Create an iPhone Ringtone with iTunes

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From the “Tones” view of the iTunes library (on the computer, not iPhone), drag the ringtone from the panel onto the “Devices” button. Once the file is over the “Devices” button, a panel will appear showing your connected devices. Simply drop the ringtone onto your iPhone and it will copy over.

Drag and drop ringtone onto iPhone in iTunes

Now that your ringtone has been copied to your iPhone, the final step is to activate it. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds > Ringtone. Your new ringtone should be at the top of the list. Tap it so that a check mark appears next to it. You will hear a preview of the new ringtone.

Set custom ringtone on iPhone


Now that you have your ringtone, remember to change a few things back. First, go back to the song you used. Open it with “Get Info”, choose “Options”, uncheck the start and stop times and click “OK”. If you don’t you will be surprised with an abridged version of your song the next time you play it. Also, remember to change your import settings (iTunes > Preferences > General > Import Settings) back to Apple Lossless, if that was the previous setting. I recommend Apple Lossless when you import CDs, as it will sound as good as the CD yet save storage space. You can always convert it to a lower quality file later, if you need to save space.

Even though this is a ringtone, you can use this sound for any audible alert. Simply scroll down the list and you will see your new ringtone. Feel free to add more ringtones and assign them to other alerts.

Personalizing your iPhone makes for a more enjoyable user experience. You will also know that it is your iPhone that’s making that noise, which can be hard to discern if you stick with the default sounds. If you find this process difficult, you can check out other options. You can buy ringtones. There are also several apps that let you create them with less effort. Check out the App Store for more information.

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  1. Itunes sucks. Made a ringtone, aac version to m4r, copied onto the tones Page, and now it won’t sync to my phone. Is that an update or something?

    1. I had problems with that as well. The only way I could get it to work is as shown above — dragging and dropping it onto the iPhone using iTunes 11. Sync would not copy it over.

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