How to make ringtones for your iPhone with iTunes

June 21, 2010 / Updated: June 21, 2010 / Lena Shore

Sometimes the built in ringtones just won’t do it for you and your iPhone. Maybe you’d like to make a recording of your friend saying “It’s Susan! Pick up!” and assign it to Susan. Or you want a bit of your favorite song that you can’t find an existing ringtone. Whatever your reason, making a new ringtone is pretty easy.

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. Find the song or sound you want to make into a ringtone and give it a listen.
  3. Your ringtone needs to be less than 40 seconds long. If your sound/song is less than 40 seconds, you can skip to step 11. If it is longer than 40 seconds, keep reading.
  4. Listen to the song/sound and find the part of it you want to use. Note the start and stop times of the section of the song/sound you want to use.
  5. Right-click the song and select “Get Info.”
  6. Click the “Options” tab.
  7. Type in the start time of your ringtone in the text box next to “Start Time” in the minutes:seconds (i.e., 2:01) format.
  8. Type in the end time of your ringtone in the text box next to “Stop Time.” Again, make sure the ringtone is no more than 40 seconds long.
  9. Click “OK.”
  10. Right-click your song again and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” Wait for iTunes to convert your song. It will create a duplicate version.
  11. Right-click the ringtone and select “Delete.”
  12. Click on the “Keep Files” button.
  13. Find the file. It’s usually in your User folder under “Music > iTunes > iTunes Music” and under the artist’s name. It will have an extension of m4a.
  14. Replace the m4a extension of your ringtone with m4r. You can either double-click slowly to rename your file, or right-click and select “Get Info” on a Mac or “Rename” on a Windows PC.
  15. Click “Use .m4r” or the PC equivalent when the system warns you that the change may affect the use of your file.
  16. Double-click the ringtone file. ITunes will automatically add it to your ringtones folder in your iTunes Music Library.
  17. Connect your iPhone and sync your ringtones.
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