How to Install and Customize Ringtones on Android Phones

By | January 7, 2022

Android gives you a wide variety of options to customize your phone, and changing ringtones is one of the most fun.

As you’d expect, you have plenty of options to change the various alerts and phone tones from the default options. With a little work, you can use your own tracks as ringtones. Better yet, you can apply custom ringtones to specific contacts. And don’t forget about the custom notification sound!

Let’s discuss how to create and set custom ringtones and notification sounds on Android one by one. We’re using the OnePlus 6T as an example here; your phone may look a little different.

How to Make Ringtones Using Your PC

Most people store most of their music files on their computer. To convert one (or more) music tracks into phone ringtones or notification sounds, use the following steps.

  • Download free audio recordings and edit the Audacity desktop app.
  • Install the LAME MP3 encoder library, which allows you to export files from Audacity in MP3 format.
  • Launch Audacity and open the source file by going to File > Open. You can also drag and drop tracks into Audacity if you wish.
  • Use your mouse to highlight the part of the song you want as a ringtone and press Ctrl + C to copy it. You can click the Play button to preview the selection.
  • Press Shift + C or click the X in the top left of the current track to close it.
  • Paste the selected part of the music file into a new track with Ctrl + V.
  • If you want, you can use the Effects menu to make further changes to the audio. Use the Amplify option to increase the volume, or Fade In/Out to make the starting tone softer.
  • Once done, save the file to your computer with File > Export > Export as MP3. Give it a descriptive name and you’re ready to put it on your phone.

How to Transfer Ringtones to Your Phone

Now that you have created the perfect ringtone, you will want to get it on your phone. If your PC has Bluetooth support, it’s easy to transfer files this way.

Once done, walk through the following steps:

  • On your PC, right-click the ringtone file you created earlier. Select Send to > Bluetooth device and select your phone.
  • Tap Accept on your phone for incoming files.
  • The file will be saved to your phone’s storage in a folder called bluetooth.

If you wish, you can also transfer the ringtone files to your phone using a USB cable or one of the many other file transfer methods.

Regardless of how you transfer the audio file, you need to place it in the correct folder on your phone. This requires an Android file manager app. FX File Explorer is a great free option if you don’t already have one.

Find the audio file on bluetooth, download it, or whatever folder you placed it when you transferred it. Then move them to the Ringtones or Notifications folder (depending on their sound type). Once you have done this, you will be able to select it from the list of installed ringtones.

How to Find Ringtones on Your Phone

If you don’t want to make your own ringtone, don’t worry. You can pick up thousands of ringtones and notification sounds right on your device thanks to an app called Zedge. It lets you quickly download ringtones from movies, video games, memes and more.

To find new ringtones after downloading and opening Zedge:

  • Tap the three horizontal bars icon in the top left corner.
  • Choose Ringtone or Notification based on what you are looking for.
  • You’ll see featured votes as well as a breakdown by category. Browse around until you find one you like.
  • If you don’t see something important, use the Search icon to find what you’re looking for.
  • On the ringtones page, tap the Set button at the bottom. You can set it as your Alarm, Notification, Contact Ringtone or Ringtone.
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  • If you want to save the tone for later, tap the three-dot Menu button at the top right of the ringtone page. Then select Download to place it in the Zedge folder on your phone storage. You can move them to the appropriate folders later, as described above.

How to Edit Ringtones on Your Phone

Most of the ringtones on Zedge are of good quality and ready to use. But if you want to make changes to the tone before you set it, Ringtone Maker can help.

This application is able to create ringtones, alarms, and notification sounds from various types of audio files. You can use it to edit the audio on your phone, perhaps to improve the audio of a track, silence, or the like.

To edit a ringtone using Ringtone Maker:

  • Open the app; You will see a list of audio files on your phone.
  • Tap the three-dot button to the right of the file you want to use and select Edit.
  • You will then see the audio editing screen. Here you can customize your audio to make better ringtones as needed.
    • Drag the handles to change the start and end times. Tap the Volume icon on the top right to disappear or adjust the volume.
  • When you’re done, tap the Save icon and use the dropdown to save the file to the Ringtones, Alarms, or Notifications folder.

Now your edited audio file will be ready for you to assign using the steps below.

How to Change Your Ringtone

Now that you’ve transferred your ringtone to your phone, or downloaded and edited it, you’re ready to set your ringtone. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings and tap on the Voice entry. It may be different (may be Sound and Screen or Personalization) depending on your phone.
  • Tap Phone Ringtone, Default notification sound, or Default alarm sound depending on what you want to change. This will take you to a page that lists the pre-installed tones as well as the ones you have added.
  • Tap the ringtone to listen to it. The selected ringtone will show a blue dot next to it.
  • When you decide which one you like, tap Back. Depending on your phone, you may need to tap Save first.
  • You’ll see the text under Phone ringtones (or the category you choose) reflecting your new tone.

If you don’t see a specific tone in the list, make sure you put it in the correct folder as described above.

Assign Custom Ringtones for Contacts

If you want more customization, try setting a custom ringtone for a contact. When the contact calls, you will know who it is just by the tone.

To set a contact ringtone:

  • Open the Contacts (or People) app.
  • Select the contact for which you want to use a custom ringtone.
  • Tap on the three-dot menu in the top right corner and select the option Set Ringtone.
  • Here, just select a unique ringtone for the contact.

Don’t Forget About App Notifications

Most apps let you choose a unique ringtone or notification tone for different types of alerts. If you’re running Android Oreo or later, check out our guide to Android notification channels to see how this works.

For those who haven’t used Oreo, or if you have an app that doesn’t yet work with that functionality, check out the app’s Settings menu. Many apps have Notification Settings or similar entries that let you customize what alerts play. If you set up custom alerts for multiple apps, you’ll know what a notification is without seeing it.

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