Adding Custom Ringtones To Your iPhone

The new iTunes version 12.7 removes the ability for iTunes to easily store and sync ringtones to your iPhone. But the method for manually adding and removing ringtones is easier than ever. Learn how to add custom ringtones to your iPhone through iTunes on your Mac.

Video Transcript
So with iTunes version 12.7 a lot of functionality has been removed that helps you sync things from your Mac to your iPhone, like apps. One of the things that seems to be removed is the ability to sync custom ringtones. But it's actually still there and it's simpler than ever. Let me show you how you can now get a custom ringtone to your iPhone.

First let's start by getting a custom ringtone. So MacMost has always had this set of custom ringtones that's legal for you to download and use as you want. It's at You can browse the different collections here.

Let's go and take a look at one of the sets, Classic Rings. You can see there's a preview here as an MP3 or you can download the M4R. M4R files are really MP3 files. You can just change the file extension but they're the extension for custom ringtones for the iPhone.

So let's go and download this bell ring here and it will put it in the downloads folder. So in the Downloads folder I've got that one file. Let's move that out just to the desktop over here temporarily. So let's switch to iTunes and I've already got my iPhone plugged into my Mac. You'll see it appear here as this little icon at the top left. So I just click on that to go to the screen that shows me information about my iPhone.

Now we'll start here in Summary. But what I want to do is I want to switch to looking at the ringtones on my device. So they'll first be settings here. This is where you would have seen, perhaps, ringtones before. But we don't have that anymore. But still on my device we still have Tones. Click on it and it shows the ringtones that are on my iPhone.

So what's really changed here is the ability for iTunes to store ringtones. That's just not done anymore. But you can still look at the ringtones that are installed on the device. Here I've got one custom one. So let's add another one.

Now here's where it really gets simple. All you need to do is drag and drop. So I drag and drop into there and it updates. You don't even have to hit sync or anything. It just automatically adds that bell ring ringtone to my iPhone.

So looking at my Settings app now if I go to Sounds and I select something like Ringtone you can see at the top there I have the two custom ringtones before all the defaults. Those will also be available in other places. For instance if I select Text Tone it won't be there at the top but it will be there under Ringtone. So I can use these throughout for my alerts.

Now let's say you want to Delete the ringtone from your iPhone. So you would do that here in iTunes as well. When you're in the Tones section here you would Control click and you get Delete From Library. That allows you to remove it. Now if you don't see Delete From Library it's probably because under Summary here you don't have Manually manage turned on. Manually manage no matter what it says, in my case it just says videos because I'm using Apple Music, but for you it might say music, videos, etc., if you don't have that on then you, for whatever reason, can add ringtones but you can't delete them.

Comments: 9 Responses to “Adding Custom Ringtones To Your iPhone”

    10/19/17 @ 10:12 am

    Friends have asked me if this tip will work in the same manner on a PC using iTunes.

    10/19/17 @ 10:13 am

    Al: I don’t know. They should try it.

    Karen Howard Brown
    10/19/17 @ 1:16 pm

    I’m running, my iPhone is plugged in. My one custom ringtone does not show up under Tones. I went to it’s location on my hard drive and tried dragging it in so it would show up—nothing. I tried downloading one of yours and dragging it in, just as shown on your video—nothing. Why, I wonder.

    10/19/17 @ 1:55 pm

    Karen: What version of iOS is your device?

    Karen Howard Brown
    10/19/17 @ 2:58 pm

    IOS 11.0.3. The custom ringtone is on the phone—loaded originally through iTunes. iMac running High Sierra.

    10/19/17 @ 2:59 pm

    Karen: Ah, yes, if the ringtone was previously leaded through a sync, then it won’t appear. This method is for manually transferring ringtones and the two methods don’t work together.

    Karen Howard Brown
    10/19/17 @ 5:39 pm

    I can understand that, but why wouldn’t iTunes accept one of your ringtones —just as you showed in the video. Works on yours—not on mine.

    10/19/17 @ 5:44 pm

    Karen: Did you switch to “manually manage” like I show? Really hard to say without being there to watch every step and examine and investigate whatever else you may have going on.

    Karen Howard Brown
    10/19/17 @ 9:00 pm

    Who knows why, but the ringtones are now transferring. Thanks, Gary. I lead the Mac Users group in our community (150 members) and teach iPad classes, so always want to make sure something works before I pass information along. :)

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