How to create custom ringtones on your iPhone

iPhone Create Ringtone
iPhone Create Ringtone (Image credit: iMore)

Using Apple's GarageBand app for iOS, you can create custom ringtones using purchased tracks that have already been downloaded onto your device. Here's how to do this.

Creating custom ringtones using GarageBand

To create ringtones through the GarageBand app on iPhone:

  1. If you haven't done so, download the free GarageBand app from the App Store.
  2. In the app, tap Tracks at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose Audio Recorder.
  4. Tap the Multitrack button at the top left.

GarageBand Audio Recorder

GarageBand Audio Recorder (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the Loop Browser button at the top right.
  2. Tap the selector you want in the pop-up. Choices include Apple Loops, Files, and Music. In this example, we're selecting Music.
  3. Find the song you want to use for your ringtone. You can only use iTunes-purchased songs that have also been downloaded to your device. You cannot use Apple Music songs, unfortunately.

GarageBand Find Song

GarageBand Find Song (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Press, then hold on the song, dragging it into GarageBand.

GarageBand Song Pick

GarageBand Song Pick (Image credit: iMore)

Editing the clip

Next, you need to cut the clip, so it's no longer than 30 seconds in length. Otherwise, you cannot use it as a ringtone.

  1. Grab the ends of the song in GarageBand and drag them inward. Be sure to capture your favorite part of the song for the ringtone.
  2. Press the play button to preview the ringtone at any time.

GarageBand Shrink Song

Garageband Shrink Song (Image credit: iMore)

Rename and save the ringtone

Finally, it's time to save the song clip as a ringtone.

  1. Tap the My Songs icon at the top left of the GarageBand screen.
  2. Choose My Songs from the pull-down.
  3. Long press on the clip you just saved.
  4. Tap Rename.

GarageBand Rename Clip

GarageBand Rename Clip (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Give your clip a suitable name.
  2. Tap Done.

GarageBand Rename Clip Name

GarageBand Rename Clip Name (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Long-press on the clip once again.
  2. Choose Share

GarageBand Share File

GarageBand Share File (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Export.
  2. Choose OK on the Ringtone Export Successful pop-up.

Garageband Export Ringtone

Garageband Export Ringtone (Image credit: iMore)

Assigning your new ringtone

You can access and change your ringtones on your iPhone as follows:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your Home screen.
  2. Choose Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Select Ringtone under Sounds and Vibration Patterns.
  4. Select the newly created ringtone under Ringtones to make it your default ringtone.

iPhone Set Ringtone

iPhone Set Ringtone (Image credit: iMore)

Use ringtone for individual contacts only

If you want to use your new ringtone selectively, you can assign it to specific contacts.

  1. Tap the Contacts app on your iPhone Home screen.
  2. Choose the contact you wish to assign the new ringtone.

iPhone Choose Contact

iPhone Choose Contact (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Edit at the top right.
  2. Choose Ringtone.
  3. Select the newly created ringtone under Ringtones to assign it to this contact.
  4. Tap Done.
  5. Select Done again.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 7 to assign the rington to other contacts.

iPhone Contact Change Ringtone

iPhone Contact Change Ringtone (Image credit: iMore)


Do you have any questions about creating ringtones on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below!

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.