How do I set a specific text tone for a contact on Android?

A custom text tone allows users to set a unique notification sound for incoming texts from a specific contact. This enables users to identify who is texting them without having to look at their phone. Custom text tones are useful for prioritizing messages from important contacts or distinguishing texts in busy or noisy environments.

There are several benefits of setting custom text tones on Android devices:


To set a custom notification tone for a specific contact on Android, your device needs to be running Android 8.0 Oreo or later. Older versions of Android do not support per-contact notification sounds.

According to this Reddit thread, Android 13 introduced some changes to notification channels that may affect your ability to set per-contact notification tones. So you’ll need to make sure you are on the latest Android version that properly supports this feature.

Additionally, some manufacturers like Samsung may further customize the OS and restrict setting custom notification tones. So your mileage may vary depending on your specific Android device.

Access Contacts App

To get started, you first need to open the Contacts app on your Android device. The Contacts app comes pre-installed on most Android phones and tablets, so you likely already have it available. If not, you can download it for free from the Google Play store (

To open the Contacts app, simply tap on its icon on your home screen or app drawer. The icon looks like a little book with a silhouette of a person’s head and shoulders. You can also find it by swiping up from the home screen to access the app drawer, then scrolling and tapping on Contacts.

Once you have the Contacts app open, you’ll see a list of all your stored contacts. From here you can select an individual contact to access their details and set a custom ringtone.

Select Contact

To set a custom ringtone for a specific contact, you first need to select the contact in your phone’s Contacts app that you want to customize. Here are the steps:

1. Open the Contacts app on your Android phone.

2. Scroll through your contacts list and tap on the contact you want to set a custom ringtone for to open their contact details screen.

For example, if you want to set a special ringtone for your friend John, tap on his name in your contacts list to go to his contact page.

This will allow you to choose the specific contact to apply the custom ringtone to. Make sure to select the exact contact you want, as the custom ringtone will only apply to that chosen contact.

See react-native-select-contact-android for more details on selecting a contact from your Android phone’s address book in an app.

Open Contact Details

To open the details page for a specific contact on Android:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your Android device. You can find this in the app drawer or on your home screen. The app icon looks like an open book with a person inside.
  2. In the contacts list, tap on the contact whose details you want to view. This will open up that contact’s details page.

For example, if you want to view Jane Doe’s contact details, tap on her name in your contacts list. This will open up Jane’s details page, where you can see information like her phone numbers, email addresses, home/work addresses, and more.

The contact details page is where you can access options to call, message, email the contact, and more. It’s also where you can set a custom ringtone or notification sound for that specific contact.

To learn more, check out this Google support article on viewing contact details on Android.

Tap Menu

After selecting the contact you want to set a custom ringtone for, the next step is to tap the menu icon/button. This menu button is typically located in the top right corner of the screen on Android devices.

For example, on a Samsung Galaxy device, tap the three vertical dots icon in the top right corner of the Contacts screen to open the menu.

As per the Android Contacts Management Guide, once you have opened your desired contact, tap the menu icon to access additional options like setting a custom ringtone.

Tapping this menu button opens up various options for managing that specific contact.

Select Set Ringtone

Once you have opened the contact details, you need to select the option to set a custom ringtone. To do this:

  1. Tap the menu icon (usually 3 vertical dots in the top right corner)
  2. In the menu that opens, choose the “Set ringtone” option.

This will open the list of ringtones available on your device that you can set for that specific contact.

For example, on a Samsung device:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select a contact
  2. Tap the info icon to open the contact details
  3. Tap the menu icon and choose “Set ringtone”

This allows you to customize which sound plays when that person calls you, so you can easily identify callers before even looking at your phone.

Pick Ringtone

Once you tap on Set Ringtone, you’ll be taken to a menu where you can browse and select the desired ringtone to assign to that contact. Here are the steps:

  1. Tap on the Ringtone option under Set Ringtone.
  2. This will open up your ringtones menu, where you’ll see ringtones that came preloaded on your Android device as well as any you may have downloaded.
  3. Browse through the ringtones by scrolling up and down. Tap on a ringtone to hear a preview of it.
  4. When you find the ringtone you want, tap on it to select it. This will assign that ringtone to the contact.
  5. You’ll see a confirmation that the ringtone has been set for that contact.

And that’s it! The chosen ringtone will now play whenever you receive a call or text from that specific contact. You can repeat these steps to set unique ringtones for other contacts as well.

Confirm Selection

Once you have chosen the desired ringtone, you need to confirm your selection for it to be set as the custom ringtone for that contact. Simply tap ‘OK’ or ‘Apply’ at the bottom of the ringtone selection screen to confirm and set the chosen ringtone. The Android OS will provide confirmation that the ringtone has been successfully set for that contact[1].

On some Android devices like Samsung, there may be an extra ‘Confirm’ button after tapping ‘Apply’ that you need to tap as well. This provides an additional verification to confirm the ringtone change[2].

Once confirmed, you will see the ringtone you selected displayed under that contact’s details. You can test it out by having someone call or message you from that contact’s number. Their customized ringtone should play instead of your default ringtone to confirm it is properly set.


Setting a custom ringtone for specific contacts on Android allows you to easily identify callers without having to check your phone. By following the steps to access the Contacts app, select a contact, open contact details, tap the menu, choose Set Ringtone, and pick the desired ringtone, you can assign unique ringtones to VIPs or groups in your contact list.

Having custom ringtones for different contacts is an extremely useful way to personalize your phone. When your phone rings, you’ll instantly know who’s calling based on the ringtone you hear. Whether it’s assigning a special tone to family members, funny ringtones for friends, or default tones for unknown numbers, custom ringtones help you manage incoming calls more efficiently.

With just a few taps, you can set a specific text tone for any contact on Android. Take advantage of this simple but powerful feature to make your phone experience more customized and intuitive.

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