How do I add sound to a contact?

One of the many ways to personalize your iPhone is to assign custom ringtones to individual contacts. This allows you to identify who is calling without even looking at your phone. By default, the iPhone comes with a set of ringtones that can be assigned to contacts. However, you can also add custom ringtones that are uniquely suited to your contacts. The process involves obtaining an audio file, converting it to an m4r ringtone format, adding it to iTunes, syncing your iPhone, and finally assigning the custom ringtone to a contact. With just a few steps, you can set any sound, song, or audio clip as the ringtone for incoming calls on your iPhone.

Locate Custom Ringtones

There are many websites where you can find and download custom ringtones for free to use on your iPhone. Some top sites include:

  • Zedge – Zedge has a huge selection of free ringtones in every genre that you can download. They also offer wallpapers, notification sounds, and more.
  • Freetone – Freetone provides thousands of high-quality ringtones sorted into categories like movies, TV shows, video games, and more. Easy to browse and download.
  • Audiko – Audiko has a simple interface that lets you quickly find ringtones for any song or artist. Tons of options.

You can also make your own custom ringtones by clipping parts of songs in an audio editing program. Make sure the file is in .m4r format for compatibility with iPhone.

Add Ringtones to iTunes

To add custom ringtones to your iPhone using iTunes, you will first need to add the ringtone files to your iTunes library on your computer. Here are the steps:

1. Open iTunes on your Windows or Mac computer. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the USB cable.

2. In iTunes, click on the iPhone icon in the top left corner. This will show you the content synced to your iPhone.

3. In the left sidebar, click on Tones under Library. This will open the Tones section where you can add ringtones.

4. Locate the ringtone files on your computer that you want to add. These need to be in .m4r audio format. Drag and drop the ringtone files into the Tones section in iTunes.

5. The ringtone files will now be added to your iTunes Tones library. You can now sync these ringtones to your iPhone.

For more details, refer to this guide:

Sync iPhone with iTunes

To transfer custom ringtones from your computer to your iPhone using iTunes, you first need to connect the two devices. The easiest way is to use the included USB cable that came with your iPhone.

Plug the USB end into an open USB port on your computer and plug the other end into your iPhone. If you don’t have the USB cable, you can also sync over Wi-Fi by selecting your iPhone in iTunes and clicking “Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi” in the summary page.

Once your iPhone is connected to your computer and detected by iTunes, select it under the list of devices in iTunes. In the summary page for your iPhone, make sure the option “Sync tones” is checked. This ensures any custom ringtones you’ve added will be copied over to your iPhone when you sync.

Finally, click the “Sync” or “Apply” button in the bottom right corner to start the sync process. iTunes will copy the custom ringtones from your iTunes media folder over to your iPhone. Once completed, you’ll be able to assign these newly synced ringtones to your iPhone contacts.

For more detailed instructions, refer to Apple’s guide on using iTunes to sync your iPhone.

Assign Ringtone to Contact

To assign a custom ringtone to a specific contact on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact you want to assign a custom ringtone to.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Ringtone.
  4. Select the ringtone you want to assign to the contact. This can be one of the default ringtones or a custom ringtone you’ve added.
  5. Tap Done in the upper right corner once you’ve selected the ringtone.

The custom ringtone is now assigned to that contact. Whenever you receive a call or text from that contact, your iPhone will play the ringtone you selected instead of your default. This lets you customize your alert tones for specific people.


Set Default Ringtone

You can set a default ringtone that will be automatically assigned to all new contacts added to your iPhone. Here’s how:

Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone. This will display a list of the ringtones available on your iPhone. Scroll through the list and tap on the ringtone you want to set as the default for new contacts.

The ringtone you select will now be used for all new contacts added to your Phone, Favorites, and Contacts apps. If you want to override the default and assign a custom ringtone for specific contacts, you can do that on an individual basis (see next section). But the ringtone chosen in Sounds settings will serve as the default.

This makes it easy to ensure a consistent ringtone across your new contacts without having to manually select a sound for each new entry. And if you later decide to change the default, you can just return to the Ringtone settings and tap on a new one.

For more details on choosing ringtones, see Apple’s support article: Select ringtones and vibrations on iPhone

Use Existing Ringtones

The iPhone comes preloaded with a variety of ringtones that you can assign to your contacts without needing to add custom sounds. Here are the steps to use the default ringtones on your iPhone:

1. Open the Phone app and tap on the Contacts tab at the bottom. Select the contact you want to assign a ringtone to.

2. Tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.

3. Under Ringtone, tap the sound option. This will open up your list of iPhone ringtones.

4. Scroll through and select the ringtone you want to use for that contact. You’ll hear a preview of each ringtone when you tap on it.

5. Once you’ve selected the desired ringtone, tap Done in the upper right corner.

The chosen ringtone is now assigned to that contact. Whenever you receive a call or text from that person, your iPhone will play the unique ringtone you selected.

The default set of ringtones included with the iPhone contains a wide variety of sounds, from classic rings to musical ditties. Feel free to browse the list of options and mix and match ringtones across your different contacts.

This approach allows you to personalize the ringtones for your important contacts without needing to import or purchase any custom sounds.


If you are having issues getting a custom ringtone to work for a specific contact, here are some troubleshooting tips:

First, make sure the ringtone file is in the correct format – it needs to be an AAC file with the .m4r extension. Other formats like MP3 won’t work. If needed, convert the file to the proper format using a tool like iTunes.

Double check that the ringtone was added properly in iTunes and is showing up in the ringtones list. If not, try adding it again.

After syncing with iTunes, go into the Sounds settings on your iPhone and confirm the new ringtone is now available in your list of ringtones. If you don’t see it, try syncing again.

Make sure the ringtone is only assigned to one contact. iOS doesn’t allow the same custom ringtone to be set for multiple contacts.

Check that the ringtone volume on your iPhone isn’t muted. And confirm the phone ringer is on, not just vibrate.

Try toggling the ringtone assignment off and back on for the contact. Sometimes refreshing it will make it work properly.

As a last resort, restart your iPhone. That can clear up any glitches that are preventing the custom ringtone from working correctly.

If none of those steps fix it, you may need to delete the ringtone from iTunes and your iPhone and start the process over again. But following this troubleshooting guide should solve most custom ringtone issues.

Other Custom Sounds

In addition to custom ringtones, you can also set custom sounds for text tones, alarm clocks, and more on your iPhone. Here’s how:

Custom Text Tones

To set a custom sound for text message alerts from a specific contact:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap Text Tone.
  4. Select Add New Text Tone at the top.
  5. Choose a short audio file to use from your iPhone’s internal storage or iCloud Drive.
  6. Tap Save in the upper-right corner.

Now when that contact texts you, your iPhone will use the custom sound instead of the default. You can repeat these steps to set unique text tones for other contacts.

Custom Alarm Sounds

You can make any song, audio file, or recording into a custom alarm sound:

  1. Open the Clock app and select an existing alarm.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap Sound.
  4. Choose Pick a Song to select music from your library or Pick a Sound to use another audio file.
  5. Find the desired sound and tap it.
  6. Tap Save in the upper-right corner.

The custom sound will now play for that alarm. Repeat for your other alarms.

Using custom sounds can make your iPhone feel more personal. Experiment with different audio files until you find the perfect tones for your text messages, alarms, and notifications.


In summary, there are a few key steps to adding a custom ringtone to a contact on an iPhone:

  1. Locate or create the custom ringtone audio file you want to use.

  2. Add the ringtone file to your iTunes library on your computer.

  3. Sync your iPhone with iTunes to transfer the new ringtone file to your iPhone.

  4. Open Contacts on your iPhone, select the contact, and assign the new ringtone to it.

Following these main steps allows you to set any audio file as a custom ringtone for individual contacts on your iPhone. Just make sure the audio file is in a compatible format and not too long. With a properly formatted audio file added to iTunes and synced, you can easily assign it as a custom ringtone to stand out when that contact calls you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *