How to Make iPhone Ringtone from MP3 - 5 Simple Steps

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Natali SolovyovaIcon
Natali Solovyova Mar 17, 2020

In this article, we present you 5 simple steps to get rid of that annoying default ringtone and set up the one you want.

We all know how difficult an iPhone sometimes can be. One of those difficulties is setting a custom ringtone, created from a song you like. Although the famous ‘Opening’ ringtone is a big part of iPhone culture, it can become really boring after some time.

When that time comes, changes have to be made, and you find yourself stuck in dozens of different tutorials that are supposed to show you how you can change your ringtone.

In contrast to all of those really long guides, we bring you 5 really simple steps to turn any MP3 into iPhone ringtone.

How to quickly make a custom ringtone for iPhone

Here, I will tell you how to convert MP3 into M4R and the 2 ways how to transfer it to your iPhone.

Step 1. Download the song in MP3 format

The process of downloading the song from the Internet should be familiar to everyone and there is a ton of free software and tools out there that will do this job in seconds.

Also, there are many online tools for downloading songs form YT. One of those is Convert2mp3. You just have to find your song on YT and copy its URL into the Convert2mp3 webpage, and the job is done.


Quick disclaimer: Although the effort to minimize downloading from YT has been made, this type of downloading is completely legal(anyone who is familiar with the concept of ‘streaming’ know this).

Step 2. Convert an MP3 file so that iPhone can play it as a ringtone

Now when you have the song you want as a ringtone at your hard drive, it's time to make it recognizable as a ringtone on your iPhone.

If you come from Android, you would probably think that setting ringtone is as easy as going to the Music app and simply selecting the song you want. As you probably noticed by now, this process won’t work on iOS.

The first issue you might encounter is that the format of the ringtone you want is not right. This is probably the reason you can’t just select any song from the Music app.

Ringtones on iPhone are in M4R format. Before you think that iOS is not user-friendly and decide to switch to Android, let me tell you that there are many advantages of M4A over MP3 (as the technical background and details of the iOS system are not important here, we will leave this discussion for another time).

That means you have to convert the MP3 file you downloaded into this format.

The software used for this job can be any converting app or service that supports M4R. There is an online version and you can also go with some big solutions like Switch.

One possible way to go here is the online M4R converter. Here you can upload the MP3 file you just downloaded and let the website convert it into the M4R format, that your iPhone will recognize as a ringtone.

The whole process takes just a few seconds. You will see the message “Completed. Download File”. Click on it and the M4R will be on your computer, ready to be transferred to your iPhone.

Step 3. Transfer a ringtone to your iPhone

Now, the most interesting part! Here, we will observe the 2 ways how to transfer a ringtone to iPhone. Here we go!

1) iTunes

The first and the most obvious (& popular) option out there. This Apple software has a really beautiful interface and is completely free to download and use.


Unfortunately, iTunes can't convert the MP3 for you. That's why we had to use some other software to get to the M4R file.

Transferring files using iTunes isn't as easy as connecting your iPhone with a computer or dropping the file into the program window. We know it all. Anyway, we need to consider this solution.

Connect your iPhone to a computer. After that, the Ringtones folder will appear and that’s where all your custom ringtones can be found.

To add the ringtone, you should:

  • Open Ringtones folder

  • Navigate to the file location and

  • Drag and drop the M4R into Ringtones

And then comes the syncing process... Such a pain in the neck of every Apple user.

But what if I told you there's another option that can make your life a lil bit easier?

2) WALTR 2

Instead of all this iTunes sync mess, try using WALTR 2. This is a lightweight iTunes alternative that can recognize your M4R file as a ringtone and put it into the right location on your iPhone’s file system.

To get the job done with WALTR 2, follow these 5 quick steps:

Step 1. Download WALTR & connect your iPhone to a computer

Requirements: macOS 10.9 and higher
Latest Version: 2.6.25, 13 December 2019
Requirements: Windows 8 and higher
Latest Version: 2.7.19, 14 November 2019
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The app gives you a free 24-hour trial. Then, you can decide whether to buy the app. The price is $39.99.

Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cord. Simply tap "Trust the device" and WALTR will be able to recognize your iPhone.

What's more, from the second time you use WALTR, you can transfer media wirelessly! In simple words, WALTR remembers your iPhone so you won't need a USB anymore.

Step 2. Launch WALTR

How to make iPhone ringtone from MP3

When you see your iPhone's icon in the WALTR window, it's ready to work. :)

Step 3. Drag & drop the M4R into the program window

Drag & drop your ringtone in the WALTR window and wait for few moments

WALTR 2 will recognize itself that it's the ringtone you’re adding and will put the file into the right location. The app is smart enough to locate the M4R file in the Ringtones section of your iPhone Settings.

Step 4. Set the ringtone on your iPhone

Now when the M4R is finally on the iPhone, it’s time to set it as the ringtone. The harder part of the whole process is over, and now you just have to go to Settings > Sounds > Tones.

Set an iPhone ringtone in the default Sound Settings

Your new ringtone will appear above the default ones. Tap on the desired ringtone and voila!

Step 5. Wait for the call :)

The new ringtone is set up and ready to go.

The other guides may offer a way of creating a ringtone by cutting the song to some shorter length and then messing with the file extensions, but it's a way more complicated approach.

Wrapping up

In the end of this guide, I feel the need to highlight some of the factors making the process of adding ringtones such a complicated task.

You may wonder why an iPhone is sometimes hard to personalize. Most of the things you find annoying on your iPhone, like the problem we just saw above, is due to security measures and marketing.

For example, the reason why a ringtone has to be in the M4R file format is the better quality with much less memory space needed. You definitely don’t want your ringtones to eat up your whole memory storage, right?

Anyway, we at least facilitated the process of adding ringtones to your iPhone. ✌🏻

Hope this was a useful read. Tell us about your "ringtone experience"!

Natali Solovyova
Natali Solovyova

Apple junkie at Softorino

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Drag and Drop Any Media to iPhone



With WALTR 2, you can wirelessly drag-and-drop any Music, Ringtones, Videos, PDF & ePUB files into iPhone, iPad or iPod without iTunes (Even files that aren’t supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV).


Fully supports: MAC OS macOS & Windows Windows