How do I get my Android to make a sound when I get a text?

Many Android users want to set up a sound notification for incoming text messages. Having an audible notification when a new text comes in can be very helpful. It allows you to know immediately when a message has arrived, even if your phone is in another room or you can’t see the screen. This can help you respond more promptly to time-sensitive messages. It also prevents you from missing messages if you don’t have a chance to frequently check your phone’s screen.

Check Notification Settings

The first thing you should do is open the Settings app and go to the Notifications section. Here you can change the default notification sounds for various apps including Messages or your text messaging app.

On Android phones, open the Settings app and tap “Apps & notifications.” Then go to “Notifications” to find notification settings for individual apps like Messages (cite: Look for an option like “Default notification sound” or similar and you can change the sound for incoming text messages.

The notification settings may be slightly different depending on your Android device and OS version. But generally you can find a way to customize notification sounds for text messages under Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.

Change Default Notification Sound

A simple way to change the notification sound on your Android device is to go into the default notification sound setting and select a new tone. Here are the steps:

Open the Settings app and go to Sound & vibration. Scroll down and tap on Default notification sound. This will open up a list of the built-in notification sounds on your device. Browse through the different tones and select the one you want to set as the default.

Some popular built-in notification sounds on Android devices include Trill, Chime, and Pop. Try out a few different options to find one you like.

Once you’ve selected a new notification tone, it will now be used for notifications system-wide on your device. Keep in mind you can customize notifications on a per-app basis as well, which allows using unique sounds for individual apps.

Use a Custom Sound File

You can add your own custom sound files as notification sounds on your Android. First, you’ll need to get the sound file onto your device. You can download sound files off the internet and save them to your Android, or transfer files from your computer via USB or cloud storage. Make sure the file type is supported, such as .mp3, .wav, or .ogg.

Once you have your custom sound file on your Android, go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Default notification sound. Tap on My Sounds, then tap the plus icon to select your file. You will be prompted to give the sound a name to easily identify it. After selecting your file, it will now appear as a choice under Default notification sound.

Now when you get a notification, your custom sound will play instead of the default tone. You can set different custom sounds for varying apps too. Just go into the app’s individual notification settings.

Per-App Notification Sounds

One useful feature on Android is the ability to set different notification sounds for each individual app. This allows you to customize your notification experience and easily identify which app is notifying you without having to look at your phone.

To set a custom notification sound for a specific app:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Select “Apps & notifications.”
  3. Find the app you want to customize in the list and tap on it.
  4. Select “Notifications.”
  5. Tap on the “Sound” option.
  6. Choose a preloaded system sound, or tap on “Add ringtone” to select a custom audio file stored on your device.
  7. Tap “OK” to confirm.

Now when you get a notification from that app, it will play the sound you selected instead of the default notification sound. Repeat this process for other apps you want to customize.

According to this MakeUseOf guide, creating per-app notification sounds is a great way to stay on top of incoming alerts from your most important apps.

Use a Ringtone as a Notification Sound

Ringtones that you have added to your Android device can also be used for notification sounds. This allows you to set a recognizable ringtone as the sound that plays when you receive a text message or other notification.

To use a ringtone for your notification sound, open the Settings app and go to Sounds and Vibration. Tap on Notification sound and select Ringtone. This will open up the list of ringtones available on your device. Scroll through and select the ringtone you want to use. Tap OK to set it as the notification sound.

The ringtone will now play for all notification alerts in addition to incoming calls. Using a familiar ringtone can make it easier to identify when you receive a new text message or other notification without having to look at your phone.

Adjust Notification Volume

You can adjust the volume level for notifications separately from your device’s general volume settings. Here’s how:

Open your device’s Settings app and go to the Sound or Sound & Vibration section. Look for the option to change volumes or access volume controls. On many Android devices, you can find this under Settings > Sound & vibration > Volume.

In the volume settings, you’ll see sliders or options to set different volume levels for Media, Notifications, Ringtones, Alarms, and System sounds. Drag the “Notifications” slider up or down to increase or decrease the volume specifically for new message alerts and other notifications.

While adjusting notification volume, you can also toggle the vibration on or off for notifications. Turning on vibration will make your device vibrate in addition to playing a sound for alerts. This can help make notifications more noticeable if you often miss hearing them.

Setting notification volume separately from overall volume gives you more granular control. You can keep general volume lower while still hearing message alerts when they come in.

Use Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in notification features on Android, there are many third-party apps that offer enhanced customization and functionality for notifications. Some popular options include:

Zedge – Has customizable notification popups, tones, and vibration patterns. Lets you personalize notifications per app or contact.

Dynamic Notifications – Uses AI to organize notifications. Lets you customize sounds, icons, vibration patterns and actions.

These third-party notification apps provide more granular control over notification behavior compared to the system settings. You can customize different notification properties like sounds, vibrations, popup style and actions on a per-app basis. Some even use AI to automatically categorize notifications as important or not. If you want to really customize and optimize your Android notifications, exploring some third-party options is recommended.

Troubleshooting Notification Sound Issues

If you are having issues with notification sounds on your Android device, here are some troubleshooting tips:

No notification sound:

  • Make sure your device volume is turned up and not muted.
  • Double check that the default notification sound is enabled in your sound settings.
  • Try setting a custom notification sound instead of the default.
  • Check if Do Not Disturb mode is enabled, which can mute notifications.
  • Restart your device and test if notification sounds now work.

Wrong notification sound:

  • Go through your app notification settings and make sure each app has the correct sound assigned.
  • If a custom sound isn’t working, try selecting a different sound file.
  • Check that your custom sound file is in the right format (MP3 or WAV) and is saved in your ringtones folder.
  • If issues persist, try resetting your app preferences in system settings.

If you are still having no luck with notification sounds after troubleshooting, consider installing a third party notification manager app for more customization options.


Setting a custom sound for text message notifications on your Android phone is easy once you know where to look. The main options are changing the default notification sound in your system settings, using a custom sound file, setting per-app sounds, or using a ringtone. You can find and select sounds in the Settings app under Sounds or in your Messaging app settings.

Beyond just changing the default, you have additional options like adjusting notification volume separate from ringtone volume, using third party apps to customize further, and troubleshooting if sounds aren’t working properly. With all of these customization options, you can pick the perfect text notification sound for your needs.

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