So I've only had my iPhone 4 (previous Droid user) for about 3 months or so now. Yes it has some great features that my Droid didn't, but one thing I really do not like is the ringtones. On the Droid, I could download an app, find a ringtone, download it and set it within a minute or 2, no problem at all! But with the iPhone, the only way to get a commercial ringtone is to sync it through iTunes? Which might be all fine and dandy if I always had my iPhone cord and my laptop on me 24/7. Another thing I ran into was finding the song name and artist have to be the same for the ringtone to sync? Does this also act the same for music?

So what it all comes down to is pretty much this, what is the easiest and non-confusing way to purchase and install ringtones on my iPhone 4?

  • Do you want to list the tools you'd consider using? GarageBand on the mac is great for making custom ringtones. There are other software packages for the common OS choices as well as scripts to allow drag and drop conversion of mp3 and other sound files to assist in making the ringtone look like that to iOS/iTunes rather than a music file.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 19:07
  • @bmike, if I understand C-dizzle, he does not want to edit and make his own ringtones. I think he wants a better method to purchase ready-made commercial ringtones (which he refers to as "custom"), install them easily, and change them frequently.
    – user9290
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 19:42
  • @WheatWilliams that is EXACTLY what I was getting at :) Thank you! lol
    – C-dizzle
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 21:05

5 Answers 5


The trick should lie in converting your file to the appropriate format and renaming it so that it appears to be a regular ringtone file. (e.g. create an M4A file and change its extension from .m4a to .m4r). The top three links on a Google search are good tutorials if you like step-by-step instructions: https://www.google.es/search?rls=en&q=%22ringtone%22+%22iphone%22+%22m4r%22

BTW, you can sync your iPhone over the air. Connect it to iTunes and look for the option "Sync with this iPhone over WiFi", first screen of the Summary/Info/Apps/Tones/Music/Movies/TV Shows/iTunes U/Books/Photos lineup.


First, +1 for the switch :-)

I find it makes it easiest to get a ringtone app which does most of the work for you. The one I have is called "Ringtones" (with a grey circle and orange music note in the icon) which is very intuitive and extremely easy to use. I believe it has a video, after saving the clip on the phone, that describes the process.


If you are interested in jail breaking your phone, there is an app in cydia that is way, way, better than anything on the appstore. The app is called (UnlimTones).

  • I have thought about jail breaking the phone, but don't want to run the risk of bricking it.
    – C-dizzle
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 18:25
  • To be honest I have had all the generations of the iPhone and have jailbroken all of them and they have made out wonderfully. If you need any help on where to find out about jail breaking I can point you in the right direction.
    – Stephen
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 19:37

Are you using iCloud and gmail or other mail? If so you have to link all the contacts in all the groups together.

  • Can you please elaborate a bit concerning linking of contacts and how this will help the OP to get custom ringtones working?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 16:21

I use ringer.org to make free ringtones for my iPhone:

  • Browse an audio file or upload from the Internet. Input file formats: AAC FLAC M4A MP3 OGG WAV WMA.
  • Find the portion of the song you like by moving markers.
  • Set the ringtone file format and delivery mode. M4R for iPhone, MP3 for most of the others.
  • Convert the song to a ringtone by clicking Make Ringtone.

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