How to Change Ringtones on Your iPhone

Customize your iPhone's call sound by choosing a new ringtone

Close up shot of hands using handphone
Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

Changing Your iPhone's Ringtone

Regardless of how or where you have sourced your ringtones, the process of changing to a new one is the same. To set your iPhone to use a different sound, follow these steps.

  1. On the iPhone's Home Screen, tap the Settings icon.
  2. In the list of options on the Settings screen, tap the Sounds sub-menu.
  3. Next, scroll down to the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section. To change the existing ringtone, tap on its name with your finger.
  4. You'll now see a list of ringtones that are available on your iPhone. You can use any of these regardless of whether they are alert tones, built-in ones, or sounds that you have created yourself and synced. To preview a ringtone, simply tap on one to hear it. When you've found one that you want to set as the main ringtone, ensure it is checked and then tap the Sounds button situated in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

Looking for Free Ringtone Sources?

As well as the standard ringtones that come with the iPhone, you may already know that you can also use ringtones from alternative sources too. The most popular method (and easiest route) is to use websites that provide free ringtones. This type of resource offers the quickest way to grab new sounds for your iPhone. However, finding ones that are completely free and legal can be time-consuming. For more information, you might want to read our article on free and legal ringtone websites.

Another popular way is to create your own ringtones by using the songs in your iTunes library. This is a great way of recycling songs that you have already purchased from the iTunes Store -- and save money too. It also negates the need to buy ringtones from the iTunes Store when you can do it yourself for free!

Then there's software of course. You can use either standalone ringtone software programs on the PC/Mac, or ones that directly run on the iPhone. This type of software takes a snippet of a song and converts it to a shiny new ringtone. Incidentally, there are now a lot of ringtone making apps on the iPhone that are free to download. If you've already got a selection of songs on your Apple device, then it's probably more convenient to use an app than a computer-based program.