Free Custom iPhone Ringtones Using Only iTunes

836 Comments

Create free ringtones for your iPhone using only iTunes and songs you already have on your computer (This method only works with songs that are DRM free. To create ringtones using DRM protected songs please use this method). This method has been tested and works with iTunes 7.7.1 and iPhone 2.0.1 firmware.

To create custom ringtones using only iTunes:

  1. Right click on the song you are going to make into a ringer and select “Get Info.”
  2. Go to the options tab and go down to the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” check boxes. Check both boxes and input the time you want your ringer to start/stop. The ringer has to be 30 seconds or less. Click OK when you’re done.
  3. Right click on your newly “clipped” song and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” The song will be re-encoded using the start and stop times determined (If your menu item does not read “Convert Selection to AAC” and reads “Convert Slection to MP3” (or some other format) please go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Importing and change the “Import Using” drop down menu to “AAC Encoder”).
  4. After the song is done encoding navigate to your iTunes Music folder, locate your song, and drag it to your desktop. After the song is on your desktop go back to iTunes and delete the clipped version from you iTunes library (It won’t delete it from your desktop, it will only remove it from iTunes).
  5. Go back the song on your desktop and right click on your song and chose “Get info.” Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop)
  6. After the extension is changed simply double click on the file to add it to your iTunes library under the ringtones section. Sync your phone with iTunes and you’re done!

Remember to go back into iTunes and uncheck your custom start and stop times for the original version of your song.

Other Ringtone Posts

Here are a few other posts about creating ringtones for your iPhone that you might find interesting.

836 Comments

angela Stephens

Great tip. Thank you. If only I could get it to work on my iPhone. I think I’m having sound problems in general because even the default ringtones aren’t working.

Roland Brezina

My iTunes 7.7.1 has an option on RMB called “Create Ringtone…”

Steve

If you do this, and the file doesn’t show up in your Ringtones folder, it’s because you didn’t delete the original file you made. Delete it, then try moving the m4r file in, and it should work.

Tans

#11 Adeels suggestion did the trick. I was able to change the extension. Thank you. It works great !!!!!!!!!!

Bigtymer

Why go through all this hassle when you can use iPhoneRingToneMaker or iToner. Such they cost a few bucks, but they sure save you a lot of time doing these 6 steps over and over

Tans

Everything went as described up to getting the file on my desktop. However, when I did the right click on the file, there was no “Get Info” to click on in order to change the extension to m4r. I went into “properties” to attempt to change the extension but was told it was an invalid file and it would not change. What am I doing wrong? Please help. Thanks !!

On my previous comment, it should have been m4r. Thanks

Tans

Everything went as described up to getting the file on my desktop. However, when I did the right click on the file, there was no “Get Info” to click on in order to change the extension to m4a. I went into “properties” to attempt to change the extension was was told it was an invalid valid file and it would not change. What am I doing wrong? Please help. Thanks !!

Nick Gorbikoff

#16 Earl Hickey

How many of those free apps are made by Apple?

And don’t tell me about preloaded apps that come with Leopard or iPhone – you paid for them when you paid for your computer & operating system and or $200 & 2yr contract. Not saying it didn’t worth it – just saying as far as money making apple is worse than MS. At least MS provides lot’s of extra free tools through technet or it’s Express/Student programs.

Earl Hickey

No.12 – What percentage of the apps in the Apps Store are free? :)

lok cheung

whenever you need the original file of any song in your iTunes, no need to locate it yourself in the itunes music folder. just drag the song from iTunes to the desktop, and the file will be copy to. the original file in the itunes music folder, nor the song in iTunes, will not be deleted or modified.

Rich Cassady

I am having trouble getting the file into the ringtones section. I got the m4r file name, but when I double click it, it just goes to my library, I can’t drag it over, and I can’t find how to get it to the ring tone section. Maybe I am just a tard, but please help.

Jennay

I got all the way to where you put the ringtone on my desktop and when i right-click it, it doesnt have a “Get info” button? what should i do?!
I really want ringtones for my Phone!

Dan

Were you able to get the ringtone into your iPhone and select it?

Kevin

I got as far as syncing my phone and I get an error that the file cannot be found. It is in the ringtones folder for Itunes and I can play it from there but I can’t get it to the phone. Can anyone help????????

Andy Falconer

I’ve got the same problem – changed the extension but can’t get it into ringtones folder

Adeel

This rocks. Thanks Jenny.

RaniLT – to change the extension on your desktop you will have to first configure Windows to show the file extention (it is hidden by default). To do this follow the instructions below:

1. Open My Computer
2. In the menu bar, choose Tools and then choose Folder Options
3. Click the View tab
4. Uncheck the box for “Hide extensions for known file types”
5. Click on “Apply to all folders”
6. Click OK to close window

Now you should see the file extension of every file. Simply right-click the file and choose rename to change the extension from m4a to m4r. Finally, follow the same instructions to hide the exetensions.

Hope this helps!

Nikki

Just wondered if you can help, I am using windows XP and this might sound like a stupid statement to you, but you say to go into my computer – on my desktop I do not have ‘my computer’, I have ‘computer’ and when I go into this it has all the different folders, like my documents, pictures, things like this – then there is no tools option at the top, so I cannot use these steps – any chance you can help please?

Alexis

ok so when I did all the steps but when i double clicked it, it didn’t go under ringtones. it went under my music or library whatever thing. what should I do ? did i do somthing wrong ?

Alicia

nevermind! when you said click on my computer, your supposed to click on control panel..

geraldine

thank you for that..i was stuck on changing m4a…got to work now thank u (“,)
very helpful

Mel

I’m using Vista and i cannot see what you’re talking about. Could you please help?

mike

For Vista, I used this process two seconds ago…

Go To Control Panel
Open Appearance and Personalization
Open Folder Options
Click the View tab
Uncheck “Hide extentions for known file types”
Then press apply or ok (doesn’t matter)

You’re good to go!!!

Rachel

I have tried to go into my computer and tools, but I don’t have that option. Help would be appreciated please! :)

lambreeee

how do you change the extension on your desktop from m4a to m4r on windows??

Col

I did everything to the point where the file needs to go into ringtones in the library. I drag and drop but wont go. Cant copy and paste. Any ideas? Thanks

Goobi

Freakin awesome! My friend on Windows was having a hard time creating ringtones with crappy ringtone makers. Can you believe it? An iPhone ringtone maker outputs the file as an MP3. Geez. Anyway, thanks for this.

Harold

I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a simple program to do all that work for you. Wonder how long before Apple shuts that concept down. I smell a new version of iTunes coming out………….

Jas_purdue

I realized this method a few weeks ago and it has been great making ringtones in a matter of few minutes without paying extra bucks. So far, I haven’t hit any constraints in terms of how long the ringtone can be or how many can we store on iphone 3g… A very useful application indeed.!

RJToronto

Brilliant tip!

To test it out, I just converted three tracks into ringtones in about 10 minutes.

Thanks, mate!

jodi

how did you change the ext. when i right click “get info” doesn’t appear.

Hobbes Doo

Cool method, though it seems a bit more work than just using GarageBand.

lvh

i have the newest iphone (came out june 19) and this didnt work for it.

ACD

Same here i got the iPhone4 and i could only go up to the part where were suppose to convert it from .m4a to .m4r

Rich

Yeh and me, i have iphone4 and itunes 9.1, I have the file in my ringtones folder on itunes and it says my iphone4 is syncing, but i cannot find the ringtone on my ‘ringtone’ section? wtf?

Saad

Worked for me i.e. on my iPhone 3GS… :o) Thanks for the tip and excellent instructions.

Colby Fulton

On newer iTunes and iPhone 4, make sure to find the AAC converted file on your hard drive, then delete it out of iTunes but keep the file. Then drag the file from finder into the ringtones folder. Then it will work.

Ron

Worked for me i.e. on my iPhone 3GS also.Thanks for the tip and excellent instructions, great to know i don’t have to settle for the installed ones.

c

tell me what you did step by step to put ringtones from the library to the iphone 3gs

Simon

Using iTunes 8.2 with my iPhone 3GS this worked a treat, much better than the rubbish “free” converters out there.
Great guide :)

Matt

I’ve got 32bg 3g(s) and iTunes 8.4 and I did it all up till changing it to m4r. when I right click I can’t change it

renai

i have done this, it is in my ringtones folder on itunes but when i go on my phone it is not in sounds… ?

Steve

worked for me on my 3gs! im stoked on this! i hated paying for songs and ringtones!

bmoney

awesome, thanks for the info man. works great on my iphone 3gS – much appreciated!

bigg kilo

does this only work on mac , or can i do it with my pc ??

Jessica

Haha! Sorry, this is a mac only. Maybe instead of taking the time to dream about doing this, you should just go ahead and buy a mac. Totally worth the $$$. Trust me. ;D

Tweety

And by that comment, Jessica just confirmed that she indeed is a rotten apple… It works just as well on both PC and Mac… I have done it on both…

So Jessica, go ahead and buy a clue… Trust me, it’s worth it…

mk

did not work for 3gs…. old version… this is from 08 article

mk

I just did this at it works….

just change stuff in my comp… and it works
Adeel on August 7th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

This rocks. Thanks Jenny.

RaniLT – to change the extension on your desktop you will have to first configure Windows to show the file extention (it is hidden by default). To do this follow the instructions below:

1. Open My Computer
2. In the menu bar, choose Tools and then choose Folder Options
3. Click the View tab
4. Uncheck the box for “Hide extensions for known file types”
5. Click on “Apply to all folders”
6. Click OK to close window

Now you should see the file extension of every file. Simply right-click the file and choose rename to change the extension from m4a to m4r. Finally, follow the same instructions to hide the exetensions.

Hope this helps!

marissa

How do you change it to .m4a to .m4r . Once it is on my desktop I don’t see the option “get info”

ken

Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop)

how would i do this?

Will

With iTunes 8.0 the option to change the import settings to AAC is in iTunes>Preferences>General>Import Settings.

Otherwise, this is SPOT ON. Works like a charm!

THANKS

Rob McMillin

Oh, and BTW, my iPhone is the newest 3GS version (less than a week old now) and using the latest version of iTunes (I *think* 8.2.3) on the Mac under the current release of OS X.

Robin Crawford

Everything was fine up until I had to change the ext on the file to .m4r. When I rightclick on the file, it doesnt give you the option to get info. I wonder if it has something to do with Windows Vista. hmmmmm

sarahface

i have the 3gs this worked for me and made me extremely happy. :)

melanie

followed instructions but still cant corvert music in 2 ringtones any help please

melanie

nothings working got the new iphone s and new itunes someone please help

Darryl

Thanks for the tip! Worked for me on iPhone 3GS connecting to Mac OS X 10.4.11 running iTunes 8.2. Make sure you remember to “delete the clipped version from you iTunes library” as described in step 4; I neglected to do that that and was therefore unable to drag the file from my desktop into Ringtones until I deleted the clipped version of the song.

wyfan

This isn’t working for my 3gs and itunes 8.2 do you have to be on a mac? I’m a PC. HELP! I want me free ringtones back

Travis

Everything worked, but when I go into my iphone to try and make my custom ringtone my general ringtone it is not under the sounds menu. The only way it works is if I go under contacts and add the custom ringtone for a specific contact. Anyone know how I can make my new custom ringtone an option in the sounds menu or how I can have it played as my general ring?

RAINE

i TRIED BUT I DON’T SEE CONVERT TO AAC IT’S JUST CREATE AAC. I DID TRY CREATING AAC THEN FOLLOW THE NEXT STEP BUT WHEN I BROWSE THE MUSIC FOLDER IT ONLY ALLOWS ME TO RENAME BUT WITHOUT THE EXTENSION. IT’S STILL UNDER MP4 RATHER THAN M4A. HELP… REALLY WANNA TRY THIS.

Chris

Hi all,

Works very well with tunes purchased on Itunes store but not at all with other tunes!
Actually all ringtones appear on iTunes but when you sync them, it works only for purchased ones!!!
Does anybody has a tip?

mick ireland

after you move the clipped song from itunes to your desktop, you are meant to right click and choose more info. this option isnt there for me. any ideas???

Keef

Great and simple instructions. I can convert the songs and put them back into a ringtones folder on itunes but they don’t appear on my iphone 3gs.
Can anyone out there help?

spencer

I am able to make ringtones for some songs, but having trouble with a few… error states, ” song cannot be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”. How can I fix this???? I have the iphone 3G, latest version of itunes.

spencer

I am able to make ringtones for some songs, but having trouble with a few… error states, ” song cannot be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”. How can I fix this???? I have the iphone 3G, latest version of itunes

Amy

Mine Kinda works.

It uploads correctly to itunes and i can even import to Iphone (3gs) but i cant find them

please help

Jeremiah

How do you drag your song to your desktop?? I did the “Get Info” and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” But can’t figure out how to drag to the desktop please help.

Thanks
Jeremiah

Alicia

once i put it on the desktop, “get info” did not show up when i right clicked on it. I have windows vista and i tried following just the windows XP directions but it didnt work. Help?

Mogreen88

Excellent work. It work on my 3GS. if you have problem with change extension to .m4r then follow this step. Control panel> Folder options>View> deselect the Hide extensions for know file type.
Now you can change the file type by right click on the file ( like change name )

YARRR

I just got my 32g 3Gs iphone yesterday and this works fine. thanks alot mate

campbell

yeah! it’s was a little more convoluted for saving it from a m4a to a m4r, but what I did was this. Right click from the desktop copy, select send to email recipient, but then from there I double clicked on it while it was in the email and selected save, then was able to change it to an m4r… then like it says double clicked and it went to my ringtone folder! awesome! thanks for sharing.

cathy

I did as instructed and it didn’t work. when i double clicked it put it in Itunes but not in the ringtone section and thus i was unable to download the ringtone.
any advice?

Jessica

I have an iPhone 3GS and this worked perfectly. Thank you so much for your very simple instructions. For those of you who are having trouble changing the file extension, All I did was right click and click on rename and changed the “a” to “r”. And presto, it worked just the same. Hope that helps.

Lee

Amazing! an Yma Sumac song as a ringtone is just absolutely fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

Naresh

Awesome- Thanks

Adeel’s steps on how to change file name was very useful (posted on August 7th, 2008 at 5:38 pm)
Thanks all

Mr. Gaga

Unfortunately it does not work. There’s no way to change extention from m4a to m4r :-(. Could someone please advice on how to do it by snapping a pic and post it? Thank you in advance…..

Dom

Have i-Tunes 9.0.0.70 & i-Phone 3G 3.1.
This guide worked like a charm.
dunno about correct wording for clicks, have a german version, but it works fine.

Luis

This method works with Itunes 9 on my 1st gen iPhone (2G) with jail broken 3.1OS. Will update in a few weeks if it works with my 3GS.

DC

Why does this have to be so difficult. It is only ringstones. This should be simple like using the ipod.

Marre

Hi!

I followed your instructions, but i cant change the file to .m4r.

im currently using windows, but it should work…

Anu 1 know anything about this?

HM

Just FYI I did this on my iphone 3GS which is about a week old and it worked flawlessly. Very happy i didnt have to jailbreak to change a ringtone!

Eric

iPhone 3GS owner as of 2 wks ago. Thanks so much for the step-by-step education! Works great…Really appreciated

eric

wont let me change it to m4r. doesnt even give me that option. can i have a picture step by step or something else that would work. thanx

Krystal

everything is great up to the part i have to change the extension name……. it doesnt let me do it on my computer i try to and it just scans the song i dont knw what i might be doing wrong help anyone ??

RickM

Worked on most tracks for my 3Gs, sweet and simple solution, cheers. My Leisure Society, Cars track sounds great.

emilija

Go back the song on your desktop and right click on your song and chose “Get info.” Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop

when i right click there isn’t a “get info” link, and it doesnt say m4a anywhere either??

UnLoveAble

I used your advice and it really helped!!
thank you so much
can i just say though that first i needed to go to
My computer> Tools> Folder options
and unhide the ext file types
anyway thanx again!!

Thom

Oh my god it freakin worked & to think i doubted it was gonna work you guys rock my ear pussy now
thanks lots

Anthony

I was able to follow the step without problems until I synced the iphone, my custom ringtone didn’t show up in the custom section of the ringtones, only the puchased ringtones was there. Then I finally figured out that the original file that you are converting to aac (eventualy to m4r) must be over 30 seconds so you can chop it down. I had a 7 second mp3 file which I converted to a ringtone m4r, it didn’t show up on my phone. When I looped the 7 sec sound 10 times in wav editor and make the file 1m10s. I went back into itunes then checked the start and stop times to under 30 sec, converted to aac, then m4r and presto it worked!!! I finally got my ringtone that I want after 2 days of fustration.

Angel Angelov

I just got the newest iPhone and I also have iTunes 9.0.1. I just tried these instructions and it worked beautifully. Big thanks to the authors… excellent instructions.

snowypixie

hi, when I upload 2 ringtone into the Iphone, I was only able to see one. When I deleted the previous one, I can play the new one. Hence, I’m wondering if Iphone can accept only one custom ringtone.

alisha

i can get to the clipping part i entered my start and stop times but when i right click on the clipped song there is not “convert selection to AAC”???????

mary

i got all the way to the “get info” part and now im stumped…..dont have that option when i right click…..help please?

mary

DUH with the “a” and “r” thing….i feel retarded! thanks for this post it rocks since i got my iphone today and i was pissed that i bought a ringtone and couldnt use it :)

Jessica

I followed every step, but where I can find the ringtone in Iphone? I checked under “setting” – “sounds” – “ringtone”, it is not there. Can someone help me?

thanks,

Ana

It worked for me with some slight changes. I have the 3GS and the latest version of iTunes and a MacBook. You have to purchase the song in iTunes. Here are the changes:
1. In Step #2 – I set my ringtone to 20 seconds.
2. I did “Create Ringtone” instead of “Convert to AAC”. After it re-codes, the cut clipped appear in iTunes. So, there is no need to do any of the high-lighted portion in Step #3.

Voila!

pete

for some reason the ringtone is on itunes but does not sync 2 my iphone

Jane

I am able to get to the very last step where it says double click the file to add it to your itunes library under the ringtones section and when I double click it, all it does is play the song. I erased the clipped version, changed it to a .m4r and I don’t know how to get it to my ringtones to sync it… what gives?

dre

thanks man, works perfect on my iphone3gs!! great tip!!! merry christmas!!

Joe

I have managed to convert the songs and add the ringtones to my itunes but can only have one on my iphone at a time! Am I doing something wrong or can I only have one track on there at a time? Help please!

evelyn

I’m facing some problem… when i choose to sync with my iphone…it clear all my music and video
so after i put the ringtone into iphone…i hv to sync all my music again

Bummer

Advice does create ringtone file, however appears to be blocked on new iPhone 3GS v. 3.1.2 and in iTunes 9. It prevents one from adding the file into the Ringtones section. If anybody knows how to negotiate around this, please update posts!

Shannon

Everything was so freaking difficult until I right-clicked on the track I wanted and clicked “Convery to a ringtone”.

kenny

Victory for the wee people !! thanks for the tip to uncheck the “hide file extentions” very helpful. Cheers

flo

well when i get to desktop it doesn’t say get info i cant figure out to change the extension

Jonez

It works! Great, now I can use the songs I recorded myself on my iPhone. (Or just any cool sounds I like)
Thanks!

DJ

I just wanted to say thanks for the information. I am not a savvy user but found this to be great. I went step by step but got a little confused when asked to find the file and move it. But figured it out eventually and it works.
Thanks so much.

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