How to Make Free Ringtones for iPhone

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Get an App to Make iPhone Ringtones

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Ringtones are one of the most fun and easy ways to customize your iPhone. With them, you can hear your favorite song whenever you get a call. If you've got enough ringtones, you can even assign a different ringtone to your friends and family so you know who's calling just by the sound.

Even better? You can create all the ringtones you want—for free. This article takes you step by step through what's required to make your own ringtones.

RELATED: How To Assign Unique Ringtones to Individuals on iPhone

Requirements for Making Your Own Ringtones

In order to create your own ringtones, you'll need:

  • A ringtone maker app
  • The song you want to turn into a ringtone in your iPhone's music library
  • The computer you sync your iPhone. 

Apple used to include a feature in iTunes that allowed you to create a ringtone from virtually any song in your music library. They removed that tool a few versions ago, so now if you want to create ringtones for your iPhone, you'll need an app. For suggestions about what app to use, check out:

Once you've found the app you want and installed it on your iPhone, move on to the next step. 

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Choose a Song To Make Into a Ringtone and Edit It

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Once you've installed an app to create your ringtones, follow these steps. The exact steps required to create the ringtone are different for each app, but the basic steps for all apps are roughly the same so adapt the steps laid out here to your chosen app.

  1. Tap the ringtone app to launch it
  2. Use the app to choose the song you want to turn into a ringtone. You can only use songs that are already in your music library. There will be a button to allow you to browse your music library and select the song. NOTE: You almost certainly won't be able to use songs from Apple Music. You'll need to use songs that you acquired another way.
  3. You may be asked what kind of tone you want to create: a ringtone, text tone, or alert tone (the difference is that ringtones are longer). Select ringtone
  4. The song will appear in the app as a sound wave. Use the app's tools to select the section of the song you want to be your ringtone. You can't use the entire song; ringtones are limited to 30-40 seconds in length (depending on the app)
  5. When you've selected a section of the song, you can preview what it will sound like. Make adjustments to your selection, based on how you like it
  6. Some ringtone apps allow you to apply effects to your tone, such as changing pitch, adding reverb, or looping it. If the app you chose includes these features, use them however you want
  7. Once you've got exactly the ringtone you want, you'll need to save it. Tap whatever button your app offers to save the tone.
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Sync Ringtone to iPhone and Select It

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The technique for installing ringtones created in apps is kind of awkward. Unfortunately, all ringtone apps have to use this approach due to how Apple requires them to be added to the iPhone.

  1. Once you've created and saved your ringtone, your app will offer some way to add the new tone to the iTunes library on your computer. The two most common ways to do this are:
    1. Email. Using the app, email the ringtone to yourself as an attachment. When the ringtone arrives on your computer, save the attachment and then drag it into iTunes
    2. Syncing. Sync your iPhone and computer as you normally would. In the Apps tab, scroll down to the File Sharing section, select the app you used to create the tone, select the tone, and add it to your iTunes library.
  2. Once the ringtone is added to your iTunes library, click on the Tones tab.
  3. On this screen, you'll see a list of all your ringtones. Check the box next to the one you just created
  4. Sync your phone again to add the new ringtone to it.
  5. With that done, the ringtone is on your iPhone and you need to decide what you want to use it for. 

To use the ringtone for all calls

  1. Tap the Settings app
  2. Tap Sounds (the menu is Sounds & Haptics on some models)
  3. Tap Ringtone
  4. Tap the ringtone you just created. This is now your default tone.

To use the ringtone only for certain people

  1. Tap the Phone app
  2. Tap Contacts
  3. Search or browse your contacts until you find the person you want to assign the tone to. Tap their name
  4. Tap Edit
  5. Tap Ringtone
  6. Tap the ringtone you just created to select it
  7. Tap Done
  8. Now, you'll hear that ringtone anytime this person calls you from one of the phone numbers you have stored for them in your iPhone.
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