iPhone Life magazine

Incoming Calls

How to troubleshoot ringtone problems

Copy To iTunesIf your ringtone shows up in iTunes but doesn't show up on your iPhone after syncing, it could be one of the following:


Make sure Copy files to iTunes Media folder is checked.


  • Your ringtone file wasn't permanently copied to your iTunes library. Make sure "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" is checked in iTunes. On the Mac, it's located in iTunes > Preferences >Advanced. On the PC, it's located in Edit > Preferences > Advanced.

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How to assign ringtones to individual contacts

Assign RingtonesYou can assign a different ringtone to each contact, which can help you identify the caller quickly when you receive an incoming call. For example, you might create a ringtone from your spouse's favorite song and use it for his or her calls. You might also create a special ringtone for someone you might want to ignore.


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How to change the default ringtone on your iPhone

RingtonChangeYou can change the ringtone for incoming calls from the default to a custom one by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Sounds >Ringtone to display your list of ringtones. (The built-in ringtones are listed under Standard; any ringtones you've synced with your device are listed under Custom.)
  3. Tap on the desired ringtone to select it.

Select a default ringtone for all phone calls.


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How to install iPhone ringtones using iTunes

The first thing you have to do is get the new/custom ringtone to be recognized by your Mac or PC's iTunes. Normally, all you have to do is double click on an .m4r ringtone file to open it in iTunes and it should be in iTunes as a ringtone, ready for syncing to your iPhone. If that doesn't work, you can right-click (or Control-click on a one-button Mac) on the .m4r file and select "Open with iTunes." You can also drag the ringtone file from your computer's file explorer into the iTunes Library.


To install the ringtone on your iPhone, all you should have to do is sync your iPhone. However, for a variety of reasons, this does not always work. Check out the Troubleshooting section at the end of this article for more on this.


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How to use an app to create ringtones


  • Ringtone Maker Pro ($0.99, app2.me/3686) lets you convert songs to ringtones. Copyright-protected songs will not work.
  • Ringtone Recorder ($0.99, app2.me/3687) lets you record your own ringtones using the built-in microphone.
  • AutoRingtone Pro ($0.99, app2.me/2886) lets you create custom ringtones with text-to-speech. (Full disclosure: This last app is one I created.)


If musical ringtones are your thing, keep in mind that apps and programs may not be able to convert copyright-protected music purchased through iTunes. For that you will need to purchase a ringtone directly from iTunes, understanding that you are essentially paying twice for the same song (actually a 30 second subset of that song at that).


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How to create ringtones using Mac or PC


A variety of audio programs, available for the Mac and PC, allow you to import, trim, add fades, and create ringtones. Some are commercial, whereas others are free. Mac users can use GarageBand (Mac OS: $99 as part of iLife, apple.com/ilife/garageband), Amadeus Pro (MacOS: $40, hairersoft.com/AmadeusPro), and iToner (MacOS: $15, ambrosiasw.com/utilities/itoner). Windows users, as well as Mac and even Linux/Unix owners can use Audacity (free, audacity.sourceforge.net/download).


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How to find ringtones on the Web


It's simple: Do a Google search for a tune (e.g. "Happy Birthday" or "Hail to the Chief") and include ".m4r" as a search term! In addition, there are a number of websites that specialize in ringtones ready to be installed on your iPhone (more on installing ringtones later in this article). Check out macmost.com/free-iphone-ringtones and audiko.net.


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How to Add Ringtones to your iPhone
: Introduction

The iPhone uses its own .m4r format for ringtones. This format is the same as Apple's AAC music format, which uses the .m4a extension. You can literally take an .m4a file and rename the file extension as .m4r to create an iPhone ringtone! Make sure the file you're renaming is under 30 seconds in length or it may not work.


Ringtones can also work as alarm clock alerts on the iPhone, but not the iPod touch or iPad. In addition, the iPhone does not yet allow you to create custom SMS tones or e-mail alerts. Hopefully, that capability will be included in a future release of iOS.


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How do I create ringtones from my music library?


Creating Ringtones from Music libraryIf you want to set your favorite song as your ringtone, you can purchase the ringtone version of the song online or through your iPhone. However, there is a way to create custom ringtones out of any tune in your personal music library. Here's how you can do it:

You can create your own ringtones out of your own music collection


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How do I assign ringtones to my contacts?


Sometimes you want to know who's calling without having to look at the number or name on your phone. In this case, you can assign a specific ringtone for one or many of the contacts in your phone. To assign a ringtone to a contact:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact you want to assign a ring to.
  2. Tap on the Ringtone setting.

  3. Tap on the Ringtone you want to use and you'll hear a short preview of it.
  4. Tap Info when you've found the ringtone you want; you'll return to the Contact's main info screen with the new ringtone assigned.

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