How do I set a specific notification tone on Android?

Notification tones are the sounds that play when you receive an alert or notification on your Android phone. By default, Android uses the same notification tone for all apps. But you can customize notification tones to set different sounds for each app – for example, a unique tone for email notifications, text messages, or app alerts.

Custom notification tones allow you to identify which app is sending you a notification without having to look at your phone. Unique tones for different apps also help cut through notification overload by signaling what type of alert you just received. It’s a useful way to personalize and optimize notifications on your Android device.

The default notification tone on stock Android is called “Popcorn.” Samsung and other Android skins may have different default notification sounds. But every Android allows you to customize tones per app.


Before setting custom notification tones, there are a couple prerequisites that need to be met:

The user needs an Android phone. This feature is only available on Android devices running Android 8.0 or higher. It will not work on iOS or other platforms.

The user needs to have notification tones or other audio files downloaded/available. You’ll need to have the desired notification tone files saved on your Android device before you can set them as custom tones. These audio files can be downloaded online, transferred from a computer, etc. Common file formats like MP3 and WAV work best.

Once you have an Android phone and some notification tone files ready, you’ll be ready to customize the tones.

Access Notification Settings

To access the notification settings on an Android device, you’ll need to open the Settings app first. The Settings app is usually located on your home screen, app drawer, or by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the gear icon.

Once you have the Settings app open, you’ll need to navigate to the Notifications section. On newer Android versions like Android 10 or 11, you can find Notifications near the top of the Settings menu. On older versions like Android 9 or earlier, you may need to tap Apps & Notifications or App Info to find the Notifications settings.

The Notifications settings menu allows you to control notification preferences for both system notifications and notifications from individual apps. Here you can enable or disable app notifications entirely, set notification sounds, customize notification behaviors, and more.

To cite the sources:

Control notifications on Android

Turn App Notifications On / Off – Android

Set Default Notification Tone

The default notification tone is the sound that will be used for notifications from all apps, unless you customize the tone for specific apps. Here’s how to change the default on Android:

1. Open the Settings app and go to Sound & vibration (or Sound & notification in some versions).

2. Tap on Default notification sound.

3. You will see a list of built-in notification tones that come with Android. Some popular options include:

  • Pixel Ambient (simple guitar strum)
  • Sweeter Tone (smooth marimba tune)
  • Big Ben (iconic clock chime)
  • Hello my baby (old telephone ring)

4. Tap on a tone to preview it. Select the one you want to set as the default.

Now when you get notifications from apps, they will play your chosen default sound unless you customize the tone for specific apps.

Set Custom Tones Per App

You can set a custom notification tone for each individual app on your Android device. This allows you to assign unique sounds to different apps so you can easily identify notifications just by the sound.

To set a custom tone for a specific app:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Notifications.
  2. Tap App Notifications, then select the app you want to customize.
  3. Tap Sounds. You will see options to set a custom sound for that particular app.
  4. Tap Custom Sound and select the audio file you want from your device storage. Your selected custom tone will now be set for notifications from that app.

As per the Make Use Of guide, this menu allows you to choose unique notification sounds so you can identify which app is sending an alert without even having to look at your phone. You’ll never again confuse the notification tones between apps!

Select Custom Tone

To select a custom tone from your audio files:

  1. Open the File Manager app on your Android device.
  2. Navigate to where your audio files are stored. Common supported audio formats include MP3, WAV, and OGG [1].
  3. Tap and hold on the audio file you want to use as your notification tone.
  4. Select “Use as notification tone” from the menu.
  5. You will see a confirmation that the tone has been set.

Now when you receive notifications from that app, your selected custom audio file will play as the alert tone. You can repeat this process to set different notification tones for other apps if desired.


If you are still having issues with setting a custom notification tone after following the steps above, here are some troubleshooting tips:

First, check that notification sounds aren’t muted. Go to Settings > Sound and vibration and make sure that “Media volume”, “Call volume”, “Ring volume”, and “Alarm volume” are all turned up and not muted.

Second, make sure the audio file you selected is in an accepted format for notification tones. Android supports .MP3, .OGG, .WAV, and .FLAC files. If your file is in a different format like .M4A or .AAC, it may not work properly.

Finally, try using different audio files if one specific file doesn’t seem to work. There may be something about the encoding or metadata of that particular file that is preventing it from being set as the notification tone. Test a few different properly formatted audio files to see if another one works.

If you still can’t get a custom notification tone to work after trying these troubleshooting tips, you may need to reset your app preferences or contact the device manufacturer for further help.

Third-Party Apps

There are various third-party apps available on the Google Play Store that provide additional notification tones beyond what comes pre-loaded on your Android device.

One popular app for getting new notification tones is Zedge. Zedge has a large library of free notification tones, ringtones, wallpapers and more that you can browse and download. Once downloaded, you can set any tone as your default notification tone or assign it to specific apps.

Another option is the Notification Sounds app. This also provides a collection of notification tones you can browse, preview and download. You can then apply these custom tones just like the default options.

The key thing to note with third-party apps is that you need to install each one first before you can access and download new notification tones from them. But they provide many more choices beyond the built-in android notification tones.

Customize Additional Settings

Android allows you to customize additional settings for notifications beyond just the sound. This includes options like:

  • Vibration – You can set notifications to vibrate when received.
  • Lights – Configure the notification light to blink when you get a notification.
  • Pop on screen – Choose whether notifications pop up on the screen when received or not.

To modify these settings:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications.
  2. Tap Advanced to access more notification settings.
  3. Here you can toggle vibration, lights, and other preferences on or off for notifications.

You can also customize these notification behaviors on a per app basis. Go to Apps & Notifications > [App Name] > Notifications to configure advanced settings for individual apps.

Android provides granular control over many aspects of notifications. Visit Android’s notification settings to learn about additional customization options.


To recap, enabling custom notification tones for individual apps on Android involves accessing the Sound & vibration settings, selecting Default notification sound, and then choosing your desired tone. For apps that don’t abide by the default, open App notifications and toggle on Use custom for that particular app. You can then pick unique tones to set apart notifications from key apps.

Feel free to explore downloading additional notification tones online or even creating your own custom sounds to really personalize alerts from your favorite messaging and social apps. Setting custom tones is an easy way to identify notifications at a glance.

We hope this guide provided a clear overview of how to customize notification tones in Android. Please share your feedback on the process of setting custom sounds per app. What challenges did you face, and what worked smoothly? Your real-world experiences help enhance guides like this. Thank you for reading!

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