How to create iPhone ringtones

This article was published several years ago and the information within may not always be up to date or accurate. No further changes or updates will be done and it will remain on our website for archiving purposes.

Ringtone IconApple iPhone supports customized ringtones, which can be created in iTunes completely free.

iPhone ringtones are stored in the same M4A MPEG-4 audio format as songs, but have two differences. First difference is file extension M4R that replaces the standard M4A. And second, the maximal length of ringtone must be about 30 second.


Ringtones and sound notifications in Apple iOS 5

From iPhone iOS 5 you can also customize your iPhone with own ringtones as well as with your own notification tones that means SMS, e-mail, voicemail sounds and calendar alerts.

How to create iPhone ringtones in iTunes

  1. Open iTunes and select song that you want use as a ringtone from your Music library.Apple iTunes Music library
  2. Right-click and select Get Info option.

    iTunes Get Info menu
  3. Click on the Options tab and set Start Time and Stop Time (maximal about 30 seconds) and confirm it with clicking on the OK button.Get Info Options menu
  4. Right-click on the song and select Create AAC Version option.

    iTunes create AAC version option
  5. The AAC version of selected song has the same length and position that you defined in step 3.
    iTunes AAC version of song
  6. Right-Click on the new song and select Show in Finder option.

    iTunes show in Finder option
  7. Rename song's M4A file extension to M4R, but don't close the Finder window yet.Mac OS X Finder window
  8. Go back to iTunes, right-click on the customized song and select Delete option.

    iTunes delete option
  9. iTunes will ask you, if you want to remove song from library, press the Remove button.iTunes remove option
  10. Also it will ask you, if you want to move song to the Trash, press Keep File button.iTunes delete option
  11. Back to the open Finder window and double click on M4R file.Mac OS X Finder window
  12. And thats it. iTunes imported the new ringtone to Ringtone Library. Now you can connect your iPhone to the computer and transfer the ringtone to it.Apple iTunes Ringtones library

This tutorial works in iTunes for Mac as well as iTunes for Windows. However in iTunes for Windows set AAC Encoder instead MP3 Encoder in Import Settings options (Edit menu → Preferences → General → Import Settings).


Related software and links:

Apple iOS icon

Apple iOS    Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch devices) platform
Operating system for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices

Apple iTunes for Mac icon

Apple iTunes for Mac    Apple macOS / Mac OS X platform
Program used to organize and plays your digital music and video

Apple iTunes for Windows icon

Apple iTunes for Windows    Microsoft Windows platform
Multimedia file manager and library for Apple users


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This article was published several years ago and the information within may not always be up to date. No further changes or updates will be done.
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Related file extensions

m4a - MPEG-4 compressed audio

m4r - Apple iPhone ringtone format

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