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In what directory on OS X are the sound files located for the alert tones in Messages and in FaceTime? I'm not talking about the alert sounds in System Preferences; I mean the ones that are also on iOS—like Aurora, Bamboo, Chord, etc.—in the list in this screenshot:

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Since Big Sur, this is no longer a valid method. The sealed system volume will not let you change the files.

Alerts are located at
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ToneLibrary.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AlertTones/
Ringtones in
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ToneLibrary.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Ringtones/

If you're looking to add your own - you can't.... or rather you can but they will be ignored.

I've found the best method to add my own is to replace one of the existing sounds with one of my own, renamed to match.
See https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/169907/85275

For completeness... System alerts - Sosumi etc - are in /System/Library/Sounds/
User sounds are in ~/Library/Sounds/

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  • 1
    Thanks—you led me to the right containing directory! But you are just one folder off. Will you please update your answer to the correct directory /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ToneLibrary.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AlertTones and I'll accept it. :)
    – jsejcksn
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 9:59
  • tweaking . . ..
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 10:01
  • I was looking for them so I can match the volume level of the tones I create for iOS. Based on my precursory examination, they seem to be around -12db on average.
    – jsejcksn
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 10:03
  • No longer true in 2024.
    – 2540625
    Commented Mar 11 at 1:28
  • @2540625 - correct. Since Big Sur(?) with the sealed system volume, the OS won't let you change anything in there.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 11 at 8:08

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