How to Set The iPhone's Alarm Clock to Use iTunes Songs

Wake up to your favorite songs instead of the usual chimes on the iPhone.

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

Since the release of iOS 6 you can now use your digital music collection in the iPhone's clock app as well as the built-in ringtones that come as standard. This is a great enhancement which makes your iTunes library even more useful than before -- and with the added bonus of being able to wake up to your favorite music tracks.

Whether you've used the alarm clock for some time, or are new to the iPhone, you may not have realized that you can use the songs stored on your iPhone in the clock app. After all, it's an option that can easily be overlooked since it's not visible unless you go to the alarm sound options.

This tutorial is divided into two parts -- depending on your experience you'll need to either follow the first or second section. The first part takes you through all of the necessary steps in setting up an alarm from scratch using a song. This is ideal if you're new to the iPhone or have never used the clock app's alarm function. The second part of this guide is if you have already set up alarms and want to see how to modify them to use songs instead of ringtones.

Setting Up an Alarm and Choosing a Song

If you've never set up an alarm in the clock app before then follow this section to see how to pick a song from your iTunes library. You'll also discover how to pick days of the week that you want your alarm to trigger on and even how to label alarms if setting up more than one.

  1. On the iPhone's home screen, tap on the Clock app using your finger.
  2. Select the alarm sub-menu by tapping on the Alarm icon near the bottom of the screen.
  3. To add an alarm event, tap on the + sign in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  4. Choose what days of the week you want the alarm to trigger by tapping on the Repeat option. From here you can highlight the days (e.g. Monday to Friday) and then tap the Back button when done.
  5. Tap the Sound setting. Hit the Pick a Song option and then choose a track from your iPhone's music library.
  6. If you want your alarm to have a snooze facility then leave the default setting in the On position. Otherwise just tap your finger on the switch to disable it (Off).
  7. You can name your alarm if you want to set up different alarms to suit certain occasions (like work, weekend, etc.). If you want to do this, hit the Label setting, type in a name and then hit the Done button. 
  8. Set the alarm time by swiping your finger up and down on the two virtual number wheels in the lower portion of the screen.
  1. Finally, tap the Save button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Modifying an Existing Alarm to Use a Song

In this section of the guide, we'll show you how to modify an alarm that you've already setup to play a song when it is triggered rather than one of the built-in ringtones. To do this:

  1. Launch the Clock app from the iPhone's home screen.
  2. Bring up the alarm section of the app by tapping on the Alarm icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Highlight the alarm you want to modify and then tap of the Edit button in the left hand corner of the screen.
  4. Tap on the alarm (making sure not to hit the red delete icon) to view its settings.
  5. Select the Sound option. To choose a song on your iPhone, tap the Pick a Song setting and then choose one via Songs, Albums, Artists, etc.
  6. When you've selected a song it will start to play automatically. If you're happy with your choice, hit the Back button followed by Save.