How to Set Custom iPad Sounds

Change the defaults on your Apple tablet

An iPad on a table

 Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

You can change the sound your iPad makes when you get a new email, text message, or notification. Apple has included a number of fun options to change alert sounds. The iPad will even let you set different alerts for sending and receiving emails.

Here's how to customize the alert sounds on your iPad.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 7 and later.

How to Set Custom 'New Mail' and 'Sent Mail' iPad Sounds

You'll make all of your changes in a single menu in the iPad's Settings app. Here's where to go:

  1. Go into your iPad's Settings.

    The iPad Settings app
  2. Scroll down the left-side menu and choose "Sounds".

    How to make an iPad alert tone
  3. You can adjust the volume of alert sounds by moving the slider at the top of this screen. You can also choose whether or not the volume of alerts matches the overall volume of your iPad by turning on "Change With Buttons".

    How to set alert sounds on iPad
  4. Below the volume slider is a list of alerts. Choose "New Mail" or "Sent Mail" from the list.

    Set new alert sounds on iPad
  5. A new menu appears with a list of custom sounds. The Alert Tones are unique sounds designed for various alerts like getting a new email or text message.

    If you choose Classic, you will get a new list of sounds that came with the original iPad. And below the Alert Tones are all of the Ringtones, which gives you several choices.

    Set new alert sounds on iPad
  6. Once you've selected a new sound, it will play when you receive a new email.

How to Set Custom Alerts for Contacts

Along with the global settings for text messages on the iPad, you can also give people in your contacts unique alerts so you can tell who's texting you without even looking. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your iPad.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  2. Navigate to one of your contacts on the left-side menu and tap their name to pull up their info.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  3. Tap Edit.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  4. You can choose different alerts for when people text or call you. Tap Ringtone or Text Tone to choose a new sound.

    If the tones say "Default," that means they're set to use whichever global setting you have on your iPad.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  5. Tap the alert sound you want to use (you'll hear samples of each one), and then tap Done.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  6. Tap Done on the contact info page to save your changes.

    Change alert sounds on iPad
  7. When this contact calls or texts you (depending on which alert you changed), you'll hear the custom sound instead of the default one.

Add More Custom Sounds to the iPad

As you can see, there are many other custom sounds you can add to your iPad to personalize it. If you use Siri to set reminders and schedule events, you can customize the Reminder and Calendar Alerts. And if you find yourself using FaceTime regularly, you may want to set a custom Ringtone. 

Here are a few other custom sounds you can set on the iPad:

Facebook Post: You'll hear this sound when you use Siri to update your Facebook status or when you share something on Facebook using the Share button.

Tweet: This option is similar to the Facebook Post sound, only with Twitter

AirDrop: The AirDrop feature is great for sharing pictures with people in the same room as you. It uses a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to send photos (or apps or websites, etc.) to another nearby iPad or iPhone. You must have AirDrop turned on to use this feature.

Lock Sounds: This setting turns off the sound the iPad makes when you lock it or put it to sleep.

Keyboard Clicks: If you don't like the clicking sound the iPad makes when you tap a key on the on-screen keyboard, turn Keyboard Clicks off, and your keyboard will go into silent mode.