How to easily set up a custom ringtone on your iPhone with iTunes and Zedge


Changing your ringtone in iOS is not exactly a painless process. Well, it is, but you need to be a seasoned iOS warrior in order to employ a custom ringtone on your iPhone. That's why most people rely on the default ringtones, like "Opening" or the more classic "Marimba". 

Hey, we have nothing against these stock ringtones, but as many users don't actually care what their ringtones are, you are quite likely to hear said tunes just anywhere. And we really mean anywhere.

Well, don't be that guy. 

Differentiate yourself. 

Make a stand.

One of the ways to do so is to roll your sleeves and set up a custom ringtone. We've already shown you how to do so the regular way or by using a nifty workaround using Apple's own GarageBand app, but today, we are going to show you another approach which is still a bit cumbersome, but does not involve file-renaming in any way. Thus, we like!

We will be using the services of iTunes, of course, along with one of the more content-rich wallpaper and ringtone aggregators out there -- Zedge. 

Step #1


First things first, you need to connect your iPhone to iTunes on a PC or Mac, either via the Lightning cable or Wi-Fi. It's an essential moment in this guide, so better get down to doing it ASAP.

Step #2


Next up, we need to get hold of Zedge, one of our favorite wallpaper and ringtone aggregators available for iOS, Android, and Windows. After you're done, open the app, navigate to the hamburger menu on the left, and go into the ringtone repository.


Step #3


Once you do so, you will see a pretty large selection of available ringtones. Choose one that floats your boat; in our case, we went for the classic by now Jack Sparrow theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, composed by Hans Zimmer. Tap on it, then download it by tapping on the button in the bottom left. The tone will be saved and that essentially finishes our business with the app for now.


Step #4


Now, back to iTunes! You connected your iPhone, right? Good. Now, select your device by hitting the corresponding button in the top left corner, then choose Apps.


Step #5


Now, scroll down to the File Sharing tab inside the Apps menu, which displays the apps that are allowed you to transfer documents between your iPhone and the computer you're using. Zedge should be one of them.


Step #6


You will see the ringtone you downloaded in Step #4. Select it, then click "Save to". A window will pop up, prompting you to select where to save the file to. Do it anywhere you like, just remember the location.


Step #7


Next, navigate to the iTunes menu (hint: in the upper left corner), then hit "Add File to Library". In the window that will pop up, you need to select the very same file we downloaded in the previous step. Well, select it, hit Open, and you're good to go.


Step #8


Then, back in iTunes, select the Tones in the left menu. You should enable "Sync Tones" in the window that appears next, then choose "Selected tones" and not "All tones". Find the tone you downloaded in the first place, and select it.


Step #9


Now, sync the new tone to your iPhone by hitting the "Apply" button on the bottom of iTunes. Wait for the operation to complete, it shouldn't take more than a couple of seconds, but then again, it depends on the size of the file.


Step #10


Back to your iPhone, head to Settings, then hit Sounds, then tap on Ringtone under the Sounds and Vibrations Patterns menu, and then look for your new ringtone. Select it and...


Step #11


... You're good to go!

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35 Comments

1. Modest_Moze

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 23, 2015

11 steps? Really?

20. Daniel_Chessmaster

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 22, 2016

Try the Tuunes app or the website (tuunes.co). It's way faster.

26. daveydog

Posts: 67; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

8 bucks a week for that app? WTH

2. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Instead just run the Zedge app and select the file to download from the category. PA, previous font size was good, please reset it.

3. Saioofi

Posts: 336; Member since: May 23, 2014

Lol people still set custom ringtones?

4. Modest_Moze

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 23, 2015

Yes, what are you? Old?

9. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Don't worry, when apple makes setting a custom ringtone easier 10 years later, iPhans will describe it as an absolute necessity.

11. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

You nailed it!!

5. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

You can use Garage Band and do it on the phone and no need to sync. I recently found this and have made several.

6. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Steps for Android: 1. Find the ringtone you want. 2. Drag & Drop it into the Ringtones folder. 3. Set ringtone as your ringtone. 4. Laugh at iPhone owners.

7. AlikMalix unregistered

Now try making a video call, locate a friend, or set app permissions. How many steps for each task? i can name countless tasks that are easier and faster on iOS by default than android. While setting ringtones is defensively a task, it's not a difficult one and requires no root unlike android which for most users (over 90%) will require you to root just to get something as simple as the latest update, same for ad blocking. I'm not dissing android, just pointing out your hypocrisy. I dont laugh when I see android users struggle to check their voicemail - I just point to third party dialers. And as someone mentioned apps like GarageBand lets you set ringtones if you really must.

10. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

I get your point but still, if you combine all of the annoyances and lack of features of both platforms, iOS is much more hassle compared to Android imo. The process just to copy music and videos on iOS are simply annoying. Why not just simple copy/paste directly from the explorer than from itunes? Ad blocking does not require root on android. Adguard and Adblock plus works without root. By the way Alik, what is the best content blocker app for iOS 9? And is there better and easier alternative to copy/sync music and videos than itunes? Also whats the best video player for iOS, free and paid?

12. AlikMalix unregistered

I get banned for a day for naming what ad blocker I use, even though PA has cleaned up the ads after I whitelised PA (no pop-ups or redirects on iOS devices now). There are plenty of alternatives to drop media to iOS device without the need to even install iTunes. I do prefer iTunes as I used it before my first iPhone and my media is just organized better with it - it's a quicker way to get music on and off without the need to pick and choose so I find that to be easiest and more convenient than drag and drop (but I can understand for those that don't use iTunes - can be a hassle), you can also use any of the file mangers available and many are free. But I do most of my listening and watching from streaming from my hard drive directly... Earlier I used to use music match. For video player I use stock iOS player. Or if I stream from home it would be the app that came with my router. I rarely watch movies on my phone - but on the iPad yes - but it's mostly Netflix. At my android friends house I stream from home thru my phone onto his tv via chromecast stick. I do prefer Apple TV though. Bottom line, I wouldn't be using apple products if I didn't like the way they set up everything - I couldn't care less what logo is on the back of my devices (as long as they don't stick one on the front, lol). As far as your other point - iOS lacks features from android, yes. And there are a few I wouldn't mind getting. But it does not lack the number of features of android (does that make sense). Considering the fact that of phones don't have Samsung features and Samsung doesn't have HTC UI, and nexus lacks bloatware, and so on - comparing phot to phone - I prefer the stack of features on iPhone than another device. And I know I'm considered blind sheep fanboy - but I do weigh android devices everytime I'm ready for upgrade - I swore I would get a note last year (I love the s-pen), but I like FT a lot now, among FaceTime, iMessage, apples apps like iMovie and numbers, I use iTunes exclusevily on my home PC, most of my family and friends are on iPhones - it's easy to list them, video calling is a norm around here. And frankly I love my games - iOS has better and more. Android is great, but consider that doze and app permissions among visual voicemail was on iOS since my first iPhone and android is just getting this - I don't envy much on android. Then consider that FP, 64 bit, remote lock, apps store, multitouch, voice assistant and things like that all make a relevance on iOS first - IOS doesn't lack latest and greatest as most try to make you believe.

13. AlikMalix unregistered

In last paragraph, instead of saying it's easy to list them, I meant: It's easy to locate family members* sorry I had to narrarate the post and didn't read thru before posting - too late to edit.

14. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

That sucks man, PA banning when you mention adblocker. Thanks for the music watch, will try it. You can mention that adblocker now lol. This article got to the bottom now and PA might not notice anymore. I have a lot of old format videos like .flv which iOS' stock video player doesn't support. VLC is laggy for certain format. Read about some others, will try some of them later on and choose a better one among them. To each their own I guess. I won't call you a blind $heep like others. Its your preference and I can't change that. Well, you're biased but most are too. And one last question, whats the xda equivalent site for iOS? Sorry for the late reply.

15. AlikMalix unregistered

Well, got ahead of myself, I'm guessing it's for adblocker because it was a few times when I mentioned it - which is fine because it's against their business model. They don't tell you why you're banned, then the next day - you're fine to post - like a warning. iOS isn't best if you planning for storing and playing different video formats. Not something I care about. Regarding XDA, don't know what it is - sorry.

16. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Xda is the greatest website for android. Ultimate guide to android tips and tricks, root, custom roms, android customizations and other power tools, news regarding android and stuffs. Something like that in iOS world?

17. AlikMalix unregistered

Once again you're asking the wrong person. I was never interested in tweaking or jailbraking my devices. I bought a device that was set up the way I liked it (need it). I was curious about some features, but Apple is pretty good at adding jailbreak features with every major update. Like always listening Siri, control center, stuff like that. I'd assume you'd want to check out cydia App Store or one of millions jailbrake communities on the web. Even if I got android - I'd peobaly stick to google services for everything (like i am on iOS with Apple services). And keep it as stock as I can. Just like the modern minimalistic approach to everything - (you should see my house). Anyways sorry I wasn't of any help...

19. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

No problem man, atleast you tried what you could :)

29. JCASS889

Posts: 477; Member since: May 18, 2018

You mean the way apple says you need it?

24. cmdacos

Posts: 3969; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

These are easy on android as well...

31. slim3bdo

Posts: 163; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

What a full of BS cooment 1st no root required to get the latest update , yes you will have to wait , but most Android OEMs have all the perks included in thier skin so you already got most of the new Android version features and more since day 1 2nd you don't need root for adblock , All you need is to use a browser that have this feature already in it , and there is a lot of them in the play store 3rd for video call or even free massages , almost all Android users use WhatsApp , and if your friend who you want to call don't have it , just ask him to download it , simple as that , one step , no PC is required , no 11 steps is required . To say ios is easier that Android is the biggest lie of all time that apple is preaching like religion . Android has a lot A LOT more features than ios and it's easier for the consumer to use .

18. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Steps for iOS: 1. Open iTunes Store and find the ringtone 2. Get it 3. Set it as ringtone 4. Smile happily

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Steps for iPhone: 1. Find the ring tone you want (on iTunes) 2. Press "buy" 3. Set ringtone as ring tone 4. Nothing, no need to get the cable out of the phone, no need to close file explorer, no need to close the PC.

28. cmdacos

Posts: 3969; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

So a cash grab is a better option?

33. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You do know that ringtones are also protected by copyright laws, right?

32. slim3bdo

Posts: 163; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

So you need a PC , and money I guess your definition of easy and free are different than everybody else in the world

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

No, you just need your iPhone. "Free" does not mean "illegal copying of copyrighted material".

35. slim3bdo

Posts: 163; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

Lol Who said anything about copyrighted material . Zedge have tons of free ringtones , heck any mp3 you own can be your ring tone in few clicks with android

36. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I know you didn't said that, but I'm saying it.

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