How do I set a default ringtone on Android?

The default ringtone is the standard sound that plays when you receive a phone call on your Android device. This is typically a basic tone that comes preloaded on your phone. While some people are content leaving the default ringtone as is, there are many reasons you may want to change it to something more personalized:

  • The default ringtone can get annoying after a while, so changing it up adds some variety.
  • Assigning custom ringtones to specific contacts allows you to identify callers without looking at your phone.
  • Custom ringtones reflect your personality and style.
  • Changing an unpleasant default ringtone to something you enjoy makes your phone a more positive experience.
  • Unique ringtones help your device stand out when you’re in a group setting.

Luckily, Android makes it easy to change your default ringtone or set custom sounds for notifications, alarms, and individual contacts. This guide will walk through the steps for customizing your ringtones on Android.

Locate the Sound Settings

To change the default ringtones on your Android device, you’ll first need to locate the Sound settings menu. Here’s how to find it:

Open the Settings app on your Android device. On most phones, you can find the Settings app in your list of installed apps or by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the gear icon. Once in the Settings menu, scroll down and tap “Sound & vibration” or “Sounds and vibration.”

This will open the sound settings for your device. On this screen, you’ll see options for ringtone volume, media volume, alarm volume, and more. The remaining steps to change ringtones will take place in this Sound settings menu.

If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy device, open the Settings app and tap “Sounds and vibration.” LG and Motorola phones have similar menus called “Sound & notification” or “Sound.” Consult your device’s user manual if you’re having trouble locating the sound settings.

For older versions of Android, look for “Sound” or “Audio profiles” in the Settings menu. The options may be structured a bit differently but you’ll still find ringtones, media volume, and alarms in this section.

Once you’ve located the sound settings on your Android device, you’re ready to customize your ringtones.

Set Default Notification Ringtone

The default notification ringtone is the sound that will play for notifications from most apps on your Android device. Here are the steps to change the default notification ringtone:

1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.

2. Tap “Sound & vibration” or “Sounds and vibration”.

3. Tap “Default notification sound”. This will open the ringtone selection screen.

4. Browse through the available ringtones and select the one you want to use as the default. Tap “OK” to confirm.

The ringtone you selected will now play for notifications from most apps. Keep in mind some apps allow you to customize notification sounds specifically for that app. The default ringtone will be used when an app doesn’t have a custom sound set.

You can add your own custom ringtones and notification sounds by placing audio files in the “Ringtones” or “Notifications” folder on your Android device. Custom sounds added here will show up as options for the default notification ringtone.

If you want to switch back to the original default ringtone, open the notification sound settings and select “Default notification sound”. This will reset it back to the system default.

Set Default Alarm Ringtone

Here are the steps to change the default alarm ringtone on your Android device:

  1. Open the Clock app on your Android.
  2. Tap on the “Alarms” tab at the top.
  3. Tap on an existing alarm to edit it or tap the “+” icon to create a new alarm.
  4. Tap on the “Alarm Sound” option.
  5. You will see a list of ringtones. Select the ringtone you want to set as the default.
  6. Tap “OK” to confirm.
  7. The ringtone you selected will now be set as the default for all alarms.

You can repeat these steps to change the default alarm ringtone anytime. Most Android devices come with a pre-loaded selection of ringtones to choose from. You can also install third-party apps like Zedge to download additional ringtones for free (source).

Use a Song as Ringtone

You can set any song from your music library or a streaming service as your default ringtone on Android. Here’s how:

Open the Settings app and tap Sound & vibration. Tap Phone ringtone to open the list of ringtones.

Tap Add ringtone at the bottom. This will open your music library. Browse and select the song you want to use as ringtone.

You can select a full song or tap the scissors icon to select just a portion of the song to use.

Tap Done once you’ve selected the song clip. This will add it to your ringtones list.

Go back to the Phone ringtone list and select your new song ringtone. Tap OK to set it as the default.

For songs from a streaming service like Spotify, save the song to your device first before following the steps above. The song must be stored locally to set it as a ringtone.

You can also use third party apps like Zedge to download ringtones and set songs as ringtones easily.

Custom Ringtones

One of the best ways to customize your ringtones on Android is by using third party apps to create unique ringtones. There are several great options for Android ringtone apps that give you tools to turn any song or audio clip into a custom ringtone.

According to Android Authority, some top Android apps for making custom ringtones include:

  • InShot MP3 Cutter and Ringtone Maker – Free app with advanced editing tools to trim audio and convert to ringtone format.
  • Pi Music Player – Allows you to set song snippets as ringtones and notification sounds.
  • Ringtone Maker – Create ringtones from songs or recordings, share via text or email.

These apps provide user-friendly interfaces to select the exact part of a song you want, trim it, adjust volume/fade, and export as a ringtone file compatible with your Android device. The advantage over default ringtones is you can personalize with any song or sound clip you choose.

Making custom Android ringtones only takes a few taps using dedicated ringtone maker apps. And they offer far more customization than just using pre-loaded ringtones from your phone manufacturer.

Per Contact Ringtones

You can set a unique ringtone for individual contacts on your Android device. This allows you to identify who is calling you based on the ringtone.

To set a custom ringtone for a contact:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your Android device.
  2. Tap on the contact you want to set a custom ringtone for.
  3. Tap on the Details or Information icon (looks like a small “i”) next to the contact name.
  4. Tap Edit in the top right corner.
  5. Tap on Ringtone.
  6. Select the ringtone you want for that specific contact.

You can choose from preloaded ringtones on your device or pick a song from your music library. The ringtone will now be unique for that contact. Repeat these steps for other contacts you want to set custom ringtones for.

According to WikiHow, setting per contact ringtones allows you to identify callers before answering and gives your phone a more personalized feel.


If you are having issues setting a default ringtone on your Android device, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Default ringtone reverts back
If you set a custom default ringtone but it keeps reverting back to the original ringtone, try restarting your phone and setting it again. There may be a delay in the settings taking effect. You can also go to Settings > Apps > All Apps and clear the cache and data for the Phone app, then restart your phone. This will reset the app and allow the new default ringtone to take effect (Source).

Ringtone doesn’t play for incoming calls
If your custom ringtone plays in the settings but doesn’t actually ring for incoming calls, go to Settings > Sound and check that your ringtone volume is turned up. You can also try setting the ringtone again or assigning it as a contact ringtone first before setting it as default (Source).

If you continue having issues, try rebooting your device or performing a soft reset. Make sure your phone software is also up to date. For persistent problems, you may need to perform a factory reset on the phone.

Other Customizations

While setting default ringtones is simple, Android provides many ways to customize ringtones beyond just the default options:

You can set custom ringtones and sounds for notifications, alarms, and rings. Just create or download a song or audio file, and use your Files app to locate it and set it as a custom sound.

Another option is creating per contact ringtones, so you can identify callers without even looking at your phone. Go to the contact, edit it, scroll down to ringtone, and select the custom sound to associate with that person.

And don’t forget about custom vibration patterns. Go to Sounds & Vibration and select Vibration pattern to create unique buzzing that pairs with your custom rings.

With all these customization options, you can truly personalize your Android ringtones and notifications to match your style and needs.

## Conclusion

In summary, setting a default ringtone on Android is easy once you know where to look. The Sound settings contain options to change the default notification and alarm ringtones. You can also set custom ringtones for contacts. While the process varies slightly between devices, the general steps are the same.

With over 2 billion active Android users, ringtones are an important way to customize your device and make it your own. Whether you prefer a popular song, a classic ringtone like “Marimba,” or a custom audio file, Android offers flexibility. Take some time to explore the Sound settings and choose ringtones that fit your style and personality.

Changing ringtones allows you to identify callers without having to look at your phone. It also lets you assign unique ringtones to important contacts so you never miss their calls. With endless customization options, Android makes it simple to set up the perfect ringtones.

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