How to Make Custom iPhone Ringtones for Free

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If the standard ringtones that iPhones come with are not cutting it these days, then cut your own. It is very easy to do, and takes just a few minutes on an iTunes program that you can connect to an iPhone. Not technologically savvy? That’s okay. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to be rockin’ to your favorite tune in no time.

Getting Your Sound

The first step is to choose what kind of sound you want. Some people want to record a portion of a favorite song as a ringtone, and others would prefer to record a custom sound instead, like their baby laughing.

Custom Sound: Updated iPhones have a voice record feature that is easy to use. Simply find “Voice Memos” on your phone, record what you want, and keep note of the name of your voice recording.

Section of a Song: This is best done with iTunes. It takes several steps:

1. Decide which portion of the song you want to record, and make note of the starting and stopping time in the song for your section.
2. Right-click on the song, and a menu will pop up. Choose the Get Info option, and the options tab on top when the next menu opens.
3. Insert stop and start times in the boxes provided.
4. Go back to the song, right-click again, and click the option to create an AAC version. This will create a second version underneath.
5. Rename this song something that is easy to remember like “XYZ Ringtone.” Drag a copy of this to your desktop.
6. Change the extension file name from .m4a to .m4r, then drag it back into iTunes.

Uploading Your Ringtone

1. Now that your sound is set up, plug your iPhone into iTunes, and make sure the sound appears in your iTunes library.
2. Unplug your iPhone
3. Go to Settings> Sound> Ringtone
4. You should now be able to find your sound in iTunes, and can apply it to any location that you want a ringtone. This can be for all of your songs, an alarm clock, or any alert like for an email or text. You can also choose a specific sound to alert that a certain caller, like a family member, love, or boss is calling you.

This process can be repeated as many times as you want, or changed as many times as you like. It shouldn’t be surprising to know that changing up a ringtone can quickly become addicting.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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