How To Get Free iPhone Ringtones

NOTE: This is an old article. The ringtones are no longer available via podcast. You can download them all directly here:

So it looks like putting our MacMost free iPhone ringtones in the iTunes store as a free podcast was a good idea. A lot of people have subscribed. I wanted to do a short blog post about how to get these ringtones on to your iPhone.

1. Go to our iPhone ringtones page at and click on the “subscribe to the free iPhone ringtones feed as a podcast” link. This will open iTunes and take you right to the subscription page. Note that iTunes will not show you the ringtones in the list of episodes — a bug in iTunes. But they are there. Click on the Subscribe button.

2. In iTunes, under the Library heading on the left, look for “Podcasts.” Click on that and then look for “MacMost iPhone Ringtones” in the list on the right. Click on the triangle to the left of that to see all of the items under that podcast.

3. Press the Get button next to each of the items you want to add. Or, press the Get All button at the top of the list.

4. Plug your iPhone in to your computer. Let it sync with iTunes.

5. Click on the iPhone in the iTunes list on the left, under Devices. Now you should see your iPhone settings in the main iTunes area. Click on the Podcasts tab.

6. Set your iPhone to sync all episodes of all Podcasts. Or, alternatively, set it to sync only the podcasts you want. Either way, you must have it set to sync ALL episodes. If you set it so it only syncs the X most recent episodes of your podcast, you will not get some or any of the ringtones.

 6a. Alternatively, you could create a Smart Playlist by choosing File, Create Smart Playlist. Set the options so the “Kind” contains “Ringtones” and Live Updating is turned on. Then select the Music tab of your iPhone settings and make sure that the new Smart Playlist is set to sync to your iPhone.

7. Re-sync your iPhone to send the ringtones to it.

 7a. Some people have reported that you must have at least one ringtone in your iTunes library for ringtones to appear on the left side of iTunes and for ringtones to sync at all. So you may need to download a free ringtone here and drag and drop it into your iTunes library.

8. In the Settings app of your iPhone, click on Sounds to set you default ringtone. You can also go into the Contacts app to set a specific ringtone for some of your contacts.

9. Go back to iTunes and write a review!

Also: If you are still having trouble, please contact us via email and we’ll be glad to help. You can also just go to the iPhone Ringtones page and download any ringtone individually and add them to iTunes without subscribing to the podcast. So you have plenty of options.

Enjoy the free ringtones!

Comments: 81 Responses to “How To Get Free iPhone Ringtones”

    8/30/08 @ 10:05 pm

    how do i set my songs to my iphone to be a ringtone?
    i did everthing that the steps said, but when i tried putting my songs it didn’t work.

    please help me.

      Mary Moquin
      7/15/11 @ 9:44 am

      I think I figured it out. Make sure when your iPhone is attached,(follow their steps click on your iPhone, then select the ringtones tab, check off “sync ringtones”,) then MAKE SURE you go down to the bottom right and click “apply” or it goes back to the default settings on your phone!

    8/31/08 @ 8:57 am

    Berna: Do you mean you want to take a song in your iTunes music library and use that as a ringtone? You can do that through iTunes using the Create Ringtone menu choice, but only if you have purchased the song from the iTunes Music Store and that song is one of the few on iTunes that allow it — and you need to pay extra.
    However, if you have a piece of independent music in your iTunes library that you want to convert to be a ringtone, see this episode: MacMost Now 20: How To Make iPhone Ringtones.

    9/1/08 @ 8:32 pm

    thanks for the great info!

    9/16/08 @ 6:36 am

    I tried to subscribed to the Ringtones on iTunes but it says Sorry the requested items are not available in South AFrican store.

    9/16/08 @ 8:37 am

    Fahim: It shouldn’t say that. The podcast should be available everywhere. Mayb ean iTunes glitch.

    9/16/08 @ 3:10 pm

    Hi, I am able to sync the downloaded ringtones. The podcast for MacMost iPhone Ringtones downloads all selected ringtones to iTunes and even the settings show all available ringtones. However, after a sync, the result on the phone is weired:

    If I selected to sync all ringtones, the manually installed ones appear under custom ringtones
    If I choose a selected number of ringtones to sync, none are displayed on the phone at all

    Any hints?

    9/16/08 @ 3:20 pm

    Markus: Not sure. What are your podcast settings? Are you set to sync all “episodes” of the ringtones podcast, or just the most recent.

    9/16/08 @ 3:37 pm

    rosenz: Good point: My initial settings were set to “3 most recent”. I changed it now to “10 most recent unplayed” and finally I see 12 custom ringtones on my iPhone: 10 most recent unplayed ones plus the 2 manually installed ones.


    9/18/08 @ 7:18 am

    Markus: I got several MacMost iPhone ringtones. Great!
    How can I get sms ringtones or how can I change a phone call ringtone into sms ringtone?

    9/18/08 @ 8:32 am

    giorgio: No, it looks like Apple doesn’t allow you to use ringtones for incoming text messages — just the 6 sounds listed in the preferences.

    9/26/08 @ 12:35 am

    i haven’t been able to put the macmost ringtones back onto my iphone with the new “2.1” update. has anyone else had this problem?

    9/26/08 @ 6:27 am

    greg: You may just want to go through all the settings again (see the instructions) and make sure everything is still set up correctly.

    9/30/08 @ 1:19 pm

    It only synced after changing the setting for podcasts as described in 6.a. As I marked all ringtone podcasts as “not new” in the podcast directory in iTunes, I had to set (in iTunes>my iPhone>Podcasts) to sync “all episodes of…”.

    Now I’ll test the sound…

    10/13/08 @ 3:05 am

    i have the problem that i cant remove the ringtone’s from my iphone any solution for this ???

    10/13/08 @ 6:10 am

    kim: To remove ringtones you have added, you need to connect your iPhone to your Mac and sync. Then work with the iPhone settings to make sure the file you want to remove does not sync with your iPhone (check Podcasts, check Music playlists, check Ringtones tabs). Then sync again.

    11/6/08 @ 10:11 am

    Question, can you just download the ringtones individually from the website, put them in iTunes (it seems it automatically puts them under ringtones) and then just sync the phone to ringtones? Or is there something else I have to do? The whole podcast thing seems more complicated so I just want to try it by downloading a few manually. Thanks.

    11/6/08 @ 11:13 am

    Sicy: Absolutely. You can do it one-by-one if you like.

    11/11/08 @ 3:36 am


    Thanks for the great content. I’ve got an issue with the podcast. It seems that ringtones over 30secs doesn’t appear on the iPhone. Some of the tones are over this size.

    Any tip to easily resize those?

    11/14/08 @ 6:57 am

    Fantastic!!! all instructions were correct and ringtones worked!! When will it tell me that there’s new ones? trying to convert my itunes songs to ringtones using mac does anyone know how?

    11/14/08 @ 7:03 am

    Amanda: If you are subscribed to the podcast, you’ll get new ringtones when the appear in the feed. New ringtones will also be mentioned in the MacMost newsletter. See episode 88 of the video podcast about how to make your own. But making them from iTunes songs will depend where you got he song.

    11/16/08 @ 9:33 pm

    I uploaded the free ringtones.and its all in my iphone now.
    the problem is.i couldnt play them as my ringtone.pls help.

    11/16/08 @ 9:39 pm

    buttons: You say they are on your phone — where? If they are in the ringtones area, then what is preventing them from being used? If not there, then where are they?

    12/7/08 @ 3:22 pm

    how do i get ringtones for my iphone?

    12/7/08 @ 5:47 pm

    kristina: Not sure what you mean. The instructions are at the top of this page.

    12/30/08 @ 3:51 pm

    I was able to sync to my iphone and i created a playlist that shows the ringtones in itunes but when i sync, the playlist does not sync the ringtones the the iphone playlist, any ideas why?

    12/30/08 @ 4:12 pm

    Sam: You need to make sure that playlist is set to sync in your iPhone “music” settings.

    12/31/08 @ 10:07 am

    I do have it checked to sync in the music tab, is that what you are talking about? or is there another setting location?

    12/31/08 @ 10:15 am

    sam: If you have it checked off to sync in the iPhone settings, Music tab, then it should sync. Make sure the ringtones are really there and haven’t been deleted from your library. Recheck everything to make sure and try syncing again.

    12/31/08 @ 10:23 am

    tried it s afew times. the ringtones are even on the iphone as i can select them from ringtones in setup but i can not see them in the playlist in the ipod

    12/31/08 @ 10:30 am

    sam: If the ringtones can be in the selected as ringtones in the settings on the iPhone, then it is working, They won’t show up in the playlist because they are ringtones, not songs.

    12/31/08 @ 10:35 am

    rosenz: thanks for the help. what is the purpose of creating a playlist of the ringtones then? :)

    12/31/08 @ 10:52 am

    sam: The purpose is to get them to transfer to your iPhone, and specify which ones you want to transfer.

    12/31/08 @ 11:07 am


    Thanks! They transfered without the playlist but good to know that is an alternate way. would be cool if u could listen to the ringtone in the ipod.

    2/15/09 @ 10:08 pm

    i wanna download.

    3/10/09 @ 10:20 am


      3/10/09 @ 10:29 am

      See episode 88. And get that caps lock key looked at. I think it might be broken.

    5/23/09 @ 8:48 am

    Hey folks, hoping you can help me.

    Got the whole MacMost podcast with the ringtones downloaded, the ringtones all show up in the Podcasts section of the Library, but they won’t sync. I can’t figure out what it could be…anybody help??

      5/23/09 @ 9:02 am

      Have you gone through the step-by-step at the top of this page. Make sure you do each step.

    Dave Dallas
    6/8/09 @ 4:09 pm

    Can you attach the ringtone to an email and then open the attachment thru the phone?

      6/8/09 @ 4:26 pm

      No. I’m pretty sure the only way to add ringtones is through iTunes. Even one app I saw allowed you to make a ringtone on your iPhone, but then you had to take it through iTunes to get it on the phone.

    7/7/09 @ 8:05 am

    OK, I have the ringtones downloaded from Podcasts to my Ringtone tab. They show up in the Ringtones tab in iTunes. I have sync’ed them, both by checking each one individually and by syncing All Ringtones. When I go to Setting on my phone, I click on Sounds, then Ringtones but I can’t find the downloaded ringtones.


      7/7/09 @ 9:53 am

      Have you synced the podcast too? Step 6. Sounds like you missed that one.

    8/15/09 @ 8:29 am


    Thanks for the ring tones. works perfectly. How do I delete the one I dont need from Iphone?


      8/17/09 @ 7:49 pm

      You can delete it in the iTunes interface when you sync your iPhone.

    candace day
    9/3/09 @ 3:14 pm

    I just bought the new iphone and having problems getting ringtones…I tried following the directions and still can get it to work.
    Can you help?

      9/3/09 @ 4:27 pm

      You’ll need to be a little more specific. Describe what is happening. Follow the steps closely and describe which step is causing trouble or not producing the proper result. Use the contact form at if you like.

    9/14/09 @ 1:40 pm

    Are you kidding me? Instructions for open heart surgery are clearer, simpler and easier to follow. I thought iphones were supposed to be SMART.

      9/14/09 @ 2:08 pm

      John: Yes, but keep in mind that this is not the way Apple envisioned or wants you to get ringtones. It is sort of a “hack” that many ringtone makes like myself developed. Kind of nice to know that you can still come up with creative hacks to the iPhone like this, that add features that were never envisioned.

    10/3/09 @ 5:09 am

    oh my gosh this actually worked, thank you very very much, i was getting so bored with the bog standard ringtones already set on the iphone

    2/7/10 @ 10:47 am

    Is the actual podcast rss feed exposed available anywhere? I’d like to subscribe outside of iTunes.

      2/7/10 @ 11:05 am

      Just for the Ringtones? No. We’re only doing the iTunes podcast because of the way you can link the podcast episodes to the iPhone ringtones. That wouldn’t work if you are not using iTunes at all, since it it is the only way to get the ringtones on the iPhone.
      You could always just visit and download them manually if you don’t want the podcast.

    2/13/10 @ 2:11 pm

    the ringtones show and I can listen to them on my iphone, but when selected it always defaults to the standard ringtone when call comes…any idea?

      2/13/10 @ 8:39 pm

      You can set a ringtone in two places: a default one in your iPhone prefs, and also a specific one for each called in your address book. Double check your settings.

    3/13/10 @ 6:49 pm

    I LOVE MacMost ringtones! I’ve been using them for a year with no problem. I think the instructions are very easy. I just updated the ringtones as there were new ones I didn’t have and the instructions given helped me remember how I got them to work in the first place.

    Thank you for such a great library of ringtones!! Keep ’em coming! My new favorite is Rolling Thunder!

    John M. Hammer
    9/4/10 @ 9:16 am

    Gary- Thanks for all the ringtones! Subscribing to the podcast was a fast and easy way to get them all.

    It’s interesting that they show up on my iPhone as usable ringtones but they do not list with my other ringtones in the “Ringtones” category in iTunes (on the left side of the iTunes window, in the “Library” section). It obviously doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious why this is the case.

      9/4/10 @ 2:17 pm

      It is the same with any podcast. The podcast episodes don’t appear under music either. Just the way Apple wants it. Easier to use music features like shuffle without the podcast episodes in music. I guess it just caries through with podcasts not being in ringtones either.

    9/19/10 @ 1:07 pm


    10/18/10 @ 8:14 pm

    i can see the ringtone in my itunes at ringtone under the library
    but they are not in my iphone

    how can i get them to my i phone

      10/18/10 @ 8:18 pm

      You need to go into your iPhone’s settings and set those ringtones to sync.

    10/18/10 @ 8:27 pm

    from my phone or itunes

    10/18/10 @ 8:30 pm

    i did sync the all ringtones from the itunes

      10/18/10 @ 8:49 pm

      Check and double-check your settings. If you are using the podcast method, you need to make sure the podcast is syncing as well.

    11/5/10 @ 10:57 pm

    You should mention in your instructions that the default view (Grid) hides all old podcasts! ;)

    Cyrus Dubash
    1/13/11 @ 5:44 am

    i cnt see any ringtone under the podcast link. I cliked the triangle and everything !

    Nothing ! even the Ringtone Smart playlist is blank !

      1/13/11 @ 7:32 am

      Not sure why it isn’t showing up for you. Try unsubscribing and subscribing again. Play around with the iTunes podcast interface.

    7/13/11 @ 9:24 am

    Hey everyone. this works great. One question though. How do I make these available for alarms etc on my iPhone 4?

      7/13/11 @ 9:47 am

      You can’t. You can only use custom ringtones for ringtones. But in iOS 5 (out later this year) it may change.

    10/16/11 @ 6:05 pm

    I had a iphone 3g but have just upgraded to a 4s and would like to still use these ringtones but they are not syncing to my new phone. Is there anything I can do? Or is there a upgrade coming from you to recktify this.

      10/16/11 @ 6:14 pm

      The ringtones work fine on the 4S. Been using them myself. One person reported having trouble but then re-added the podcast and re-synced and they worked again.

    Christopher M
    10/22/11 @ 3:28 pm

    Hi Gary, et al

    I’ve enjoyed your site since I discovered it in the last year or so. Thanks for these ringtones, but I’m having some difficulty.

    I have OSX 10.5.8 w iTunes 10.5 on PPC G5 iMac.
    Also iPhone 4 CDMA w iOS 5.

    Months ago I downloaded some 23 of the ringtone files
    and added them to iTunes and my iPhone reasonably well enough.
    (Whether it was easy to do or not I don’t recall if I had to do any special trick.)

    Yesterday, I subscribed to your Ringtone Podcast, did Get All, no problems.

    But so far I have not been able to get them out of the Podcast directory… and into either the iTunes or iPhone Ringtone directories.

    I have synced the iPhone a couple of times now and the Ringtones are seen in the Ringtone count but are stuck in the Podcast directory window. The 20 ringtones I added awhile back are all where they should be, accessible in iPhone Settings etc.
    But no such luck with the recently subscribed podcast ones.

    Any suggestions as to how to get them where they should be?
    Or do I just need to download them individually?
    Thanks in advance!

      10/22/11 @ 3:47 pm

      You don’t “get them out of the Podcast directory” — they stay in there. You just make sure to sync that podcast (all episodes of it) to your iPhone.
      You can download them individually if you like.

    11/7/11 @ 10:58 am

    Upgrade to ios5 removed only a portion of ringtones. All but one have been restored, custom as well as MacMost ringtones. Only one that will not install, copy or wish over to the iphone4 is MacMost (Designer Series) MoCowbell. Any ideas why 1 out of 30 ringtones won’t work?

      11/7/11 @ 11:16 am

      Something in the upgrade process tripped up the podcast-to-ringtones method. All you need to do is to unsubscribe to those podcasts, then re-subscribe, then download them, then re-sync.

    11/16/11 @ 10:26 am

    I have followed the instructions but to no avail thee was no triangle to click on so i got the list by double clicking the icon followed instructions again fell at the final hurdle very frustrating

    12/9/11 @ 9:30 pm

    Under subscribe to see 100 there is no triangle next to it so none of the tone are showing up help please.

    12/9/11 @ 10:07 pm

    Never mind I figured it out.
    In Itunes once you click on podcast’s you have to make sure that the show items box number two is selected or you will never see the arrow that has the list so you can get all or just a few of the ringtones.

    8/17/12 @ 5:20 am

    It seems that Apple has removed this podcast from their system. Sad!

      8/18/12 @ 9:09 am

      Yes. Seems Apple has removed most ringtones podcasts from iTunes. Oh well. It is far better to preview the ringtones here and grab just the ones you want anyway.

        9/20/12 @ 1:51 am

        Can you put all of the old ringtones on the macmost website? I have lost all of my copies of your podcast when I restored my iPhone to resynch it to a new computer. sob! :'(

          9/20/12 @ 6:47 am

          They have always been there. The link is right at the top of this page and every page at MacMost.

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