How to Set the iPhone Alarm Clock to Use iTunes Songs

Wake up to Your Favorite Song on the iPhone

Young woman listening to music on smartphone
Atsushi Yamada / Getty Images

You've been able to use your digital music collection in the iPhone's Clock app in place of the built-in ringtones that come standard since iOS 6. This enhancement makes your iTunes library even more useful than before with the bonus of waking up to your favorite music track.

Adding Music to an Alarm

Adding music to your alarm is straightforward — but not necessarily obvious, because the procedure is hidden behind a pair of context menus.

Begin by creating an alarm. You can also use an alarm that's already active on your phone. From the main Alarm screen, tap Edit, the tap the faint right-arrow bracket on the right side of the screen to reveal additional options. You'll end up in the Edit Alarm screen, which includes a menu item for Sound. Tapping Sound reveals a menu where you get to pick your music.

But there's a catch: The iPhone defaults your view of the list to the currently active, or the default, tone. You must scroll to the top of the list to see the option for Songs.

Songs on your iPhone

When you tap Pick a song, you'll reveal a list of the music on your phone that's been synced with iTunes or with Apple Music. By default, it's organized by playlist. Scroll or select what you want, then save the alarm. You're good to go.

However, you may not see all your music. You'll find slim pickings if:

  • You don't use Apple Music
  • You don't sync your phone to a desktop installation of iTunes

For example, if you rely on Spotify for all your music choices, you're out of luck. Spotify doesn't sync with the background service that populates your music choices in the Alarm app.

Alternative Sounds

Most people pick a standard ringtone for their alarm, or they'll pick a song. However, you'll also find tones in the App Store that you can purchase and download. Those will populate the Ringtones list in the Sound settings of the Alarm app.

You're also free to create your own ringtones, which you can then select as alarm music.