How to set different notification sounds for contacts on Android?

Setting custom notification sounds for individual contacts on Android can be very useful. It allows you to assign a unique ringtone or text tone to specific people in your contacts. This makes it easy to identify who is calling or messaging you without having to look at your phone.

For example, you could set a special tone for your spouse or kids so you recognize them right away. Or you could assign fun sounds to friends and coworkers to match their personality. Custom sounds help you quickly triage notifications based on the person trying to reach you.

Overall, custom contact notification sounds give you more control and personalization over how your Android alerts you. This improves the notification experience and saves you time figuring out who needs your attention.


Before setting custom notification sounds for contacts, there are a couple requirements to check:

First, this feature is only available on Android 8.0 and higher. Older versions of Android do not support per-contact notification sounds 1.

Second, you’ll want to make sure that notification sounds are enabled on your device. You can verify this by going to Settings > Sound & Vibration > Default notification sound. As long as a sound is selected here, your device will play sounds for notifications 2.

Access Contacts App

To start, you’ll need to open the Contacts or Phone app on your Android device. This is the default app for managing your contacts list and details. You can find it by swiping up from your home screen to view all apps, and looking for the Contacts icon (often looks like an open address book). You can also search for “Contacts” from the home screen.

According to the Google Support article, to open the Contacts app you can:

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the Contacts app
  • At the bottom, tap Contacts
  • Contacts by label: At the top left, tap Menu and then Contacts to display

This will bring you into the Contacts app where you can view, edit, and manage your contacts list. From here you can select an individual contact to customize the notification tone.

Select a Contact

The first step is to select the specific contact you want to set a custom notification tone for. Open the Contacts app on your Android device and browse or search for the contact. Tap on the name to open up the contact details screen for that person.

For example, if you want to set a special notification sound for your spouse, find their contact entry and tap on their name to open up their contact information. This will allow you to customize the notification settings just for them.

You can also use the search bar at the top of the Contacts app to quickly find the contact you want. Just type in their name and tap on their entry when it appears in the search results.

The key is to locate and open the entry for the one specific contact you want to customize the notification tone for from among all your other contacts.

Open Contact Details

To open the details screen for a specific contact, you first need to tap on the contact’s name or picture in the contacts list. This will bring up the details screen for that contact, which typically shows their name, phone numbers, email addresses, and any other info you have saved for them.

According to the Contacts app details on Google Play, “Back up and sync your contacts across all your devices. Keep your contacts safely backed up to your Google Account. Access your contacts from anywhere using” (Google Play).

Once in the contact details screen, you can view, edit or add information for that specific contact. Simply tap on any of the fields, like phone number or email address, to edit or add information.

Tap Edit or Menu

After opening the contact details, look for the Edit contact or Menu options. This is typically found in the top or bottom right corner of the screen when viewing a contact.

On some Android devices like Samsung, you may see three vertical dots or Menu icon instead of Edit. Tap on that to open the menu.

According to Google Support, “At the top right, tap Edit” to edit contacts on Android devices running Google Contacts app (source).

WikiHow also states, “At the bottom right, tap Edit Edit” to edit contacts (source).

Choose Notification Tone

Once you have opened your contact’s details, you need to select the ringtone or notification tone field. To do this:

  1. Tap on the “Ringtone” or “Notification tone” field, depending on if you want to change the ringtone or notification sound.
  2. This will open up a menu showing all the available ringtones and notification sounds on your device.

You can scroll through this list to browse the different options. Many Android devices come pre-loaded with a selection of ringtones and notification sounds to choose from.

Some Android skins, like Samsung’s One UI, will let you change the ringtone and notification sound separately. Others will use a single “Ringtone” field for both incoming calls and notifications.

If you want a custom sound that isn’t already available, you may need to download it first to your device storage or SD card. Then it will be available in this menu for selection as your contact’s unique tone.

Once you’ve found the sound you want, simply tap on it to select it.

Pick Sound

Once you have opened the ringtone selector, you will see options to browse and select a sound from your device’s storage or downloads. The selector will show ringtones included with your Android OS by default, as well as any sounds you have downloaded or added yourself.

Scroll through the list to browse the available sounds. Tap on a ringtone to hear a preview. When you find the sound you want to use for the contact’s notifications, select it. This will assign that sound to notifications from that specific contact.

If you want a sound that is not already available in the ringtone selector, you can add your own. Just download or transfer the sound file to your device storage. Then open the ringtone selector, tap “Add ringtone” and pick the sound file. It will now be available to select as the custom notification tone for your contacts.


Save Changes

Once you have selected the desired notification sound for the contact, the next step is to save your changes. This will set the custom notification sound to be used for this specific contact whenever you receive notifications from them.

Tap the “Save” button which is typically located at the top right of the screen. This will save the new notification sound and associate it permanently with that contact. Going forward, notifications from that contact will play the unique sound you picked instead of your default notification sound.

For example, you may set your sister’s incoming calls to ring with a fun sound effect while your boss gets a more professional standard ringtone. Custom sounds help you quickly identify who is contacting you without having to look at your phone.

To recap, tap “Save” after choosing a custom notification sound in the contact’s details to set the new sound. The change will take effect immediately for future notifications from that contact. If needed, you can return to these steps later to choose a different custom sound.


In summary, here are the key steps to set custom notification sounds for contacts on Android:

1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact you want to customize.

2. Tap the “Edit” button or “Menu” icon and choose “Notification Tone.”

3. Select the sound you want from your ringtones or notification tones.

4. Tap “OK” or “Save” to set the custom sound for that contact.

Following these steps allows you to assign unique notification sounds to specific contacts on your Android device. This makes it easy to identify who is contacting you without having to look at your phone. With custom sounds set up for key contacts, you’ll never miss an important call or text again.

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