How to Set Custom Incoming SMS Alert Tone On Your iPhone

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Presently, non-jailbroken iPhone users cannot customize their incoming SMS alert tone. But if you have a jailbroken iPhone, you may follow these steps to customize your SMS alert tone .

Please note that you need to have OpenSSH installed on your iPhone. If you do not have it already, check out steps a-c. If you are looking for a tutorial to jailbreak your iPhone first, you may check out these tutorials for Mac and Windows users. Also, ensure to tether your iPhone to your computer before starting the process. 

Some important points to note before we start:

  • Hacking your iPhone could void its warranty. So please proceed with caution and at your own risk.
  • Please take a backup of your iPhone, refer to this post for more details.

Installing OpenSSH

Step a: From your iPhone Springboard, go to Cydia -> Sections -> Networking -> OpenSSH

Step b: Once OpenSSH is selected, tap on the Install button on top of the screen and Confirm

Step c: Once OpenSSH has been installed, tap on Return to Cydia to finish

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Using Custom SMS Alert Tone

Step 1: You need to have the sound clip you want to use for the SMS alert on the iTunes Music library. Open iTunes and drag this sound clip from your computer into the iTunes library. 

Step 2: Press Ctrl, (On Windows) or Cmd, (On Mac) to open Preferences on your iTunes Library

Step 3: Under the General tab, Click on "Import Settings" button. 

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Step 4: You will now see an 'Import Using' option. Select 'AIFF coder' in the drop-down menu option and finally click OK

Step 5: Now in the Music library, right click on the sound clip you wish to use and select 'Create AIFF Version'. You will now see a duplicate version of the sound clip created.

Step 6: Drag the duplicated version back to your Desktop folder and rename it as sms-received6.caf. Actually, there are six incoming SMS tone slots and so you may use any one of sms-received1.caf through sms-received6.caf

Step 7: On your iPhone Springboard, press Settings -> WiFi and tap the blue arrow against your WiFi network. Note down your iPhone's IP address

Step 8: Launch Fugu from your Applications folder and enter your SSH credentials. Your username shall be 'root'

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Step 9: Enter your password in the next screen to authenticate. You may try 'alpine' if you are not sure of the password. On a side note, please remember to always change your password for security purposes. You can check our tutorial here to learn to change password. 

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Step 10: From the toolbar open the GoTo window and enter '/System/Library/Audio/UISounds/'. Select 'Remotely' and click Go. 

Step 11: On the right pane of the window, look out for the sound clip you want to replace (sms-received6.caf). Right click or Control-click on the file and select 'Rename'. Rename the file to sms-received6.caf.bak

Step 12: On the left pane, click on the sound clip file (sms-received6.caf) to drag and drop it in the right pane. The sound clip has been replaced. Alternatively, you could also use a tool like DiskAid to copy the sound clip to the UISounds folder, which you might find a lot easier.

Step 13: Reboot your iPhone and go to Settings -> Sounds -> Next Text Message

How to set custom SMS alert tone

Step 14: If you had used sms-received6.caf for your sound clip, locate the sixth sound clip (After None) in the list to start using the new sound file. 

As always do let us know how it works at your end. 

[via iClarified]

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  • Worked perfectly.

  • Steve

    Hi there guys just wondered if anyone got stuck on Step 8: Launch Fugu from your Applications???
    I dont really understand it, if someone could explain what it is and how to get it and use it?? Ive got a 32gb 3gs jailbroken iphone and up until no 8 was doing ok then i got stuck. Any help would be great, i've got talking alerts but something else apart from the boring standard alert would be wicked.

  • nerdkill

    Odd my Droid does that really easily

  • Harsha

    ya we all know Droid does that very easily… Apple customers does not like easy stuff!! 😛

  • Klasniedryg

    Hey Steve, just use "iphone Browser" application. Google it, and you will find it. or some sort of a program to view the file system on the iphone. Then just copy the newly created file to the location specified. Fugu is just an application to use ssh, you can find it by googleing it. you can use other applications too. Depends if you are using windows are mac.

    hope this helps!

  • Jordan

    Yeah the phone does everything under the sun, it practically jerks you off after making u breakfast but god forbid we can customize anything but the wallpaper

  • Muahahahah

    What a troll! Please go troll somewhere else. I already found way too many post about you hanging on the droids nuts all around this website.

  • na

    didn't work, nothing changed

  • Why not just use "AnyRing" from Cydia ?


    is there a size limit on this? cause i tried it, the "electronic" tone doesnt even make a sound anymore so are the text messages if i choose this tone. :/ the sound file is 45MB+

  • Colin

    Just curious if this would work with changing any of the other sounds on the iphone. I have not tried it yet but will soon. I was just wondering if anyone else has changed them or tried

  • I am too excited to use it for my iphone. I think it's the one of the coolest feature I had ever seen for iphone. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Steve

    Hi ya m8 cheers for the info, from what i've read fugu is for mac users , i use win scp.

    Regards Steve

  • Or ToneFXs, you can change every sound on your iPhone with a few clicks. It's not free, but having my SMS say "Priority one message incoming from Starfleet Headquarters on secure Channel" is pretty awesome. You pay for ToneFXs, then the sound packages are all over Cydia for free.

  • ToneFXs

    And you still have your default files. No SSH, no command line, no Mac(Fugu) needed.

    And they have a new desktop product that will create your own tone packages. Cool.

  • After reading this informative article, right now we we can easily set custom Incoming SMS Alert Tone On our I Phone.

  • After reading this informative article, right now we we can easily set custom Incoming SMS Alert Tone On our I Phone.

  • Henry

    It didn't work for me either. All I ended up with is ONE of the six original alerts. So, I am worse off than I was before. Tried it half a dozen times.

  • Fonso

    Hey there potna. I need some help with this SMS tone thing. I got stuck on step 8 and I tried downloading fugu on my iPhone but it won't allow me. Can u please help?

  • suit

    ho ho ho 4:20pm

  • joel

    can ANYONE tell us which file to alter in the root folder to change how the "name" of the file appears in the sounds list? I want to change the name "electronic" to "yoda" as I have already changed the sound, but can't change the name…..

    Can't find this information anywhere on the web so far….

  • behemoth421

    i cannot get winscp to work. says it cant join. what port number do you use? mine is on 22

  • bambam

    y not just use winterboard? u can change your tones as well as ur icons themes everything

  • chronosz

    i totally give up!! u guys need another step for winscp!!! ><

  • Sneeks

    Use iPhone Explorer and skipped past steps 8 and 9.

    Worked perfectly (iPhone 4 didn’t require reboot for sounds to take effect)

  • sleepr

    I’ve followed everything to the point in this post but still cant seem get it working.

    i have also tried using Diskaid..still no luck 🙁

    do uz think it could be something to do with my firmware??

    the sound file im using is only 2sec long, i cant even hear it when in sounds> text ringtone

    i’ve also tried using winterboard and downloaded a sms tone thru cydia >themes>sms but still no luck..

    using a 3gs jailbreak on LimeRa1n
    version- 4.1
    firmware 05.14.02

    any help would be greatly appreciated

  • anon

    Worked perfectly for me. I used WinSCP instead but it’s great. Thanks. 😀

  • Brandon

    Worked great with iPhone 4… For step 8, I used iPhone Browser. Thanks

  • Worked great, thank you so much! Step 8: I would be more precise… Fugu in Applications ON YOUR COMPUTER….. But it worked great once I googled FUGU… 😀

  • Tony Velasco

    Hello, I have an Iphn 4 (jailbreak)and suddenly the sms tone (bip-bip) doenst work or the vibration.. i dont know what to do, since i have downloaded a lot of things, i dont know if anyone have done something with it, is nothing on settings i already checked very well and tried several thing. anyone know if any packege from cydia could make this happen? bec I have never experience something like this. And I dont get any alert when i receive a TXT message. Thnks

  • kofranks

    It worked for me! Thanks!

  • Dax

    Fugu is for MAC, instead of using win scp etc, used iphone browser and it worked well.

  • jose


  • Yus syazlin nabila

    I just jail break my iphone . But , i dont know how to costomize sms alert .