How to Change the Default Ringtone on Your iPhone

Personalize your iPhone for your needs

What to Know

  • Go to Settings Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone. Find the ringtone you want to use and tap it.
  • You can use a third-party app to create a custom ringtone, then set it as your default using the above method.
  • Change your phone's vibrations by going to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone Vibration. Choose a preset or custom vibration.

This article explains how to change the default ringtone on an iPhone. It's one of the easiest ways to customize your iPhone. Instructions article apply to iOS 12 and up, but the steps and functionality are similar for older versions of iOS.

How to Change the Default iPhone Ringtone

To change your iPhone's default ringtone, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app > Sounds & Haptics (on some older devices, tap Sounds).

  2. In the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section, tap Ringtone.

  3. On the Ringtone screen, tap a ringtone. Each ringtone you tap will play so you can hear what it sounds like.

  4. The iPhone comes with dozens of ringtones pre-loaded. If you want to buy new ringtones, tap Tone Store (on some older models, tap Store in the upper-right corner, then tap Tones).

    If you've never downloaded and installed ringtones, learn how to buy ringtones on the iPhone.

    Three iOS screens showing Sounds & Haptics, Ringtone, and Tone Store buttons in Settings app
  5. Alert Tones are normally used for alarms and other notifications but can be used as ringtones.

  6. When you find the ringtone you want to use as the default, tap it so that the checkmark appears next to it.

  7. To go back to the previous screen, tap Sounds & Haptics in the upper-left corner or ​use the iPhone Home button to go to the home screen. Your ringtone choice is saved automatically.

Whenever you get a call, the ringtone you selected will play unless you assigned individual ringtones to callers. If you've set a specific ringtone for an individual, that ringtone plays instead. Just remember to listen for that sound, and not a ringing phone, so you don't miss any calls.

By default, the same ringtone plays no matter who calls you, but you can also learn how to set unique ringtones for each contact on your iPhone.

How to Create Custom iPhone Ringtones

Want to use a favorite song as a ringtone instead of one of the iPhone's built-in sounds? You can! You just need a little bit of software to create your own ringtone. Find the song you want to use and get an app to create the ringtone. After you install the app, create the ringtone and add it to your iPhone.

How to Change Vibrations on iPhone

You can also change the vibration pattern the iPhone uses when you get a call. This variation can be helpful when you turn off the iPhone ringer but still want to know you're getting a call. It's also useful for people with hearing impairments. Vibrations are created by the iPhone's support for haptics.

To change the default vibration pattern:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics (or Sounds).

  3. Move either the Vibrate on Ring or Vibrate on Silent (or both) to on/green.

  4. In the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section, tap Ringtone.

  5. Tap Vibration.

  6. Tap the pre-loaded options to test them or tap Create New Vibration to make your own.

    Three iOS screens showing Vibrate on Ring and Silent toggles, Ringtone button, Vibration button, and checkmark
  7. To select a vibration pattern, tap it so that a checkmark appears next to it. Your choice is automatically saved.

Just like ringtones, different vibration patterns can be set for individual contacts. Follow the same steps as setting ringtones and look for the Vibration option.

Problems with ringtones can lead to an iPhone not ringing when calls come in, but there are a number of other issues that can also cause that problem. Learn how to fix the iPhone not ringing problem.

  • What type of files can be used for iPhone ringtones?

    The preferred audio format for iPhones is AAC. Typically, AAC files use the .M4A file extension.

  • How do I transfer ringtones from my Android to my iPhone?

    First, transfer your Android ringtones to the appropriate format and upload them to your computer. Connect your iPhone, go to iTunes, then move the ringtones to the Tones section.

  • How do I set a song as an iPhone alarm?

    To set a song as an iPhone alarm, go to the Clock app and tap Alarm > Add (+). Enter a time, then tap Sound and choose a song. You can only use songs that are saved in the Music app on your iPhone.

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