How do I get custom notification sounds on Android?

Notification sounds are the audio clips that play when you receive alerts on your Android device. By default, Android comes with a standard set of notification tones such as “Pixie Dust” and “Crystal”. While these default sounds work fine, many users enjoy customizing their notification sounds to make their device feel more personal.

Setting custom notification tones allows you to assign unique sounds for different apps or contacts. For example, you could set a fun sound for text messages from a friend or a more urgent sound for work emails. Custom sounds also help with accessibility, allowing you to choose audio that is easier for you to hear.

Overall, customizing your notification sounds on Android is an easy way to add personality and usefulness to your alerts. This guide will walk through how to locate, download, and set custom sounds so you can customize your Android experience.

Locate Custom Notification Sound Files

There are many reputable websites where you can find and download custom notification sounds for free. Some top options include:

Freesound – This collaborative database has thousands of free sounds uploaded by its community. You can search or browse to find notification sounds like ringtones, alarms, dings, etc.

Zedge – Zedge offers a huge selection of free ringtones, notification tones, alarm sounds, and more for Android devices. They have both original sounds and clips from TV, movies, and games.

NotificationSounds – As the name suggests, this site specializes in notification sounds for multiple platforms. They have categories like message, SMS, email, call, and custom sounds.

There are also apps like Notification Sounds and Ringo Ringtones with libraries of free notification tones you can browse and download.

Download Custom Sound Files

There are many websites where you can download notification sound files to use on your Android device. Some popular sites include Zedge, Freesound, and SoundJay. When choosing sound files, opt for short audio clips that are 5 seconds or less. The most commonly supported file formats on Android are MP3, M4A, WAV, and OGG.

Here are some tips for downloading the best notification sounds:

  • Search for “notification sounds” or “ringtones” on sites like Zedge to find relevant audio clips.
  • Choose files that are under 30 seconds long so they work well for notifications.
  • Stick to common formats like MP3 and M4A that have smaller file sizes.
  • Pick WAV or OGG for higher quality, but expect larger file sizes.
  • Download sound effects and alerts rather than songs or music clips.
  • Make sure any sounds have clear beginnings and endings.

Once you’ve downloaded some custom audio files, you’ll need to transfer them to your Android device. We’ll cover how to do that in the next section.

Transfer Sound Files to Android Device

After you have located or downloaded the custom notification sounds you want to use, you will need to transfer them to your Android device. There are a few different methods to transfer sound files:

Using a USB cable is one of the most direct methods. You can connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable, then access and transfer files using the Android File Transfer app for Mac or Windows. Refer to Google’s guide on transferring files between computer & Android for step-by-step instructions.

Emailing the sound files to yourself is another option. Simply attach the files to an email on your computer, open it on your Android device, and save them. You can also upload files to cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox and access them on your Android device.

Compatibility may vary across different Android versions when transferring and using custom sounds. Make sure the sound files are in a compatible format like MP3 or WAV. Older Android versions may have limited format support.

Set Custom Notification Sounds

To set a custom sound for your notifications on Android:

1. Navigate to Settings > Sound & vibration > Notification sound.

2. Under Notification sound, tap the menu icon and select “My Sounds.” This will open your downloads folder or device storage.

3. Select the custom sound file you want to use from your downloads or storage. The sound will now be set as your default notification sound.

You can also set custom notification sounds for individual apps:

1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.

2. Select the app you want to customize.

3. Tap Sound and select your custom sound file.

This will set a unique notification sound for just that particular app. Repeat these steps for any other apps you want to have custom sounds.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your custom notification sound isn’t working properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try:

First, check that the sound file is in a compatible format and not too large in size. Android supports .MP3, .WAV, and .OGG files up to 1-2 MB. If the file is in an unsupported format like .FLAC or over the size limit, it may fail to play as a notification sound.

You’ll also want to make sure the app has permission to access custom notification sounds. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App permissions > Notification access and ensure the app is enabled. Without this access, the app can’t override the default system notification sound.

Additionally, try restarting your Android device or toggling Do Not Disturb mode off and back on again. This refreshes the audio system and permissions which could resolve any software glitches preventing the sound.

As a last resort, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the app to fully reset its notification settings. Just be sure to back up any important app data first.

If you continue having issues getting a custom notification sound working after trying these steps, check the app’s help documentation or contact the developer. There may be additional app-specific requirements or restrictions that need addressed.


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Customize Additional Notification Features

In addition to customizing the notification sound, there are other notification features you can tweak and personalize on Android:

Customize vibration patterns
You can set different vibration patterns for notifications from specific apps. Go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Advanced > Vibration pattern and select from preset patterns or create your own custom pattern.

Set light colors for notifications

Under Sound & vibration settings, choose Notification light and pick colors for the LED light to flash for different apps. You can make notifications more visible and identifiable.

Prioritize notifications from certain apps
In Notification settings, tap the gear icon next to an app. Choose “Priority” to make those notifications appear at the top of your shade and allow them to bypass Do Not Disturb.

Customizing these additional notification features allows you to personalize alerts and make sure you never miss the most important ones.

Third-Party Apps for Customization

A popular option for getting custom notification sounds on Android is to use third-party apps like Zedge. Zedge offers a large library of free ringtones, notification sounds, alarm sounds, and wallpapers to download. Some of the pros of using an app like Zedge include:

  • Huge selection of high-quality audio files to choose from
  • Easy browsing and searching for exactly the sound you want
  • Simple download and setup process
  • Frequently updated with new content

Potential downsides to be aware of include:

  • Contains advertising
  • Must grant the app access permissions
  • Audio quality varies between files
  • Limited ability to customize sounds

Some other excellent free apps for getting custom notification tones on Android devices are Notification Sounds, Ringtone Maker, and Pi Music Player. When choosing a third-party app, aim for one with consistently high audio quality, a user-friendly interface, and regular new content.

Custom Notification Sounds on Other Platforms

Android is not the only platform that allows for custom notification sounds. Both iOS and Windows 10 also give users the ability to set custom sounds.

On iOS, users can add custom sounds by connecting their iPhone to iTunes on a computer, then dragging sound files into the “Tones” section. The sounds can then be selected as ringtones or notification tones through the Settings app (Source). This process is similar to Android, where sound files must also be transferred to the device.

Windows 10 offers direct customization options within the Settings app. Users can browse to a sound file location on their computer or import files to set unique notification sounds. There is no file transfer step required (Source).

The main difference across platforms is whether sound files need to be transferred to the device first before assigning them as notification tones. Overall, the ability to customize alerts beyond default sounds is available on all major operating systems.


In summary, the key steps to get custom notification sounds on Android are downloading or locating sound files, transferring them to your Android device, and then assigning the custom sounds to specific apps or contacts in the Sound settings. Custom notification sounds allow you to personalize your device to your preferences and ensure you never miss an important alert. Unique sounds can help identify who is contacting you or what app needs attention without having to look at your phone.

Setting custom sounds takes just a few minutes and can greatly improve your notification experience. For further customization, explore options like customizing vibration patterns, LED light colors, and modifying sound volumes on a per-app basis. Third party apps provide even more ways to tailor notifications to your needs. While the process differs across platforms, iOS and Windows devices also allow custom notification sounds for a personalized experience.

If you need any help with setting custom notification sounds or want to learn about more ways to customize your Android device, check out Google’s support page or search the web for in-depth tutorials. With some simple tweaking, you can make sure your phone sounds exactly how you want it.

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