How to Make Free Ringtones for iPhone

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

You can create all the ringtones you want—for free, right on your iPhone. This article takes you step by step through what's required to make your own ringtones.

Get an app for making iPhone ringtones

create free iphone ringtones
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In order to create your own ringtones, you'll 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. 

Apple used to have a feature in iTunes that let you create a ringtone from virtually any song in your music library. It has since removed that tool, 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.

Buying iTunes ringtones

Alternatively, you can buy pre-made ringtones from ​iTunes.

Choose and edit a song for your ringtone

how to set individual ringtones on iphone
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Once you've installed the ringtone creator app of your choice, follow these steps. The exact steps needed to make the ringtone differ for each app, but the basic steps for all apps are roughly the same. Adapt the steps laid out here for your chosen app.

  1. Tap the ringtone app to launch it.
  2. In the app, choose the song you want to turn into a ringtone. You can only use songs that are in your music library stored on your iPhone. You almost certainly won't be able to use songs from Apple Music. You'll need to use songs that you got 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 make into a 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, preview what it will sound like. Make adjustments to your selection, based on your preference.
  6. Some ringtone apps allow you to apply effects to your tone, such as changing pitch, adding reverb, or looping it, so try this out if you want to customize the tune.
  7. Once you've got exactly the ringtone you want, you'll need to save it. Tap the button your app that will save it to your phone.

Sync ringtone to iPhone and select it

stop iphone auto sync in itunes
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The technique for installing ringtones that you create in apps is a bit awkward. Unfortunately, all ringtone apps have to use this approach due to how Apple requires ringtones be added to the iPhone.

  1. Once you've created and saved your ringtone, your app will offer a 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. In the lefthand menu in iTunes, select File Sharing. Select the app you used to create the tone. Then single click the tone and click Save to.
  2. Go to the main iTunes screen that shows both your music library and the lefthand menu that shows your iPhone. 
  3. Click the arrow to expand the iPhone and show its submenus.
  4. Select the Tones menu.
  5. Find the ringtone where saved it in step 1, and then drag the ringtone file to the main section of the Tones screen in iTunes. 
  6. Sync your iPhone again to add the ringtone to it.

Setting ringtones

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With ​your ringtone created and added to your iPhone, you just have to decide how you want to use the tone. There are two primary options.

Using the ringtone as the default 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.

Using 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 when this person calls you from one of the phone numbers you have stored in their contact information in your iPhone.