How to Make Ringtones for the iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making ringtones for your iPhone can be a fun way to personalize your phone and make it stand out from the crowd. The process involves selecting a song or sound clip, editing it to the desired length, converting it to the correct file format, and then transferring it to your iPhone. Once completed, you can set your new ringtone as your default ringtone or assign it to specific contacts.

After you complete the action, you’ll have a custom ringtone that can be used for incoming calls, messages, or alarms on your iPhone. This personal touch adds a level of uniqueness and can be a great conversation starter.


Ringtones have been a staple of mobile phones since their inception. They serve not only as a personal statement but also as a functional alert to incoming calls and messages. With the advent of smartphones, particularly the iPhone, the options for customization have grown exponentially. Making ringtones for the iPhone, specifically, has become a popular way for users to express their individuality and stand out in a world where the same default tones are heard over and over.

Creating your own iPhone ringtones is easier than you might think and doesn’t necessarily require extensive technical knowledge. It’s a process that’s relevant to anyone who wants to personalize their iPhone experience. Whether it’s a snippet from your favorite song, a memorable line from a movie, or a sound that just makes you smile, turning it into a ringtone can make receiving calls and notifications a lot more enjoyable. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of how to make ringtones for the iPhone.

Step by Step Tutorial to Make Ringtones for iPhone

This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a custom ringtone for your iPhone from start to finish.

Step 1: Select Your Audio Source

Choose the song or audio clip you want to use as your ringtone.

To make a custom ringtone for your iPhone, start by selecting the song or audio clip you want to use. This can be a file on your computer, a song from your music library, or even a recording made on your phone. Keep in mind that the maximum length for an iPhone ringtone is 30 seconds, so you’ll want to pick a section of the song or clip that fits within that time frame.

Step 2: Edit the Audio Clip

Trim the audio clip to the desired length, ensuring it’s no longer than 30 seconds.

Using audio editing software or an app, trim your selected audio clip down to the part you want to use as your ringtone. Make sure it’s no longer than 30 seconds, as that’s the maximum length allowed for ringtones on the iPhone. You can also add fade-ins or fade-outs for a smoother start and end to your ringtone.

Step 3: Convert the File Format

Convert the edited audio clip to the AAC file format, which is required for iPhone ringtones.

After editing your audio clip, you’ll need to convert it to the AAC file format (with a .m4r file extension), as this is the only format that iPhone recognizes for ringtones. You can use iTunes or any other compatible audio converter to accomplish this. Once converted, the file is ready to be transferred to your iPhone.

Step 4: Transfer the Ringtone to Your iPhone

Sync the .m4r file to your iPhone using iTunes or Finder on macOS Catalina and later.

Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes (or Finder if you’re using macOS Catalina or later). Navigate to the “Tones” section and simply drag and drop the .m4r file into the list. Once the file is transferred, it will be available in the “Sounds & Haptics” settings on your iPhone, where you can set it as your new ringtone.


PersonalizationCreating your own ringtones adds a personal touch to your phone, making it more reflective of your personality and tastes.
Cost-EffectiveInstead of purchasing ringtones, you can create them for free using songs you already own or audio clips you’ve recorded.
CreativityMaking ringtones allows you to express creativity by editing and selecting specific parts of songs or sounds that resonate with you.


Time-ConsumingThe process of creating a ringtone can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re new to audio editing.
Technical KnowledgeSome basic technical knowledge is required to edit audio files and convert them to the correct format.
LimitationsiPhone ringtones are limited to 30 seconds, which may not allow for the inclusion of longer audio clips that you’d prefer.

Additional Information

When making ringtones for the iPhone, there are a few extra tips that can make the process smoother. First, consider the quality of the audio source. Higher quality files will result in better sounding ringtones. Additionally, if you’re using a portion of a song, aim for a section that’s easily recognizable and meaningful to you, such as the chorus or a standout riff.

Remember that the ringtone volume is separate from the general audio volume on your iPhone. After setting your new ringtone, it’s a good idea to test it out to make sure it’s at an appropriate volume for your needs. If you ever want to change your ringtone to something new, simply repeat the process with a different audio clip.

Also, keep in mind that while you can use almost any audio clip to make a ringtone, it’s important to respect copyright laws and only use content that you have the right to use. Now that you know how to make ringtones for the iPhone, you can switch up your tones as often as you like, keeping your phone experience fresh and fun.


  1. Select your desired audio source.
  2. Edit the audio clip to the desired length of no more than 30 seconds.
  3. Convert the edited clip to the AAC file format.
  4. Transfer the .m4r file to your iPhone using iTunes or Finder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any song to make a ringtone for my iPhone?

Yes, you can use any song or audio clip as long as it’s in a format that can be edited and converted to AAC.

Do I need to pay for software to make ringtones?

No, there are free audio editing apps and programs available that you can use to make ringtones.

How long can an iPhone ringtone be?

An iPhone ringtone can be up to 30 seconds long.

Can I assign different ringtones to different contacts?

Yes, you can set specific ringtones for individual contacts through the “Contacts” app on your iPhone.

What if my ringtone doesn’t show up on my iPhone after transferring?

Ensure that the file format is correct and that you’ve synced the tone to your iPhone correctly. If problems persist, try restarting your iPhone.


Learning how to make ringtones for the iPhone opens up a world of customization and creativity. With the ability to tailor your phone’s sounds to your personal tastes, you can truly make your iPhone an extension of yourself.

Whether for practical reasons like distinguishing between contacts or purely for the joy of it, creating your own ringtones is a skill that’s both fun and useful. So go ahead, pick your favorite tune, and give your iPhone that personal touch!