Why make do with Chimes or Ripple when you can craft a personal ringtone to serve as a symbol of your individuality? Discerning iPhone owners want a ringtone that sounds good to them, something that stands out of the crowd, and what could be better than a song you love? After all, iTunes makes playlists of your favorite songs, so it makes sense to pick one of them as your ringtone. While there are countless services and apps queuing up to sell you ringtones, there’s really no need to pay for them. You can make your own ringtone for free entirely with iTunes, and we’re about to show you how.
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The process involves copying files and changing the names of various extensions, so it’s not the most straightforward task in the world, but follow the steps we’re about to lay out and you’ll see that it can be relatively quick and painless. Here’s our guide on how to make ringtones for an iPhone using iTunes, whether you want to hear crunching guitars, classical piano, or pop beats when people call you. We’ll also show you how to make a ringtone with GarageBand on your iPhone or on Mac.
Creating a ringtone using iTunes
Step 1: Open and update iTunes
Start by launching
Step 2: Choose a song
Choose the song that you’d like to use as your new iPhone ringtone. Keep in mind that iPhone ringtones play continuously in 30-second (or less) loops, so don’t pick something that you’re going to regret later. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate song, memorize or jot down the start and stop times for the 30-second portion you want to use.
Step 3: Add the start and stop times
One of the lesser-known features of
Then click the Options tab at the top of the window. There should be fields for Start and Stop. Enter the times you want. Remember that ringtones max out at 30 seconds, so keep it at or below that length. For our purposes, we’ll use a segment of a song from 0:12 to 0:42. Once done, click OK at the bottom.
Step 4: Create an AAC version
Apple’s preferred audio format is AAC because it offers similar sound quality to an MP3, but takes up less storage space. Recent versions of
Step 5: Copy the file and delete the old one
Once created, click the AAC version of your song and drag it to the desktop or your desired save location. This will copy the file to that location.
You probably don’t need the shortened song in
Changing the extension and setting your ringtone
Step 6: Change the extension
AAC files typically use the file extension “.m4a,” which you might notice when you click on your AAC file. For ringtones, however,
When you change the extension, make sure that you don’t use an underscore “_” or any other symbol, like a hyphen, in the file name as this will prevent it from working.
If you’re using Windows you might find that you’re unable to change the file extension, at least by default. This is probably because your system is set to hide file extensions. To change this, open the Control Panel from the Start menu — you can also search for the Control Panel app in
Next, click File Explorer Options.
Now, click the View tab, uncheck the box beside Hide extensions for known file types, and click the Apply button at the bottom of the window. Now you should be able to see and edit the file extension.
Step 7: Add file to your iPhone
To add the .m4r ringtone file to your iPhone, connect your device to your computer using a lightning-to-USB cable. Then, select the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner. Go to the Summary section and scroll down to Options. Check the box beside Manually manage music and videos and click Apply.
Now, drag the .m4r file into the Tones tab located under On My Device, which will automatically sync the ringtone with your iPhone.
Note: If you’re having issues dragging the .m4r file to the Tones tab after you apply the changes, disconnect your iPhone and restart
Step 8: Set your ringtone
Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone and select your desired ringtone from the top of the resulting list. Keep in mind you can always set the new ringtone as your text, voicemail, or email tone in addition to your notification sound for Facebook posts and tweets. A tone is a tone as far as Apple is concerned, so you can use it as the default sound for any notification or alert. Now, you can repeat the process as necessary.
How to create a ringtone using GarageBand
You may prefer to make your ringtone in Apple’s
On your iPhone
This is easiest if you have the
- Simply open the GarageBand app and find the song you want to use. Note that if you haven’t shortened it to 30 seconds already, GarageBand can do that automatically, though it may not be the 30 seconds you want.
- Touch and hold the song, then choose Share > Ringtone.
- Name the ringtone and tap Export.
- Tap Use sound as and pick Standard Ringtone, Standard Text Tone, or Assign to Contact.
To make a ringtone from an existing track on your Mac
Next, click the microphone button under the heading Audio, then click Create.
Right-click the audio track portion of the screen and select Add audio file. Then, find the audio file you want to open and click Open.
Your ringtone will need to be 30 seconds or less, so you’ll probably need to trim the file down to a specific section. First, click the drop-down menu in the upper middle of the screen, and select either Beats & Time or Time.
Now, the tracker near the top of the screen will display the length of the track in terms of minutes and seconds.
If you move your cursor to the bottom left or right corner of the track, you will see a symbol. You can click and drag this to shorten or lengthen the track.
Use these buttons to shrink the track to the specific portion you want.
Next, click Share.
From this menu, you can either export the song to
If you choose the former, you can then follow Step 7 from the previous section. If you also have an iPhone and use
Create a track using GarageBand loops
You could also construct your own song out of the loops available in
Once again, create an Empty Project, then click and microphone button and Create.
In the upper-right corner, click the loop icon.
You can now browse available loops, dragging them over to the track field in blocks. Arrange them however you like, keeping the same loop playing over and over, maybe adding in other loops on separate tracks to create more complex songs.
Once you’ve finished, click Share, then Song to
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