How to Make Free Ringtones for iPhone

Customize your iPhone with personalized ringtones

Ringtones offer fun ways to customize your iPhone. With them, you can hear your favorite song whenever you get a call or assign different ringtones to your contacts so you know who's calling just by the sound.

You can create all the ringtones you want right on your iPhone, but you must be able to connect to iTunes to complete the process.

The iPhone ringtone-maker apps in this article require iOS 8 or later and iTunes on a computer. They don't work with macOS Catalina, which replaced iTunes with the Music app.

Get an App for Making iPhone Ringtones

To create your own ringtones, you need three things:

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

There are free apps and paid apps in the App Store for making ringtones. In most cases, the free versions include ads, but otherwise they are work similarly.

As an alternative, you can buy pre-made ringtones from the ​iTunes Store on your iPhone. Open the iTunes Store app, tap More > Tones to browse ringtones you can buy.

How to Edit a Song for Your Ringtone

The exact steps to make a ringtone differ slightly for each app, but the basic steps for all the apps are roughly the same. This example uses the free Ringtone Maker Pro app.

  1. Open the Ringtone Maker Pro app on your iPhone and tap Ringtone Maker.

  2. Tap the music note and agree to give the app access to your Music library.

    Ringtone Maker app on iPhone
  3. Locate the song you want to use by tapping Artists, Albums, or Songs. It must be a song you own, not one from an Apple Music subscription.

    Tap the song to open it in the ringtone maker screen.

    iPhone Music Library
  4. The song appears in the app as a sound wave in the app. Use the app's tools to select the section of the song you want to make into a ringtone. You can't use the entire song; most apps limit a ringtone to 30 to 40 seconds.

  5. Click the Play button to hear the chosen portion and adjust it if needed.

  6. When you have the ringtone you want, save it by tapping the floppy disc at the bottom of the screen.

  7. You receive a message that your ringtone is available via iTunes sharing. If you are unfamiliar with the process of syncing your iPhone with iTunes on your computer and loading a ringtone onto your iPhone, watch the video tutorial.

Otherwise, tap Done and sync your phone to your Mac.

Ringtone Maker Pro interface

Some ringtone apps allow you to apply effects to your tone, such as changing pitch, adding reverb, fade, or looping it, so try these out if you want to customize the tune.

Sync Ringtone to iPhone and Select It

After you create and save a ringtone, most ringtone apps give instructions as to how to add the new tone to the iTunes library on your computer. The two most common ways to do this are:

Syncing. Sync your iPhone and computer. In the left menu in iTunes, select File Sharing. Select the app you used to create the tone. Then single-click the tone and click Save to.

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.

The process involves getting the new tone to iTunes, designating it as a ringtone and syncing it back to the iPhone, where you can control how you want to use it.

Selecting Ringtones on iPhone

With ​your ringtone created and added to your iPhone, it's time to decide how you want to use the tone. There are two options.

Using the Ringtone as the Default for all Calls

  1. Tap the Settings app.

  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics (or Sounds on some models).

  3. Tap Ringtone.

  4. Tap the ringtone you just created. This is now your default tone.

    Ringtone settings on iPhone

Using the Ringtone Only for Selected People​

If you want to apply a ringtone only to one person, you can:

  1. Tap the Phone app.

  2. Tap Contacts at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Search or browse your contacts until you find the person you want to assign the tone to. Tap the name.

    Contacts in the Phone app on an iPhone
  4. Tap Edit at the top of the person's contact screen.

  5. Tap Ringtone.

  6. Tap the ringtone you just created to select it and tap Done.

    Contacts app and Ringtone assignment

Now, you'll hear that ringtone when the person calls you from one of the phone numbers you stored in their contact information in your iPhone.