How do I add music to my phone ringtone?

This article will provide a complete guide on how to add custom music or audio files as ringtones on your mobile phone. We’ll cover the reasons why you may want to set a custom ringtone, the steps for transferring song files onto your phone and setting them as ringtones, troubleshooting advice, and additional customization options like notification tones or app options.

Having a customized ringtone can provide many benefits (source), such as helping you quickly identify callers without looking at your phone, allowing you to express your personality, maintaining a better work-life balance by assigning unique ringtones to important contacts, and even improving safety when driving by enabling you to recognize callers hands-free. By the end of this guide you’ll have the knowledge to personalize your mobile phone’s sounds to suit your preferences.

Check if Your Phone Supports Custom Ringtones

To determine if custom ringtones are supported on your phone, you need to check your phone’s settings. Here is how to check on both Android and iPhone:

On Android phones, go to “Settings” and then tap on “Sounds & Vibration” or “Sounds & notifications” depending on your phone model. Look for an option like “Ringtones” or “Ringtone”. If you can select “Add” or “Use custom” for ringtones, then your Android phone supports custom ringtone files.

On the iPhone, custom ringtones have been supported since the iPhone 3GS. Go to your “Settings” app, then tap on “Sounds & Haptics”. Scroll down and tap “Ringtone”. If there is an option to select “Tone Store” or “Add New Tone”, your iPhone supports custom ringtone files.

On older iPhones, the settings path may be slightly different, but there will be a “Ringtones” section in your main settings where you can see if custom tones are supported. Newer Samsung Galaxy phones with OneUI will also have custom ringtone options in Sounds and Vibration settings.

Choose the Song You Want

The first step in creating a custom ringtone is choosing the song you want to use. You have a couple options:

1. Use a song you already have on your computer. Any song saved as an MP3 file on your device or laptop will work. Just make sure the file is less than 40 seconds long (or trim it using editing software). You can usually find MP3s on your computer in your Music or Downloads folder.

2. Purchase the song from an online store like iTunes or Amazon Music. You could search for your favorite song or artist directly on the store website. This gives you access to millions of songs, but will require you to pay a small fee per song (usually $1-2).

Once you have your song file, you want to trim it to 40 seconds or less if necessary. Software tools like Music Editor: Ringtone & MP3 make trimming and editing MP3 song files very easy. There are also cutting apps like the one from MP3 Cutter & Ringtone Maker that are specifically designed for ringtones.

With an optimized ringtone-length MP3 song file, you’re ready to transfer it to your phone and set it as your custom ringtone.

Transfer the Song File to Your Phone

Once you have selected the song you want for your ringtone, you will need to transfer the audio file to your phone. There are a couple ways to do this:

1. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. Open your music library or file manager on the computer and locate the song file. Drag the file into your phone folder to copy it over. For iPhones, you can use iTunes and sync the song file to transfer it.

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2. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can download the song file directly on your phone. Use an app like SHAREit to send the file from another phone, or download it from a music streaming service you subscribe to.

Once the song file is transferred and shows up in your phone’s music library or file manager app, you are ready to set it as your custom ringtone.

Set the Song as Your Ringtone

Once you have transferred the song file to your phone, you can set it as your default ringtone or assign it to specific contacts. Here are the steps:

For iPhones:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Sounds & Haptics.
  2. Under Ringtone, tap the song file you want set as your ringtone.
  3. Tap Back in the top left corner when done.

To assign the ringtone to a specific contact on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  3. Under Ringtone, tap the song file you want to set as that contact’s ringtone.
  4. Tap Done when finished.

For Android phones:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Sound or Sounds and vibration.
  2. Tap Phone ringtone.
  3. Select the song file you want to set as your ringtone.
  4. Tap OK to confirm.

To set a custom ringtone for a specific contact on Android:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three vertical dots) and choose Set ringtone.
  3. Select the song file you want as that contact’s ringtone.
  4. Tap OK to confirm.

Troubleshoot Issues

Setting custom ringtones can sometimes run into issues. Here are solutions to some of the most common problems:

File Format Errors
If you get errors related to an unsupported file format when trying to set a custom ringtone, check the audio file format. Ringtones usually need to be saved as .m4r on iPhones and .mp3 or .ogg files on Android. Try converting the song file to the appropriate format for your phone before applying it as a ringtone. There are free online audio file converters you can use.

Ringtone Not Appearing
After transferring a custom ringtone to your phone, if it does not show up in the sound or ringtone selection menus, try restarting your phone and checking again. There may also be a spot in the sound settings to refresh or rescan ringtones if your device can’t find newly added files. Failing that, you may need to re-import the file.

Silent Mode Issues
Check to make sure silent or vibrate modes are not enabled on your phone if your custom ringtone is not playing for incoming calls. Slide the ring/silent switch to ring mode. Also, ensure that ringing is enabled for that specific contact if you only set a custom tone for one entry.

Corrupted Ringtone Files
In rare cases, the ringtone file itself gets corrupted in transfer. Try re-making it and importing again. Avoid interruptions when transferring the ringtone and use a high quality computer connection.

Customize Notification Tones

In addition to ringtones, you can also customize the notification sounds for texts, emails, calendar alerts, and more on your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Sounds & Haptics.
  2. Under System Sounds, tap on the sound type you want to change, such as New Mail or Sent Mail.
  3. You’ll see a list of available tones. Tap on the one you want to set.
  4. You can use the same custom audio files for notification tones as you can for ringtones. Just transfer the files to your iPhone and they will be available in this section to select.

So if you want your text message alerts to play a specific song or sound effect, just add the file to your iPhone and choose it as your Text Tone. You can set different notification sounds for your most frequent contacts too, allowing you to identify who is contacting you without even looking at your phone.

Apps for Creating Ringtones

There are several apps that can help streamline the process of creating custom ringtones for your phone. Two top options include:

Ringtones Maker – the ring app: This iOS app simplifies cutting song files and converting them into m4r ringtones for iPhones. It provides editing tools to trim audio clips and has preloaded ringtones and notification sounds.

Ringtone Maker: For Android users, Ringtone Maker allows selecting music files from your device and converting them into ringtones via an intuitive interface. It also lets you create notification and alarm tones.

These apps eliminate the need to use separate audio editing software or navigate complex settings on your phone. They provide user-friendly tools tailored for ringtone creation so you can quickly customize sounds with just a few taps.

Creative Uses for Custom Ringtones

A custom ringtone is a great opportunity to express your personality and put a smile on your face every time your phone rings. Instead of settling for the default ringtones, here are some creative ideas you can try:

Joke Ringtones

Comedic ringtones are a fun way to make people laugh when you get a call. You can use funny sound clips from movies, TV shows, viral videos, or audio recording apps to mock yourself or poke fun at the caller. For example, set the “And I oop!” meme from Drag Race as your sister’s custom tone.

Branded Ringtones

Show your fandom by setting a short audio clip from a movie, TV show, band, or video game as your ringtone. This branded tone will display your passion whenever your phone rings. From a lightsaber sound effect for Star Wars to the iconic Law & Order clang, let your interests shine.

Sound Effects

Ringtones don’t have to be music – explore unique sound effects. Record yourself beatboxing or use app to generate quirky noises. Set an airhorn blast for your loud friend or use a honking goose as your partner’s tone. Get creative with sounds that will make you and others laugh.


Adding a custom ringtone to your phone is a great way to personalize your device and make it feel more your own. To make this process easy, follow these key steps:

  • Verify your phone model supports custom ringtones and notification tones.
  • Pick a song or audio clip you want to use from your personal library.
  • Transfer the audio file to your phone’s internal storage or SD card.
  • Use your phone’s Settings app to set the transferred audio file as your default ringtone or a custom tone for alerts and notifications.
  • Test that the custom tone works and troubleshoot any issues like incorrect file format.

Having a personalized ringtone allows you to express your personality every time your phone rings. It helps your device stand out from everyone else’s. The ability to customize notification tones also lets you assign unique sounds for texts, emails, reminders and more. So go ahead and make your phone your own with a custom ringtone that you enjoy!

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