How to Change the Default Ringtone on Your iPhone

Personalize your iPhone for your needs

Many people prefer to change their phone's default ringtone to something they like better. Changing ringtones is one of the major, and easiest, ways to customize an iPhone. Changing the default ringtone means that whenever you get a call, the new tone you chose will play.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12, but functionality is similar for older versions of iOS.

How to Change the Default iPhone Ringtone

To adjust the ringtone from the Settings app:

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

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

  3. On the Ringtone screen, choose a ringtone that came with the iPhone.

  4. 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. Tap a ringtone to play a preview of it. When you find the ringtone you want to use as the default, place a checkmark next to it.

  7. To go back to the previous screen, tap Sounds & Haptics in the upper-left corner or ​click the 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 have, those ringtones take precedence. Just remember to listen for that sound, and not a ringing phone, so you don't miss any calls.

How to Create Custom Ringtones

If you want to use a favorite song as a ringtone instead of one of the iPhone's built-in sounds, find the song you want to use and an app to create the ringtone. After you install the app, create the ringtone and add it to your iPhone.

How to Set Different Ringtones for Different People

By default, the same ringtone plays no matter who calls you. But you can change that and make a different sound play for different people. This is fun and helpful: you can know who's calling without looking at the screen.

How to Change Vibrations

You can also change the vibration pattern the iPhone uses when you get a call. This variation can be helpful when your ringer is turned off but you want to know you're getting a call. It's also useful for people with hearing impairments.

To change the default vibration pattern:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics (or Sounds).

  3. Turn on either the Vibrate on Ring or Vibrate on Silent toggle switch (or both).

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

  5. Tap Vibration.

  6. Tap the pre-defined 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, place a checkmark 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 things that can cause that problem.