May 25, 2024

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How To Make Your Own iPhone Ringtones And Texttones

4 min read

downloadIf you have an iPhone then you probably receive emails, phone calls and text messages from a wide variety of people. Are you using the default ring and text tones to alert you of those inbound messages? Did you spend money to get the latest ringtone that everyone has or of your favorite song? I use my ring tones and text tones as caller id on my phone. I know based on the tone who’s calling me or texting me. If the phone is across the room I don’t need to rush over to it to see who it is every time. I am going to show you how to make your own iPhone ringtones using iTunes.

There is a website that I use to scan for popular songs, top 40 stuff. you can search for clips and download iTunes formatted ringtones and texttones. But the quality can be hit or miss and the selection may not be what you are looking for. I am going to show you how to get and create whatever you want. This process requires a bit of computer knowledge to accomplish but it’s not too difficult if you follow the steps I lay out.

Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone ringtones they must be 30 seconds or less, any longer and the phone won’t play them or even load them. When you do your editing to get your clips, keep that in mind.

Applications you will need

  • iTunes – If you have an iPhone I assume you already have it installed on a computer and know how to use it
  • Audacity (or another audio editor that can save mp3 files

I use YouTube to get sound clips I want if I don’t have the mp3 file. How I do this is I search for the video that has the clip I want to get I then use a website to convert the video to an mp3 file. There are many conversion websites out there but most of them are ad filled and are too complicated. YtMP3 is simple as it can be. Just copy the URL to the video you want to get, click Convert Video and a Download link will appear. Down the mp3 and you are ready to edit.


Audacity is an free audio editor that is one of the best out there for being free. There is one catch though, there’s an additional installation step to get the MP3 exporter. This is due to licensing restrictions and Audacity cannot bundle it with the program. Thank’s lawyers. Here’s the link to the LAME MP3 exporter. Just follow the instructions.

Once you get everything installed, open Audacity and then open your mp3 file you wish to edit.

Open the saved MP3 file

You will see the waveform of the file. Play it and get the start position of your clip. Highlight it, Crtl-C to copy it, Crtl-N to create a new file in Audacity, Crtl-V to paste it. (On Macs it’s the Command key).

Highlight your clip
Paste into a new Audacity file

Before I save the file I bump up the volume a bit. The YouTube conversion tends to bring the volume down which makes the ring tone on the phone a little quieter, I like to hear it. Goto Effect > Amplify. Slide it up just a bit, maybe 1.0 DB, check the Allow Clipping bow and test it. If the waveform hits the top and bottom of the window, it’s too loud.

Save the clips to a central folder where you want to keep them. Go and do this for each clip you want. When you are done, the rest of the work is in iTunes and in the folder(s) where the files are saved.


Open iTunes and load your new clips into your Music library. Note – These aren’t ringtones yet, they are mp3 so iTunes will see them as song. Here are the steps to convert them to m4r files.

Load the Mp3, it will show up in your music library. Right click on it and select Create AAC version. Now this will duplicate the file and add it to your library, but it will not be an mp3. This will be an m4a file. On the new entry, right click that one and select Get Info. In that window it will show you where on your computer the actual file is.

Open your File Explorer or File Finder on Mac and navigate to that folder, most likely it’s in the native iTunes Library folder for Unknown Artists. Move that file out of that folder into where your saved clips are for easy of management later. Rename the file from an m4a extension to m4r. This is how to tell iTunes it’s a ringtone. Re-add the new m4r file back into iTunes and it will now show up under the Tones section not Music and it’s ready to sync to your iPhone or iPad. You can delete the entries out of your Music library once you get it into the Tones.

Extra Tip – I name all my text tones with SMS up front so they are listed together, otherwise you may find it hard to tell the difference between a ringtone and text tone. The issue is that ringtones are usually 10 seconds or more in length and text tones are short, 1 to 2 seconds max. You don’t want a 10 second song clip for a text message.

There you go. Make your own ringtones from any mp3 file.

Any questions use the comment section below.

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