How to Change Android Notification Sounds

Create custom sounds or select from built-in notification sounds

Changing Android notification sounds is easy. Leaving notification sounds on the default option can cause confusion. Save your screen time and don’t risk missing an important message by customizing your notification sounds. You can change the notification sounds for text messages, calls, email, social media, and just about any app on your smartphone.

Instructions in this article apply to Android 10, 9.0 (Pie), and 8.0 (Oreo).

How to Change Android Notification Sounds

Notification sounds are just one of many ways you can customize your Android, and each version of Android refines the process. Your Android has a setting for the default notification sound for all apps; you can also change sounds app by app. Here’s how to change the default sound, and how to change the notification sounds for Google Messages, Gmail, and the Phone app.

Set Custom Ringtones for Contacts

Open Contacts, tap the name, tap the three-dot menu, tap Set Ringtone, choose the desired ringtone from the list that appears, then tap Save.

How to Change the Global Default Sound

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Apps & Notifications.

  3. Tap Notifications.

    An Android user navigates to the Default notification sound option in settings
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Advanced.

  5. Tap Default notification sound.

  6. Then you can browse the ringtones page, which is split into categories including My Sounds, Pixel Sounds, Classical Harmonies, and others. At the top, it says what the current default is. In this case, it’s called Chime–Pixel Sounds.  

    If you’re using a non-Pixel phone, your ringtone options will be different.

Change the Notification Sounds by App

You can also change the notification sound in popular Android apps including Messages, Gmail, and the Phone app.

Google Messages

If you get a lot of notifications and want to know without looking that it's a new text message, you can change the notification sound easily. Use your own sound or any of the sounds that come pre-loaded on your Android smartphone. Here's how to change the notification sound in the Google Messages app.

  1. Open the Google Messages app.

  2. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right.

  3. Tap Settings.

  4. Tap Notifications.

    An Android Messages user accesses the notification settings
  5. Scroll down to Other.

  6. Tap Default.

  7. Tap Advanced.

  8. Tap Sound.

    If you don't see these menu options, look for Other notifications > Sound.

    You can access default notification sound in Android Messages via the 'Other Notifications' setting
  9. You’ll see the same options as above for the global default sound.

Gmail

Get lots of emails? Change the notification sound for any Gmail address that syncs with your smartphone. This way, you know by sound if you've got a new email, and whether it's personal or work-related. Here's how to change the notification sound in the Gmail app.

  1. Open the Gmail app.

  2. Tap the hamburger menu.

  3. Scroll down and tap Settings.

  4. Tap your email address.

    You can change the notifications sounds for each email address you have synced on your phone.

  5. Tap Manage notifications.

    A Gmail app user accesses notifications via the settings menu
  6. Tap Advanced > Sound. Choose from the available options.

Phone App 

Android smartphones from the same manufacturer, such as Google or Samsung usually have the same default ringtone. Thus, when several Google Pixel owners are in the same room, no one knows whose phone is ringing unless they've changed the default. Here's how to do it.

  1. Open the Phone app.

  2. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right.

  3. Tap Settings.

  4. Tap Sounds and vibration.

  5. Tap Phone ringtone.

    An Android user changes their ring tone via the Phone app
  6. Choose from the available options.

How to Add Custom Notification Sounds

There are two ways to get custom sounds for your Android: downloading them from an app or creating your own. One popular app is called Zedge, which has thousands of free notification sounds and ringtones in all sorts of categories (music genres, sound effects, etc). You can create and set custom ringtones right from the app.

You can also create a custom sound from your favorite song or movie line, for example. In this case, you’ll need to use an Android file manager to add the ringtone to your smartphone.

Here's how to manually add a custom sound to your settings.

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.

  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced > Default notification sound.

  3. Tap My Sounds.

  4. Tap + (plus sign).

  5. Find and select your custom sound.

    An Android user sets a custom sound as their ringtone in the Phone app
  6. Your new ringtone should appear in the list of available ringtones in the My Sounds menu.

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