create iPhone ringtone in itunes

How many times have you been sitting around with friends when their phone rings and you hear the opening theme to Knight Rider, or the subtle hum of the Starship Enterprise and thought to yourself, “Dang, I wish I had that ringtone.” Well, now you can and it won’t cost you a dime.

You can convert any song or audio clip in your iTunes library into a ringtone with a few simple steps. We’ve got a step-by-step tutorial to show you how to create awesome ringtones that will make you the envy of the party…

Note that there are different ways to create ringtones. In this post, we will show you how to create iPhone ringtones using iTunes.

How to create an iPhone ringtone using a song in iTunes

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your desktop or laptop computer.

Step 2: Pick the song or audio file you want to use from your iTunes library.

Step 3: Right click on the song and select “Get Info.”

In the Get Info window, selection the Options tab and change the Stop and Start Time to read the segment of the song that you want to save as a ringtone. The ringtone length cannot exceed 30 seconds.

If you want to start at the beginning of the song, set the start time to 0:00 and the end time to the number of seconds you want the ringtone to be.

If you want to start at the chorus of a song, play it first to determine what time the chorus starts and then use that number as the Start Time, and no more than 30 seconds after that as the Stop Time. For example, Start Time – 2:15, Stop Time – 2:45.

You have to make sure the check boxes next to the Start and Stop times are checked. This is very important.

When you have entered the Start and Stop Time, click OK.

make ringtone in itunes options

Step 4: Click on the song to select it, and in the Menu Bar, go to File > Convert, and select “Create AAC version.”

iTunes will take the segment you have just selected from the song in Step 3 and use it to create the new file. A second song with the same name but new length should appear right next to the original in iTunes. If it doesn’t appear right next to the original, make sure you sort the song title column in iTunes by alphabetical order.

Step 5: Right click on the new song and select “Show in Finder” (if you are using a Windows-based operating system, select “Show in Windows Explorer). The new song will show up in your Finder window as an .m4a file. Click on it to select it.

Step 6: Rename the extension of the file from .m4a to .m4r. Make sure you just rename the extension, not the file. This step is very important. Changing it to .m4r turns the file into a ringtone. If you don’t see the file extension, follow this tutorial to learn how to show filename extensions on Mac. Make sure to select Use .m4r when prompted to confirm.

change extension to m4r ringtone file

Step 7: Go back to iTunes and delete the newly created short song. To delete the song, select it and press the Delete key on your keyboard, or make a right click on the song and select Delete. iTunes will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete the song. Click Delete Song.

When asked whether you want to move the selected song to the Trash or keep it in iTunes, select “Keep File.” This step is also important. If you do not remove this song, the ringtone will not save to iTunes properly.

Step 8: Go back to Finder (or Windows Explorer) and double click on the .m4r file you created in Step 6 above. The ringtone will automatically move to your iTune’s Tone library.

how to create rigntone 5

Step 9: Connect your iPhone to iTunes.

Step 10: Select the “Tones” tab from the iPhone section.

Under the Tones section, select “Sync All Tones” and then click on the “Sync” button at the bottom of the iTunes screen.

When your iPhone is done syncing, the new ringtones can be found in your Settings app on your device.

Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone, and select your new clip. These clips can also be used as text message tones, so you can really let your creativity shine.

Now get out there and start making some sweet ringtones. I’m tired of hearing the same old “Marimba” song.

Apps that let you easily create ringtones directly from your iPhone:

  • #hashtagmeister


  • rence

    I make it but when i go to sounds-ringtone, i didn’t see “new clip”…its soo

  • ParaMark

    “Double click on the .m4r file. The ringtone will automatically move to your iTune’s Tone library.”

    No. It does NOT…

  • No Htet

    I can go through step 1 to 6, but I can’t in step 7. I select “show in window explorer” and my one show .MPEG.4, not .m4a so that I can’t change to .m4r and my trial is gone 🙁

  • UmpTC

    When I right click the title I want and then open the options tab, everything is grayed out and I can’t even select start and stop times…any suggestions?

  • Wes Greer

    Boo…Apple locked the “get info” window…….so long free ringtones….

  • Wes Greer

    Scratch that, my mistake, I was trying to edit songs that were on my cloud. You have to have them on your computer to edit them otherwise the options window to change the time will be clouded out.

  • Clarence Verdun

    Where is the tones tab I can’t find it!

  • Therxia Thais Rodriguez

    how do I change the M4A to M4R ?

  • Stefano

    that does not work

  • ChipAHoy

    The sync could not be completed because the connection to the iPhone was lost. I keep unplugging in the iPhone, and it is not working.

  • iheartdogs

    or make a tone using garageband, save it to iTunes, then do steps 9 and 10

    • Redha

      If u have the ringtone in GarageBand .. No need for computer .. Just trim the clip and save it as ” ringtone ” .. Much easier

  • Rach

    I dont know if anyone has said this and I haven’t read the comments but after you create the ringtone you need to go back to the original song you used then get info>options and uncheck ‘Start time’ and ‘Stop time’ or else it makes the whole song as long as the ringtone.

  • zayzayzay

    i didnt see the tones tab 🙁

  • Aso Asoasolo

    Waaahh.. So good explaination.. Thanks yeaah

  • Mohit

    option of start time and stop time are disable.

    • Mari Loria

      me too. what should i do? i tried several things. help me!

  • Tristanhb


    • Redha

      I have written the solution in the comments if u use windows

  • Sharon

    What am I supposed to do when I don’t have a “Finder” window come up?

  • Child OfThe Universe

    So useful! Thank you very much!

  • Carissa Trevino

    If you’re using a Windows computer (mine is Windows 7, so I don’t know about the other versions), and you can’t see the file extension for Step 6:
    Go to Organize>Folder and search options>View and uncheck the box for “hide extensions for known file types”
    Then just go back and maybe widen the space for the name of the ringtone and follow the rest of the steps!

  • Joe Budden

    I can’t change the extension. how do I do that???

  • Yasmine

    …When asked whether you want to move the selected song to the Trash or keep it in iTunes, select “Keep File.” – my iTunes doesn’t have doesn’t have a ‘keep file’ option…just ‘delete song’ or ‘cancel’ …is it the same?

  • Cailin

    I am getting nowhere trying to get mp3 file into iTunes,never used latter before.

  • Sagar Katyayan

    Double clicking things really worked perfectly,thanks a lot,I did everything and even the sync was successful,but the ringtone was not showing up in my iphone and finally as I read on this site that you need to double click the renamed file with renamed extension of .m4r,I did that and synced like the way it was earlier,but the good thing was that I could see my ringtone in iphone as well.

  • brandon

    the music i put on there automatically goes to my music app for some weird reason

  • Peter Sørensen

    I can’t change the song back to full length, what do I do?

  • Awesome! I’m relatively new to iOS and this kind of thing is so helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do it

  • Nanda

    How can I change from m4a file to m4r in windows-based computer?

  • M-Reza Baher

    Very useful .

  • Aaron Borman

    Mine doesn’t have create lossless version. It just has create MP3 version

  • Jennifer Thies

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I tried to make my own ringtones on iTunes in the past, and it seemed SO difficult, and my ringtone maker only let me use 30-second clips. When I do it this way, I can choose whatever I want and make it longer than 30 seconds for my ringtone. I wish I had found this sooner.

  • Sherri Morningstar

    Sorry, this didn’t work for me. It seems so simple but my system never gives me the window option to use the .m4r. It never shows up in the tones folder.

  • CaykaPlays

    I don’t understand what they mean when they say “Right click on the song again in step 4, I don’t know how to do it

  • Francisco Blackburn

    i do not have create CAA version on my itunes.

  • amitgb

    Thanks a Ton !!
    I saw 2/3 sites and was confused.

    It just worked like charm with your steps !

    I hate Apple for all this….but can’t leave my iPhone 🙂

    No..I am not an iSheep. I am a Android Developer who uses iPhone 6 Plus (and One Plus One for development)

  • Nicholas

    It’s not in my ringtones tab on iTunes

  • Amanda Li

    If you refuse to pay for an iPhone ringtone from the iTunes store, then why not create your own? It’s easier than you think and takes mere minutes by using the UFUShare recommended iPhone Ringtone Maker.

  • Lord Derpington

    Create AAC version does not show up on newest version of itunes (as of 17-11-16)

    • John Humphreys

      You need to use File Convert Create AAC Version now in the ‘current iTunes Version. I had to go hunting for it as well.

  • Anna Nadiradze

    if I sync this it asks me if i want to delete every existing song and it means if I sync it will delete every song which I had in library?

  • Debbie

    I have done this procedure with each of my new phones. I just upgrade to iphone 7 and it just won’t work. I am following all steps, but it is not showing under Tones and there is no option to sync the tones. I tried dragging it to the phone, but still no luck. I am getting so frustrated!! Please help!!!

  • This method was tested again on January 10, 2017. It still works just as well as it did before.

    • Vicky A. Setyawan

      i cant see my ringtone at tex tone section, but its appears on ringtone section. any suggestion?

      • When you’re in the Text Tone section, scroll down a bit and you will see another Ringtone section. From there you can select the tone you created for a text tone.

  • September

    I can’t get it to work 🙁 I’m doing all the steps correctly but when it says it should be shown in ‘Tones’ nothings appears. I’m deleting the shortened ‘song’, but keeping the file, but it doesn’t appear. Can anyone help please?

  • Shaikha Sultan

    It’s not syncing idk I tried a million times it’s not showing up in my phone

  • Cecilialxs

    Except using iTunes to create ringtones, you can also use WinX MediaTrans to make free ringtones for iPhone X/8/7/6S, etc. from any favorite song in a flash. Very simple to use.