How to change ringtone on iPhone with and without iTunes


Take a walk down a busy street and you’ll hear the same chipper tones of the trademark Opening ringtone playing out from every single person’s iPhone. 

Where have the days of the early 2000s gone, where people used to change their ringtones every week? Or even the 1990s when people programmed in their own ringtones?

There is still a way to stand out from the crowd with a ringtone that actually reflects your personality, without the faff. Here we break down how to change ringtone on an iPhone, how to import a new ringtone and how to assign a ringtone to a contact.

How to change ringtone on iPhone

1. Go to Settings | Sounds & Haptics

2. Tap on Ringtone

3. You can tap on each different ringtone to hear what each one sounds like

4. Just tap whichever one you like and it will be set as your new ringtone

How to assign a ringtone to a contact on your iPhone

What about if you want to set a specific ringtone for one of your contacts? That’s also relatively easy. Here is how to change the ringtone of one of your iPhone contacts:

1. Open Contacts on your iPhone 

2. Tap on the contact you want to set a custom ringtone for 

3. Tap Edit

4. At the bottom, select Ringtone, choose one you like or one you’ve made yourself and then tap Done 

How to import a ringtone onto your iPhone for free 

 If you want to change your ringtone to one that isn’t a default Apple ringtone, the iTunes Store has an enormous catalogue of ringtones made by professionals and amateurs, meaning you can change your ringtone to an 8-bit rendition of the Game of Thrones theme song or a rock ballad of Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter series.

However, if you don’t want to pay out for a 30-second long ringtone, you can add ringtones to your iPhone for free. You’ll have to use iTunes on your computer to do so. This way you can add an MP3 or AAC file and make it your ringtone, whether that’s a song or someone talking, it’s all possible although a fairly laborious process.

1. Firstly, make sure your MP3 or AAC file is in your iTunes library.

2. In your iTunes library, right click the song or clip and select Get Info or Song Info. 

3. Select the ‘Options’ tab and tick the Start and Stop boxes. 

4. Enter the start and stop times in the song or clip, making sure it doesn’t exceed 30 seconds and click ‘OK’.

5. If you’re using a version of iTunes that’s before 12.5, right click on the file once again and select ‘Create AAC version. It will then be converted into a duplicated track in iTunes which lasts 30 seconds or under. 

6. If you’re using iTunes 12.5 and above, the process is a little trickier. Select the song or file once, go up to the File menu, click on Convert and then select “Create AAC version”. 

If you aren’t able to find the ‘Create AAC’, your settings are likely not configured correctly. To configure your settings, do the following: 

– Click Menu at the top of iTunes and select Preferences. 

– Click Import Settings and choose “Import using AAC Encoder”. 

– If you’re using anything above iTunes 12.4, select Edit in the menu bar, click Preferences and follow the same steps. 

7. Right-click on the newly created AAC track and press “Show in Windows Explorer” on Windows and “Show in Finder” on a Mac. 

8. Right click on the file in the new window and choose Rename. 

9. Change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r. 

10. Click Yes when you are prompted to change the extension. 

11. Enable the Tones section by clicking on the Music button and hitting Edit, then ticking the box next to Tones. If that doesn’t work, then click on the three dots and choose Tones from the menu. Open the Tones section in iTunes and drag the file from Windows Explorer or Finder into Tones. If you have iTunes 12.7, please skip ahead. 

12. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac with the USB cable.

13. Drag the ringtone from Tones onto the icon of your phone and it should sync across.

How to add ringtones in iTunes 

1. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac with the USB cable.

2. Click on the icon of your phone in iTunes, expand the section and click on Tones. 

3. Copy the M4R file from Windows Explorer or Finder and copy the track. 

4. Paste it into iTunes in the Tones section. 

5. It will now sync to your iPhone. 

Now your custom tones will appear at the top of your Ringtone settings on your iPhone. 

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