How To Make Free Ringtones For Your iPhone

JailbreakMe 2.0

The simple ringtone hack that was discovered almost three years back still seems to work with the latest version of iTunes.

It is based on the fact that iTunes differentiates a song file and a ringtone by the file extension. While we all know that the song file extension was AAC; the file extension for ringtones is "M4R".

All you need to do is take an m4a file, which is DRM free and not more than 30 seconds, rename it to m4r and add it to iTunes.

You can check out this step by step guide to create free custom ringtones for your iPhone using iTunes:

  1. In iTunes, right click on the song you are going to make into a ringer and select “Get Info.”

  2. Go to the options tab and go down to the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” check boxes. Check both boxes and input the time you want your ringtone to start/stop (it should not be more than 30 seconds). Click OK when you’re done.

  3. Right click on your newly “clipped” song and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” The song will be re-encoded using the start and stop times determined (If your menu item does not read “Convert Selection to AAC” and reads “Convert Selection to MP3″ (or some other format) please go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Importing and change the “Import Using” drop down menu to “AAC Encoder”).

  4. After the song is done encoding navigate to your iTunes Music folder, locate your song, and drag it to your desktop. After the song is on your desktop go back to iTunes and delete the clipped version from you iTunes library (It won’t delete it from your desktop, it will only remove it from iTunes).

  5. Go back the song on your desktop and right click on your song and choose “Get info.” Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop)

  6. After the extension is changed simply double click on the file to add it to your iTunes library. It should show up under the ringtones section. Then sync your phone with iTunes.

  7. You should now be able to change the ringtone to the new one by going to Settings –> Sounds –> Ringtone. The new ringtone should show up under “Custom”. Tap on it to set it as your default ringtone.

Please let us know how it goes and don't forget to tell us your favorite ringtone in the comments section below.

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  • alex

    great stuff!

    • Milt S

      Followed directions exactly and it just drops back into my Itunes music library not tones library and then does not sync to the phone. Using windows 7, Iphone 42 and Itunes 10.5. Any help?

  • Get

    The ringtone can be 40 seconds.

  • CristV77

    lol i have always (4years) cut the song i want on garageband, exported (share) to iTunes as a ringtone and sync it with the iPhone, that has always worked for me

  • jkd

    install AnyRing app from following repo:

    add to your Cydia Sources

    it rocks!

  • seems like the "long way" around it…why not just use a site that does it for you for free? it has heaps of songs & if it doesnt have what you want you can upload yours & edit it online, then download it – seems much easier to me?? audiko : )

    will let you do all this much more easily and even will sync the ringtones to your iTunes as podcasts.

  • Sean

    yeah the tone can be 40 seconds, but your phone only rings for 17 seconds, so 20 seconds will be fine. Also iphone hacks is getting desperate for stories lol I've know about this since the 2.x.x days

  • Sean

    actually choosing your own song, uploading it, editing it, downloading, and then syncing is about 3 steps more than this method

  • have you tried it? it's actually quite quick, especially visually picking your 30secs of the audio…

  • dee

    I prefer unlimited ringtones if you have a jailbroken iPhone 4 or's free and you can create ringtones using it's other app mytones. after u download the ringers or create them just sync to pc thru a USB software such as diskaid to find the ringers and you're good

  • Sean

    well i have been doing this method for like 2 years now and i can do it in under 5 seconds

  • original

  • is the songs that i can convert to ringtone for iphone only the song that have to be buy from apple?

  • Here's why this is better than any app that makes ringtones for you: If you ever get unjailbroken, you lose those ringtones (at least until you can jailbreak again). And then if you have that ringtone assigned to a contact, when they call you don't hear anything and the phone doesn't even want to answer the call right away.

    I've used several such apps, but since discovering the method in this article, I've been replacing them with 'real' ringtones that won't rely on having a particular app or being jailbroken.

  • No, works with any song that is not protected (some songs from iTunes are, not all).

  • thats what i mentioned earlier but was told it was too difficult lol

  • djman10

    Potentially less secure. Anytime a website offers something useful for free, one has to wonder why, (other than for advertising purposes). Are the sites secure? Do the downloaded files have any trojans, is my privacy protected?

  • necromancer

    I found anyring to be far to limited when I demoed it. The time only editing only going to the second didn't allow for accurate editting of the sections I wanted. The itunes method is very easy and much more accurate (to the 1/100 of a sec.).

  • me

    best site is upload, crop, download as iphone ringtone, and sync. so easy, so fast. uses youtube links too. REALLY GREAT if good upload speed.

    • Jitendra Singh

      Yes. is the better choice. I am also looking for some software / application to record calls on the IPHONE. If anyone has an idea, kindly let me know

  • Madhatter

    Everything went fine until I right clicked on the song on my desktop…I have no "get info" section. I am unable to change it from "m4a" to "m4r", per instructions. What do I do now to finish? I tried this on several songs with the same result.

  • hayes129

    Most likely your computer's default setting is hiding the file extensions. You need to click the "Start" icon and enter "Folder Options" in the search area and select it. From there, click "View" and page down and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types." Click "Apply." You will now be able to change the file extension. I had to do this myself, and it works like a charm.

  • No, the 'get info' is within iTunes, not on your desktop.

  • D D

    What About An SMS Tone Maker?

  • p to the izzle

    I use iRinger. It works on all version of Windows 32 and 64 bit. It's free but will nag you with some ads that aren't too terrible. I denied it access to the internet via firewall and I no longer see those ads. It will let you trim a song to length, convert it and import it into iTunes. Then just sync and it's done.

  • I just came across this blog and found it very interesting indeed.Thanks for sharing.

  • Sterling

    'get info' is in iTunes, but you cant change the file extension there. If you right click on the actual file in windows you can click rename, or properties and change the file extension, after doing what hayes129 said.

  • KW

    I cant get it to work anymore with version 9.2.1 because there is no importing in advanced to change to ACC and only create lossless version with the right click menu

  • KDR

    For you mac users that upgraded to 9.2.1 or less and don't show "create ACC version" in the drop down menu follow instructions

    1. Open the iTunes Preferences window
    2. In the “General” tab there’s a pane that says “When you insert a CD” that has a pulldown menu to the right and a button that reads “Import Settings”
    3. Click “Import Settings”
    4. A window will open with a pulldown menu next to a title that says “Import Using”
    5. Click the pulldown menu and choose “AAC Encoder” from the list.
    6. Click “OK” once this setting is changed and then click “OK” again to exit the Preferences.

    Now when you right click on the song you’re trying to convert you should have the option to “Create an AAC Version”

    Hope this helps guys.

    • San

      THANK YOU!! This helped me out so much!

  • omakad

    So I'm guessing this doesn't work with iTunes 10 right?!

  • Dustin

    Agreed, also has experience where I use cut mp3s that are 39 seconds long with no problem, but anything over 40, get ready to scrap that tone.

  • mkimid

    I am creating AAC file using mediaconverter, and change file extension to M4R.
    and, I am copy this file into RingTone folder using SSH.

  • yute

    Hi I followed each steps but at desktop and right click on the song "Properties" can not find the name & extension section so can not change .m4a to .m4r? I also tried using rename & changed the extension but no extension of .m4a found?

  • neea

    Amazing ringtone tip!!!
    I got my iphone today and just put 2 new ringers on in under 5 minutes (be sure to tell it to remember the changes before clicking ok).
    My friend got an iphone about a week ago and bought an expensive app that involves alot of uploading, downloading, editing, syncing. Poor bugger haha.

    This is great.
    Thanks guys.

  • Lo

    I use, it takes me about 1 min to download from my own files and they proved a "slider" bar to have the song stop and start where you want it, you can also record your own voice and use it as a ringtone, it is so easy, no converting or saving it in places on your desktop

  • cjh

    hi can you give these instructions again, i cannotr figure out where to put folder options in search…
    does this work ith itunes 10?

  • Lyn

    Ok, I followed step by step like what you said but my ringtone didn’t show up on the Ringtone section. It showed up in the Library Music instead. What can i do?

  • inc

    i just did 1 ringtone on itunes 10.1.2 it worked good. i havent sync my iphone yet, but as is already in the ringtone folder i suppose shouldnt be a problem ;-)) did anybody noticed what happpend to the original song??? in my case when i replay it the original song stayed on 40 seconds i had to go to ‘get info’ and readjust the time. So here’s what i did to de second ringtone i made; i did first convert the song into AAC format and then i edit times on the new AAC song :-)) then followed the same steps.
    thanks for sharing !!!

  • narong

    Hello inc, I use itunes 10.1.2 too, but i cannot find the content rigntone, where could i find? Thanks

  • sam

    Hi does anyone know how to tranfer a custom ringtone into the ringtones folder of the current version of Itunes 10.3. I create the ringtone it places it in my music folder but won’t let me drag it into any rintone folder (device or player) the older version had no problem but when I go to drag my custom ringtone it highlights the whole panel not just the ringtone panel so it places the ringtone in the music folder and but not in the ringtone as well. Would appreciate any help 🙂