We’ve all experienced the ringtone problem: no matter how many tones are in your iPhone, none of them are quite right.
Maybe you’d prefer the theme tune for your favorite fictional detective, or some dialogue from your favorite show. Or maybe there’s a particular piece of music you’d rather hear. No problem. If you’ve got an audio file, it’s really easy to make it into an iPhone ringtone. All you need is the Music app (iTunes on older Macs and on Windows PCs).
Before we start, you’ll need to ensure that the audio file you’re going to use is (a) on your computer and (b) isn’t an Apple Music track – as in, a song you’re streaming from Apple Music as part of your subscription. Apple won’t let you convert those.
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to create a ringtone on a Mac using macOS Mojave. The process is almost identical for Windows and older Macs but instead of the Music app you’d use iTunes.
One word of warning: choose your ringtone carefully. If it’s a song you really, really love, you might not love it so much if you hear it every time the boss calls you or whenever you get a robocall. We’ve learnt that particular lesson the hard way, and some absolute bangers are dead to us now.
First up you need to choose your song in the Music app. You can’t make a ringtone from a streaming track or one that’s stored in the cloud. Our song here is stored in our iCloud Music Library, so before we proceed we’ll need to download it by clicking on the little downwards arrow over at the right.
Rather confusingly, if we want to export in the right format we need to change the import settings. In the menu bar click Music > Preferences > Files and then click on the Import Settings button. Click on the Import Using drop-down and choose the AAC Encoder option.
Return to your song in the Music app and click on the three dots at the very right of the track. Choose Get Info > Options and you should see the screen shown here. We need to trim the song to 30 seconds to make it appropriate for a ringtone.
In this example we want to start from the beginning so we’ll set the start time at 0:00 and the finish at 0:30; you can start anywhere in the song but it can be quite tricky to get the timing just-so.
No matter what bit of the song you choose, make sure the tick boxes are checked and that you use colons to separate the minutes and seconds. Click on OK when you’re done.