How to Change the Default Ringtone on iPhone

Updated July 20, 2017

The iPhone comes with various pre-installed ringtones that can be used to alert you to incoming calls, text messages and alarms. iPhone users can also purchase and download ringtones from third-party sellers and can assign individual contacts their own ringtone. Setting a default ringtone is a simple process and takes just a moment to complete.

Click on "Settings," then "Sounds."

Click on "Ringtone." This will bring up a list of pre-installed ringtones in alphabetical order.

Preview a ringtone by clicking on its title. Select a ringtone to assign to incoming calls by clicking on it and ensuring that a checkmark appears next to the title.

Click "Sounds" to return to the sound settings.

Select "New Text Message" to view available ringtones for incoming text messages. Click on a ringtone to assign it to incoming text messages.

Click on "Contacts" and then select the contact that you would like to assign a ringtone to.

Click on "Edit" and then "Ringtone."

Scroll through available ringtones in the list under "Standard." To assign a ringtone to a contact, click on its title and wait for the checkmark to appear next to the title.

Click on "Info" and then "Done" to save the ringtone to the contact.

Repeat the process to assign a default ringtone to other contacts.


Be certain not to exit the sound settings without completing all of the above steps or it may result in your ringtone not being saved.


Be wary of third-party ringtone programs, as many of them require a monthly fee to be charged to your phone bill and the charges are oftentimes difficult to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone
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About the Author

Angie Gambone is an attorney who has been writing for various websites since 2009. She covers a variety of topics, focusing on legal issues, family law and LGBT rights. Gambone holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Rutgers University and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law, where she graduated with honors in 2010.