How to make your own iPhone ringtones

A familiar problem about ringtones is that no matter how many tones there might be in your, none of them feels quite right. But there is a solution. If you have an audio file, it is surprisingly easy to make it into your iPhone ringtone. All you need to have is the Music app (also known as iTunes on older Macs and on Windows PCs).


Before starting the process, you will have to ensure that the audio file you are planning to use is (a) on your computer and (b) is not an Apple Music track, which is, in other words, a song that you are streaming from Apple Music as part of your subscription. Apple will not allow you to convert those.

Step 1: Firstly, you have to select your song in the Music application. You cannot make a ringtone from either a streaming track or one that is stored in the cloud.

Step 2: This part may be a bit confusing, but if you want to export in the right format, you will need to change the import settings. In the menu bar, click on Music > Preferences > Files, and then click on the Import Settings button.

Step 3: Click on the Import Using drop-down menu and select the AAC Encoder option.

Step 4: Return to your song in the Music app and click on the three dots which can be found at the very right of the track. Choose Get Info > Options, and you should be able to see the screen shown here.  To make the song appropriate for a ringtone, you will need to trim it to 30 seconds.

Step 5: No matter which part of the song you decide to use, make sure that the tick boxes are checked and that you use colons to separate the minutes and seconds. Click on OK when you are done with this.

Step 6: Make sure your song is still selected and then click on File > Convert > Create AAC Version. If that option is not available it might be because you are trying to convert an Apple Music track as opposed to something you have personally downloaded. The conversion process happens almost immediately.

Step 7: When you look for your song or look at its enclosing album, you should now be able to see two different versions of it, and if you look over at the right-hand side, you will notice that one of them is 30 seconds long. This is the audio that you will be using as your ringtone. Right-click on it and choose the option that reads Show In Finder.

Step 8: Change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r. If you do not do this, your iPhone will not recognise the audio as a ringtone.

Step 9: Confirm your choice and plug in your iPhone to your Mac with a cable.

Step 10: Drag the newly renamed .m4r file over the Finder window.

Step 11: Unlock your iPhone and head to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone. From there, pick your ringtone.