How to change the ringtone on the iPhone

Updated February 21, 2017

Like the majority of modern cellular phones, the iPhone gives users the ability to change the ringtone to almost any sound they would like. Depending on your personal preference, you can use a variety of default ringtones provided with the purchase of the iPhone or create your own from purchased songs. Simply review a few straightforward guidelines before you begin to change the ringtone on your iPhone.

Set ringtones to play alerts related to different occurrences on your iPhone. Tap on the "Sounds" icon in the Settings menu and review the list of different instances where a ringtone can be set to play, clicking "On" or "Off" next to each to adjust the controls. This list includes receiving a call, a text message, voicemail or email message, as well as sending an email message or reminding you of an event on your calendar.

Tap on the "Ringtone" icon in the "Sounds" menu to see a list of your available ringtones. The default ringtones available to you on the iPhone are generic ringing and beeping sounds. Tap on any of these sounds to change your settings to play it as your primary ringtone.

Purchase ringtones from the iTunes Music Store. Ringtones cost the same price as regular songs in the store's catalog and may be up to 30 seconds in length. Not all songs can be converted to ringtones, though you can find out which are eligible by looking for a small bell-shaped icon next to the title in the store's listings.

Use the small switch located on the side of the iPhone to turn the ringtone on or off for the entire iPhone. This switch has 2 options, either to set the phone to "Ring" or "Silent." The switch is designed so that you can tell if it is on or off simply by feeling it, as the switch will be lined up with the volume buttons when it is on "Ring" and will be out of line when it is on "Silent."

Set the iPhone to vibrate, either with or without a ringtone, when you receive a call. Tap on "Sounds" in the Settings menu to view the available "Vibrate" options for both "Silent" and "Ring" mode. You will need to turn it on or off for each ringer mode.

Assign a specific ringtone to individual contacts in your iPhone. Choose a contact from your "Contacts" menu by tapping on it and then tap on "Ringtone" to see a list of available ringtones. The ringtone you tap on from the list will play every time that contact calls your phone.

Choose a ringtone to play as an alarm on your iPhone. You can select the specific ringtone you would like to play by taqpping on the "Alarm" icon in the "Sound" menu. This menu also gives you the option to set the "Snooze" feature to on or off, which will stop the alarm for 10 minutes then play the ringtone again when it is set to on.


If you are listening to music or watching a video on your iPhone with a headset on when you receive a call, your iPhone's ringtone will ring through both the iPhone's speaker and through your headphones.

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