Make Your Own Custom iPhone Ringtones

These steps will show you how to create an iPhone ringtone using only iTunes (it’s cheap and it’s easy).

  • First you need an unprotected audio file that can be played back using iTunes.
  • Import the audio file into iTunes.
  • Once imported go into iTunes Preferences, under General, click on “Import Settings.”
    iTunes Import Settings
  • Under the Import Settings choose Import Using the “AAC Encoder,” and Setting as “High Quality (128kbps).”
    iTunes Import Using
  • Choose OK, then OK again.
  • If your audio file needs to be trimmed (it must be under 40 seconds to be used as an iPhone ringtone), listen back to the file and use the progress at the top of the iTunes window to make note of what section of the song you would like to use as a ringtone.
    iTunes Song Progress
  • Right click on the audio file and choose Get Info. Under options you may choose when the song starts and ends, this is how you control what section of the song you would like to have be the ringtone.
    iTunes Start, End Time
  • Be sure to double click on the audio file and make sure you got exactly what you want, edit the start and end times accordingly.
  • Once you have found the perfect start and end time, click on “Advanced” in the menu bar and choose “Create AAC Version.”
  • After a few seconds you should have a second file with the same name, right click on the new file and choose “Show in Finder” (or “Show in Windows Explorer,” if you use Windows).
  • Once the file is located change its file extension from .m4a to .m4r. On OS X the extension can be changed by right clicking on the file and changing it under “Name & Extension.” And, here are guides explaining how to do so on Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
  • Double click the file and it should open up in iTunes as a ringtone. If you have trouble importing it as a ringtone after changing the extension to .m4r I would suggest dragging the file to your desktop before double clicking it.
    iTunes Ringtone Example
  • Now Sync and your ringtone should show up on your iPhone.
  • Once you know everything is working properly you can go ahead and clean up that <40 second file you created that is most likely still sitting in the Music section of your iTunes Library.

So happy ringtone making.