into your computer, allow USB access on the phone, and copy the audio files into a folder like Music or Ringtones on the Android device.

You can also transfer files wirelessly over Wi-Fi. Apps like AirDroid allow you to access your phone’s storage and transfer files without any cables. Enable Wi-Fi on both devices, connect them to the same network, and use the app’s file manager to copy files from your computer to specific folders on the Android device.

Use a File Manager App

A file manager app provides an easy way to transfer ringtone and sound files onto your Android device. Popular file manager apps include Files and File Commander. These apps allow you to access and manage files on both your phone’s internal storage and external SD card.

To use a file manager app to add custom ringtones and sounds:

  1. Install a file manager app like Files or File Commander from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the app and navigate to where your custom sound files are located, usually your phone’s Downloads folder or SD card.
  3. Select the sound files you want to use as ringtones or notifications.
  4. Copy or move the files to the Ringtones or Notifications folder on your phone’s internal storage. The app will prompt you to do this if you try assigning a sound that’s not in those folders.
  5. You can now set the copied sound files as ringtones or notifications in your phone’s Settings.

File manager apps provide an organized and efficient way to manage your media files. Their file browsing and transfer capabilities make it easy to copy custom sounds to the appropriate folder on your Android device.

Set Custom Ringtone

One of the easiest ways to set a custom ringtone on your Android phone is through the default Settings app.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Tap on Sound.
  3. Under Device ringtone, tap on Phone ringtone.
  4. This will open up a list of ringtones available on your phone. Tap on the one you want to set as the default.
  5. Alternatively, tap on Add ringtone at the bottom to select a custom audio file like an MP3 as your new ringtone.
  6. Navigate to the audio file, select it, and tap OK to set it as the new ringtone.

The selected ringtone will now play for all incoming calls. You can follow the same steps to change other default ringtones, like for notifications or alarms.


Set Custom Notification Sounds

To set a custom sound for your notification alerts:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap on Sound & vibration or Sound.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Advanced.
  4. Tap on Notification Sound.
  5. This will open the menu where you can select notification sounds.
  6. Tap on the sound file you want to set as the new notification sound.
  7. A preview of the sound will play.
  8. Tap OK to confirm the new notification sound.

The selected sound will now be set as the default notification sound on your Android phone. You can repeat these steps to change the notification sound again at any time.

Set Custom Alarm Sounds

To set a custom alarm sound on your Android device, first open the Clock app. Tap on the “Alarm” tab at the top, and then tap on the existing alarm you want to customize. On the alarm editing screen, tap on the “Alarm Sound” option.

This will open up a menu showing different sounds to choose from. To select a custom sound, tap on the “Add” or “+” icon at the top of the menu. This will let you browse and select audio files stored on your device like MP3s or ringtones you downloaded. Navigate to the custom sound file you want and select it.

The sound will now be set as the alarm ringtone. You can follow these same steps to set any custom sound as the alarm for a new alarm as well. Just tap the “Add alarm” button on the Alarm screen, and choose your custom sound when editing the new alarm before saving it. Refer to this guide for more details on customizing Android alarm sounds.


If you are unable to set a custom ringtone, notification sound, or alarm on your Android phone, there are a few troubleshooting tips to try:

Make sure the audio file is in a supported format like MP3, WAV, or M4R. Other formats like AAC may not work.1 Android is finicky with audio formats, so try converting to MP3 if you are having issues.

Check that the file was properly transferred to your phone’s internal storage or SD card. You may need to use a file manager app to find the file and confirm it copied correctly.

Double check that you assigned the sound correctly in the phone’s settings. Go back through the steps to set a custom sound and ensure you selected the right file.

Make sure the sound file is not DRM protected. Files with digital rights management will not work as ringtones.

Try rebooting your phone if sounds are not setting properly. This can clear any glitches.

For contact-specific custom ringtones, confirm the contact has a ringtone assigned and it is not set to the default ringtone.

As a last resort, try deleting the sound file from your phone and re-transferring it. Corrupted transfers can sometimes cause issues.

Using Third-Party Apps

While most Android phones allow you to add custom ringtones and sounds without needing separate apps, there are some third-party apps that can simplify the process or add extra options:

10 Best Ringtone Maker Apps – Apps like Ringtone Maker, Ringtone Designer Pro, and Zedge make it easy to quickly create ringtones and sounds right on your phone.

10 Best Ringtone Apps – Get access to libraries of ringtones and notification sounds that you can easily download. Popular options include Zedge and Audiko.

These apps provide large databases of sounds, editing tools, or one touch creation of ringtones from songs. While not always necessary, they can streamline adding customization to an Android phone.


In summary, the process for adding custom ringtones and sounds to an Android phone involves locating or creating the audio files, transferring them to your device using a USB cable or cloud storage service, using a file manager app to find the files, and then setting them as ringtones, notifications or alarm tones within your phone’s Settings.

The key steps are:

  • Obtaining the audio files, either by creating your own using an app or downloading existing files.
  • Moving the files onto your Android device using a USB connection or cloud storage.
  • Using a file manager to access the audio files.
  • Going into Sounds settings and selecting the files as ringtones, notifications or alarms.

Following this process allows full customization of all the audible alerts on your Android. With the right audio files and apps, you can personalize your phone’s sounds to your liking.

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