Adding Individual iPhone Ringtones

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to add individual iPhone ringtones from the MacMost free iPhone Ringtones collection to your iPhone.

1. Go to and select a collection from the list. Click on the collection.

2. A list of ringtones will appear. Each has a Preview link and a Download link. Click on the preview link to listen to that ringtone right in your browser. Use your browser’s back button to return to the list. Click on a Download link and that ringtone will download to your computer’s hard drive. If, instead of downloading, you load a new page with strange characters on it, then just use the Back button to return to the list and right+click or control+click on the Download link and select “Download Linked File.”

3. The download will begin and you will see the file appear in Safari’s Downloads window. If you do not see this window, choose Window, Downloads and it will appear. Click on the little magnifying glass next to the file and a Finder window will open up to reveal the file on your hard drive.

4. Once you have located the file on your drive, you are ready to move it to iTunes.

5. Open up iTunes and click on the Ringtones section of the library on the left sidebar. Then drag and drop the file from the Finder window into the main iTunes window to add it to iTunes.

6. You will now see the ringtone in your iTunes library in the Ringtones section.

7. Plug in your iPhone and select it in the left sidebar. Click on the Ringtones tab in the main area to see how you have set up iTunes to sync ringtones to your iPhone. Make sure it is set to sync all ringtones, or if you have chosen to sync only some ringtones, make sure the new ringtone is selected. Then press the large Sync button at the bottom right corner of iTunes to send the ringtone to your iPhone.

8. After your iPhone has be synced, go to the Settings app.

9. In the settings app, choose Sounds from the list.

10. Look for Ringtones among the Sounds settings.

11. New ringtones will appear in the Custom list before the Standard list. Select the new ringtone and it will become your default ringtone. You can also go into your Contacts app and set a custom ringtone for any contact that will override the default ringtone when that person calls you.

Comments: 38 Responses to “Adding Individual iPhone Ringtones”

    Laurel Paley
    12/29/09 @ 12:45 am

    Thanks! I just downloaded a few of your ringtones and followed your instructions. Good, clear, step-by-step.

    Ted Obbard
    2/5/10 @ 5:16 pm

    Indeed. Worked great. Thanks!

    3/14/10 @ 3:35 pm

    Unable to download your ringtone – iTunes says it won’t sync because it can’t find the file. I’ve selected it specifically to be synced – what to do now? Thx

      3/14/10 @ 4:08 pm

      Hard to tell what might be wrong. It sounds like maybe you need to try downloading the file again — maybe it got deleted.

    4/10/10 @ 4:44 pm

    followed instructions exactly. When plugged in to itunes on imac they appear under ipnone / ringtones but they can not be accessed from phone. When you go to settngs / ringtones theres only one custom sound and no more. I’ve read that this is a bug with the 3gs….

      4/10/10 @ 6:56 pm

      I has a 3gs and it works fine for me. It sounds like the ringtones aren’t making it to the iPhone. Check all your settings again. Try the “make a playlist” method too.

    4/17/10 @ 5:09 am

    I have followed all instructions which are on various sites, and get to the point where i have to sync the ringtone. I’ve ticked “Sync Ringtones” and when i eventually disconnect my iPhone, i look in the “settings” then “sounds” folder but the ringtone isnt there at all.

    Ive done this so many times, followed each step intricately but they just dont appear in my sounds folder.


      4/17/10 @ 8:17 am

      You said you go to settings, sounds. Are you then looking in ringtones? If you look elsewhere, like “new text message” you won’t see them. They will only appear in ringtones.
      If you are, then there must be some step you are missing. Perhaps a visit to an Apple store will help.

        4/17/10 @ 12:59 pm

        Hi Gary, yeah I check the “ringtone” folder. I don’t see a “custom” section within the rington folder which is where i presume the ringtones would go.

        I have followed the steps word for word 4 or 5 times. The songs appear in the ringtones section on my iTunes and it’s just the sync part that doesn’t work

    5/31/10 @ 9:53 pm

    When I click “sync ringtones” I get a dialog box asking if I’m sure and saying “All existing songs, tv shows, and movies on the iPhone will be removed.” What do I do about this?


      6/1/10 @ 5:57 am

      It sounds like that iPhone isn’t currently synced with that Mac. Or, you are using a manual sync. If the later, then just drag and drop ringtones as you must be doing for songs already. If the former, then you’ll need to sync your iPhone with apt hat Mac, erasing all current media, in order to use the iPhone with that mac.

        6/1/10 @ 6:45 am

        It’s the latter, thank you!

    6/9/10 @ 11:06 pm

    I have downloaded and synked to iphone, but when I got to settings, ringtone there are no custome tones showing only the standard ones??? can find no solution to this problem.

      6/10/10 @ 7:06 am

      Go through the steps again carefully. The ringtones did not make it to your iPhone for one reason or another. Check your ringtones sync settings carefully.

      2/27/11 @ 8:19 am

      if you have manipulated the file (even changing the name) in any way after you downloaded the file, it will not show up for some reason. Download again w/o changing the file and it should work.

    6/25/10 @ 9:54 am

    am running the new ios4. in itunes, there is NO ringtones folder listed under my music library on the left. There IS a ringtones tab when I open my iphone. How do I create that ringtones folder?

      6/25/10 @ 10:08 am

      Perhaps you don’t have any ringtones, then? If there are no ringtones in your Music Library, perhaps the item on the left if hidden. Try adding one to iTunes to see if it appears.

    8/11/10 @ 11:45 am

    i successfull downloaded the ringtone “Eff_one”. it is a 24 sec clip but when i go into Sound settings on my 3GS [jailbroken]the clip plays for only approx 7 seconds. Weird Aint it? what do i need to do so that the netire clip of 24 secs is played?

      8/11/10 @ 2:52 pm

      Have you tried it as a ringtone? Or are you just playing it to test in the settings? It may only play the first 7 secs so you can sample it. Try to actually USE the ringtone.

    8/13/10 @ 3:35 am

    Thanks Gary, Ive had my iphone for a long time with just the ring tones that came with it. Your instructions are clear and worked perfectly. I’m so excited to hear my new ring tones. Thank you.

    8/21/10 @ 2:21 pm

    Hi, I am trying to do this, but I have no ringtone icon under my iphone when i connect it and if I select that I want to sync ringtones it tells me that it will delete all my apps and music and such. Is there a way to fix this without erasing everything that is currently on my phone?

      8/22/10 @ 11:01 am

      Not sure how you have it set up. You should have a ringtones tab, and you should be able to set it to sync. Perhaps that iPhone isn’t set to sync with that computer at all? Hard for me to tell from here. Perhaps a visit to the Genius bar for some one-to-one.

      2/27/11 @ 8:18 am

      go to iTune under Preferences and check the “ringtone” box under “Show”

    9/19/10 @ 1:00 pm

    Brilliant – bored of the ring tones on my 3GS, I decided to Google and see what came up (that were not links to dodgy websites). The selection here is fantastic, with simple to follow instructions – thank you!

    Btw, how can I assign these tones to text messages?


      9/19/10 @ 3:35 pm

      Thanks. Unfortunately there is no way to use custom ringtones for text message alerts.

    10/8/10 @ 7:57 pm

    Hi, Can i use a ringtone for a message alert

      10/9/10 @ 11:03 am

      No. There is no way to choose a custom ringtone as a text message alert.

        11/7/10 @ 7:28 pm

        Attn Apple!! I suggest you upgrade the Apps so that we can customize our ringtones for text messages. Your current ringtones for text messages are not really that exciting or nice!!! For such an expensive Iphone4, there must be a way to customize the text message ringtone!!!



    5/18/11 @ 7:05 am

    Hi,i have the ringtones tab in the itunes but there is no ringtones tab in my iphone folder.Thanks for helping.

      5/18/11 @ 7:11 am

      So, it sounds like you haven’t added any ringtones. Have you dragged and dropped any to your iTunes library? Or, bought any from Apple?

    7/10/11 @ 1:45 pm

    Some of your files relate to text tones – is it possible to customise the text tone on the iPhone 4?

      7/10/11 @ 1:57 pm

      Not yet. It is a new feature in iOS 5, coming soon.

        7/11/11 @ 12:28 pm

        Good news!

        I downloaded some ring tones and installed them on my iPhone. Your instructions were spot on.


    Robert Roxby
    12/2/11 @ 4:34 pm

    There is no Ringtones section in iTunes.

      12/2/11 @ 4:46 pm

      In the latest version of iTunes they changed it to just “Tones” — I guess because they can now be used for text tones and messages too.

    Ann Scott
    1/19/12 @ 1:14 pm

    Thanks so much, after I figured everything out it worked perfectly. As a bonus I learned 4 other things as well.

    10/4/12 @ 1:00 pm

    Drag & Dropping the mp3 into the iTunes ‘Tones’ area is not working. It doesn’t show up. What could be the problem?

      10/4/12 @ 2:50 pm

      You need to use the .m4r file, not the .mp3 one.

Comments Closed.