Make custom iPhone ringtones work with iTunes 7.4.1

Update: Amazingly, iPhone 1.1.2 update re-enabled the m4r-rename hack. This all works again!

I just tested it quickly by renaming a previous home-made ringtone file to m4r and double-clicking. It imported, synced to and played on my iPhone without any other steps.

Currently there are no known ringtone hacks for iPhone 1.1.1.

Apple, you’re pissing off your fans. Don’t do this. [we’ll just be over here pretending you listened!]

This totally seems like it shouldn’t work.

If you’re seeing “cannot be played on this iPhone errors” like this:

[file] was not copied to the iPhone

Open your iTunes Library folder and find the Ringtones folder: iTunes Music/Ringtones.

Select your ringtone and change the file extension back to m4a. Yes, m4a.

Sync again and your custom ringtone should be working on your iPhone. Nice.

Update: Confirmed for Windows XP & Vista

Thanks to commenter Robbie, building on steps from Jason Choi, here’s how to get custom ringtones working in Windows:

  1. Put m4r files into a ringtones folder on my desktop
  2. Opened iTunes
  3. Edit > Preferences > Advanced
  4. Check “Keep iTunes Music folder organized”
  5. Check “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library”
  6. Create playlist called “Ringtones” in iTunes
  7. Drag the Ringtones folder from my desktop to the playlist I created in iTunes
  8. Made sure they appeared when in the list on the Ringtones tab in iTunes
  9. Opened the “Ringtones” folder that iTunes created in MusiciTunesiTunes MusicRingtones
  10. Renamed all the m4r files to m4a
  11. Try to sync but it fails because it cannot find the m4r files (this is good)
  12. Look at playlist created in iTunes with a bunch of Xs next to each ringtone
  13. Double click each ringtone (hit browse for the file, and selected each m4a file from the folder in my MusiciTunesiTunes MusicRingtones)
  14. Hit sync again
  15. Verify they are in your Settings>Sounds>Ringtones

  • Mike

    OK, that’s just freaky.

  • Vertigo

    This has been verified?

  • TitoC

    Just announced! Apple releases 7.4.2 . . . . .. wait, I’m getting word that 7.4.3 has actually been released as well. And word on the street has it that 7.4.4 will come out in 3 hours after that.

    Too bad “real” fixes don’t come this quick.

  • Joe

    Confirmed by posters at Engadget, MacRumors Forums and Digg.

  • nEveRcryptIK

    worked on my iphone

  • Me

    Nope, didn’t work here.

  • Mike

    Didn’t work here either

  • Joe

    Make sure you’re changing the file extension in the Get Info window, otherwise you might end up with a .m4a.m4r file extension where the last part is hidden.

    Also, this was only tested on my Mac, but lots of others have confirmed it works. I’m able to trigger the error or copy ringtones 100% of the time by changing the file name.

  • john

    This fix does not work for all my old files, though it does for the new ones. Can’t tell why. I think it has to do with the fact that some of my ringtones were ALREADY named as m4a– I named them back before the .1 update. Those I can’t get to work.

    In the meantime, people, do yourselves a favor and just jailbreak your phone, change all the account passwords, and then ssh new ringtones in.

  • Jay

    I don’t even have a ringtones folder in my itunesmusic folder. What gives, I haven’t had any access to ringtones whatever, just a tab.

  • kstew

    Worked for me…nice find.

  • kcmedic

    Worked for me too!

  • lethalpw

    I just tried it and it worked perfectly! Nice find!

  • Mike

    are these being done on a pc or mac???? cause it’s not working on my pc….

  • bean

    WOOT!!!! this is awesome, now I can get my CTU ringtone back!

  • Wally

    Urrgghh. Not working here at all. Can’t find a “Ringtones” folder, but I tried creating one myself in my iTunes Music folder and put my “m4a” file in there. But still no ringtones show up in the “Ringtones” tab on my iPhone.
    If anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong, please do!
    (But I’m glad it’s working for others!)

  • DarK

    Wally: I’m in the same situation as you are. I installed iTunes 4.1, then I tried to play with ringtones with the m4r trick. It didn’t work. So I found this website. I don’t have a Ringtones folder either, tried to create it, put a m4a file inside but it didn’t work. Any help? Thanks!!

  • michael

    Oh yea! You can put one more confirmed on the board. So easy. I imagine that this will for at least another day before they “fix” it. Comon apple, can’t you just let this one slide?? no? of course not.

  • Robet Ross

    Here’s my guess…mind you, just a guess.

    This assumes you are starting with an AAC file that your renamed from M4a to M4r

    There is a ringtone type assigned to iTunes “.M4r,” executing this ringtone type does a few things. The first time you ever execute one, it adds a Ringtone directory to your iTunes Music directory structure IF you have iTunes managing your music.

    It also adds the ringtone to the Ringtone tab within the iPhone section of iTunes.

    In 7.4.0, that’s all that was needed. The M4r files synced back and forth to your iPhone.

    In 7.4.1 iTunes made the .M4r extension useful for “registering” a file as a ringtone, but also made it “incompatible” with syncing.

    What file extension can ALWAYS be synced to any iPod like device? .M4a

    Thus renaming the .M4r files that are now REGISTERED and LOCATED IN RINGTONES DIRECTORY to a .M4a extension bypasses the incompatibilty error trap that was added in 7.4.1

    Someone please verify these steps and correct them if wrong…since I think folks will benefit from a stepwise procedure. Lettered steps are ones i’ve used for cleanliness an may not be required

    1. Confirm iTunes is set to import to AAC 128
    2. If the “to-be” rington is not currently AAC, convert it by right clicking
    3. Delete the new aac file from the library ONLY
    4. Locate the file and Move it to your desktop
    5. Rename the file from xxxx.m4a to xxxx.m4r
    6. Double Click on the file
    7. Return to iTunes and confirm it is now in the iPhone ringtones tab, but no not Sync
    8. Locate the file in your iTunes Music/Ringtones Directory
    9. Rename file from xxxx.m4r to xxxx.m4a
    10. Sync!!! All should be well.

    One specific confirmation request for the community. Pleae confirm that there is NO NEED to double click on the newly renamed M4a file located in the Ringtone directory. It seems this messes things up, but I’ve seen it listed several times before.

  • hkbeejay

    I have a problem though. Under my iTunes/iTunes Music directory, there is no Ringtones directory but I have 6 ringtones transferred under 7.4.0 with changing the extension to m4r. Can’t delete them now. Anyone got a clue?

  • Robet Ross


    First check to see if you have iTunes managing your music, if you do not, then you will not have a Ringtones directory.

    Second, to delete the ringtones from you iTunes tab, you will need to recreate your music library. It sounds worse than it is. Check out the link:

    It is important that you look for those files otherwise iTunes will keep adding them back after you recreate your library.

    First check back to the folder where you originally renamed them from .m4a to .m4r

    You will want to delete or move those files to a flash drive if you are really wanting to get back to a clean starting point.

    My guess is that you don’t have iTunes managing your music and clicking that switch will help things a bunch.


    Where can we download the latest version that allows for this workaround ?

  • Bob

    I’m running iTunes on WindowsXP.

    I can NOT seem to find an “iTunes Music/Ringtones” directory on my system.

    I didn’t understand the comment about “check to see if you have iTunes managing your music”. Not sure what that means on Windows.


  • Pingback: Free Custom Ringtones at Are there Rocks Ahead?()

  • potzer

    Why not just use Ambosia’s application iToner?

  • Robet Ross


    In iTunes Windows:

    Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced

    Check “Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized”

  • Rich Koster

    The earlier version worked fine for doing this, but even after starting fresh, totally starting over with iTunes version 7.4.1, this did not work on my Windows XP system synching to iPhone. I also tried just renaming the previously done ringtones and that didn’t work with this latest iTunes either.

  • Robet Ross


    IToner only works on Mac otherwise I would use it. The folks at iphoneringtonemaker (pc) haven’t released a new version :-/

    Beyond that…there is the simple matter that I believe iTunes should let me sync my personal “sounds” to my owned device.

    All I want is my Kids’ laughing and yelling “Daddy” for a ringtone, why is that such a big problem for Apple?

  • Bob

    @32 Thanks for the tip. That was already set for me. I tried unsetting it, close, and then setting it. Added an *.m4r file and still no Ringtones directory :(

    So far, no joy.

  • Logan

    Well I have a slightly different problem, I have three songs showing in the ringtones tab on iTune, all able to be selected/clicked, but only one shows up on the iPhone settings>sounds>ringtones section. Any idea why this might be?

  • Robet Ross

    Do yo ualso have Edit->Preference->General set to “Copy files to iTunes folder when adding” If not, you should.

    If all that doesn’t work, there is the slim possibility that 7.4.1 doesn’t create a ringtones directory, but that 7.4.0 did.

    I’d do a search of the whole drive and see where all your .m4r files exist, that may give you a clue to what’s going on.

    @36 I’ve heard of that problem if the files are too big or too long. I’ve never heard of a failure when the file was

  • Monkey Doo

    We tried Joe’s 7.4.1 suggestion and NADA. So any other recommendations?

  • John


    That tip works great, I can confirm that it works on my Mac!

  • Luis

    Works, I tried with my old (yesterday’s) Ringtones

  • Logan

    The longest file I have is 29 seconds, the rest are around 20 seconds for ringtones. I at one time thought maybe the iPhone would only allow one ringtone.

  • Ryan

    Works here, and I never even tried to do this until after 7.4.1.

  • Me


  • Bob

    Tip #25 works but….
    Instead of just double clicking the file to add it to your library you need to use File > Add to Library

  • e:leaf

    It works. Sometimes. With some files, it works perfectly. With others, I have to go through the motions (convert to AAC- if not already AAC, move file from library to somewhere else, change extension to m4r, import, change extension back to m4a in ringtones folder) multiple times to get it to work. However, it does work.

  • boasist

    i get a file cannot be found when I go to sync after I do the rename and swap.

  • odavy

    #25 worked great. Pretty good guess. Thanks Robert!

  • tony

    Do you guys evey get the feeling that apple is holding you buy your feet and trying to shake evey penny out of your pockets.. Just a thuoght. You guys are good at what you do with these work arounds.

  • Will

    Worked for me! Why did Apple even do this, when the workaround was so easy??

  • Rick

    Well i kinda got it to work, well at least half ways. I got it to appear in the ringtone folder but it wont sync??? can any one help me please. i followed some of youe guys instructions above but still nothing… so please…!!!

  • Paul

    Joe, when you say change the file info in the “Get Info” window… How do you even access that window? I’m on PC, but there’s no access to the ringtone m4r’s that I’ve added in iTunes. I can rename the file, but when I added the m4r’s, they don’t show up ANYWHERE in my Libraries/playlists.

    How do you get to the m4r’s “Get Info” window to change the file extension?

  • MJFlash

    If your iTunes library is on a networked drives, you might have problems with this procedure. I did, until I checked “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library” (under Edit->Preferences->Advanced). After that, it worked perfectly! Thanks, folks!

  • MJFlash

    Hi, Paul,

    First right-click the filename, then select “Show in Windows Explorer”, then rename the file there. When you next double-click on the name back in iTunes, it’ll tell you that it can’t find the file and will open a dialog box where you’ll reselect the file with the new extension.

    It is actually GOOD that you don’t see the file listed in the music library after you’ve added it. iTunes keeps track of it separately under the Ringtones tab in your iPhone directory.

  • Francisco

    I keep getting a ‘file could not be found’ when i try to sink :(

    can anyone help?!

  • Paul

    But when I drop in the m4r files, they don’t show up at all in the library to begin with, so there is simply nothing to right click in iTunes. =P

    Unless… Do you drop in m4a files, rename to m4r in iTunes, then rename back to m4a again?

  • Francisco

    Ok guys this is frustrating and I could really use some help!!!

    Here is what I am doing:
    1) Created my 29 second mp3
    2) Add to iTunes and convert to m4a
    3) Delete both files from itunes library
    4) Move file and change to m4r and double click
    5) go into ringtones folder and change to m4a
    6) try to sink and get ‘file could not be found’ error!

  • Will J.

    I’m experiencing the same issues as Francisco in 47. Same process, same result. Any idea if it’s just because I’m a Windows user?

  • Sheesh DumXors

    1) Get the AAC file ready – short and small is best – YMMV
    2) really rename it (get info window is needed on mac to be sure)
    3) Drag / Import the M4R file – ensure it shows in iTunes as a ringtone
    4) really find the M4R file that iTunes is referencing
    5) really rename the iTunes file on disk back to M4A
    6) sync your phone – there should be no errors

    If you aren’t sure you are renaming the file or don’t know where itunes is keeping the song it thinks is a ringtone – you’ll be less than happy. Better pay Apple to do the heavy lifting for you ;-) This has been tested on several macs with 7.4.1

  • Francisco

    Ehh I know how to change a file format…

    and I know that im selecting the right file because it shows up in my ringtones folder

    Do i need to have the original song in itunes or is it because i am on a pc?

  • jayhawk

    Have tried every way listed here, with no success. It shows up in the ringtones list, but then I get a message “file cannot be found”. It seems it might be a PC issue. If anyone has been successful on a PC, not mac, please let me know what you did. I’m running itunes Thanks!

  • Paul

    Can someone clarify here? How do you see the ringtones in your Library and change the file name? On a PC, it doesn’t show up in your Library, only in the iPhone Ringtones tab… and those you can’t “Get Info”. Only checkboxes.

    HELP! =P

  • Doc Misterio

    Is there a place in the iTunes interface, or in iTunes folder to delete an unwanted ring tone that you have already created? I certainly haven’t found a way… unless I’m just totally overlooking it?

  • Sean Johnson

    Totally friggin worked! Thanks!

  • Bill

    Okay… got it working. Took me a few tries to get it thru my skull that I needed to change the file extension in “Get Info.” Made all the difference.

    Okay… I boneheadedly got two of the same ringtone loaded on the phone. Any way to delete one of them?

  • Paul

    Bill, how did you get to the Get Info window? M4R files don’t show up in the Library…

  • Bill

    Paul… I’m on a Mac. But I BELIEVE that what you would do on a PC is right-click on the file and choose “Properties.” I believe that “Properties” is the Windows equivalent of “Get Info.” Change the file extension in “Properties,” go through the process, and then change it back in “Properties.”

  • Paul

    Oh so you’re not talking about Get Info in iTunes, but OSX rather? Hmmm… Cause pcs don’t have the option to change a file extension other than simply renaming the file.

  • Bill

    Paul… yes… I was talking about “Get Info” in OSX (Finder).

  • Bill

    Okay, so I restored the phone. That ditched all my old iFuntastic hacks, and put the one good custom ringtone back on the phone. Now, future updates won’t get hung up on the iFuntastic firmware hack.

    Life is good.

  • Annett

    well, i don’t really see a ringtones folder showing up in my iTunes library, is there any idea that I can create it in 7.4.1?

  • Jason Choi

    On a Vista PC, following the above steps posted by Robert Ross:

    1. Confirm iTunes is set to import to AAC 128
    2. If the “to-be” ringtone is not currently AAC, convert it by right clicking
    3. Delete the new aac file from the library ONLY
    4. Locate the file and Move it to your desktop
    5. Rename the file from xxxx.m4a to xxxx.m4r
    6. Double Click on the file
    7. Return to iTunes and confirm it is now in the iPhone ringtones tab, but no not Sync
    8. Locate the file in your iTunes Music/Ringtones Directory
    9. Rename file from xxxx.m4r to xxxx.m4a
    10. Sync!!! All should be well.

    Still does not work.

    Following step by step to step 7 works (noting the not synching after confirming that songs appear under the plugged in iPhone’s “Ringtone” tab). Then going back in and renaming the XXXX.m4r file into a XXXX.m4a file, going back into iTunes, and now selecting Synch, produces a message stating “Some songs, including “XXXX” could not be imported into “owners” iPhone because they could not be found.”

    Trying it by first trying to synch the XXXX.m4r file gives you “Some songs, including “XXXX” could not be imported into “owners” iPhone because it is not a valid file type”.

    This is for brand new created files from 7.4.1, NOT files that were originally created in 7.4.0, and then you upgrade to 7.4.1 (note, I was able to find a downloadable version of 7.4.0 on the web, and cinfirmed that the old “make an m4r file” worked).

    For those of you that actually got the new rename method to work, can you please tell us what kind of computer you are on (Mac vs. PC), and if you are on a PC, if you are running XP or Vista (or other).

    As it stands now, I think the method is competely broken for Windows Vista using all currently known methods.

  • Josh

    The rename worked for me last night on the mac. I didn’t have any ringtones before the 7.4.1. So, everything was done with the new version.

    However, it doesn’t seem to work for every song. I am not sure why, but my working theory (absolutely no scientific basis) is that it works for songs that iTunes imports as m4a (i.e. from a CD) but not for MP3s I select to convert to AAC.

    A couple of people also got the “File Could Not Be Found” error. I got this the first time I tried to do the method. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything (especially if you hide the error). However, it didn’t feel clean. I was able to get rid of the “bad” ringtone in itunes by following the instructions to Recreate my iTunes Library:


  • Josh

    BTW, if you rebuild your itunes library you will have to get all the album artwork again. Just found that out.


  • Bob

    Robert Ross,

    Your tip on doing Edit->Preference->Advanced->General set to “Copy files to iTunes folder when adding”. Made it so that iTunes creates the Ringtones/ folder.


  • h3nrch

    Here’s what I did to get my track selected…

    + Launch GarageBand
    + New Project
    + Import an audio track from iTunes
    + Trim track using the Split command to ~20 seconds
    + Export to Disk as AAC Good Quality
    + Rename track to trackname.m4r
    + ITunes… File=>Add to Library – choose ur file
    + The file is located in the Ringtones dir in iTunes Music
    + Proceed with 7.4.1 tip – renaming back to .m4a

  • Bird

    OK, so it appears in iTunes, and appears to sync, but doesn’t show on my iPhone? I’ve changed from m4r to m4a, but still nothing. I don’t get the error messgae, so I would assume that it synced, but it’s not showing on the iPhone itself – any ideas?

  • Kenzi

    @ 70 the same thing is happening to me on vista. I just don’t know why it won’t show up!

  • Steve

    I too have the same issue. Has this work around been confirmed by anyone using windows?

  • dave

    i have the same issue as 70 but i am on a mac. any ideas?


    I got the same error message…

    (OS:Windows XP)

  • JDF

    Seems like the Mac people are having success, and the PC folks are not. I’m on a PC and consider myself pretty good at following simple directions like the ones listed above. Therefore, I’ve got to think that this new “trick” for 7.4.1 does not work for PC users. I hope someone can prove my theory wrong!

  • RD

    Same issue as 70 … I can’t figure it out, hah. anyone figure it out?

  • cletus

    mac users, i followed h3nrch from above, open garageband, drag/drop copy of song from itunes, cut it down to 30-40 sec. while in garageband, send to itunes. quit itunes app. find song in itunes music library files (NOT in intunes window), option-drag it (to copy) to desktop. use finder get-info to change to .m4r. drop into ringtones folder. double-clicking opens itunes. doesn’t play but does show up in ringtones folder – don’t sync yet. quit itunes, open ringtones folder, use finder get-info to rename file to .m4a. start itunes again, sync this time works! has worked 3 of 3 for me, before just renaming songs without g-band was not reliable. good luck

  • Robbie

    I got it to work with iTunes in Windows Vista.

    Here’s the steps I took.

    1. Put m4r files into a ringtones folder on my desktop.
    2. Opened iTunes
    3. Edit>Prefferences>Advanced
    4. Check “Keep iTunes Music folder organized”
    5. Check “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library”
    6. Created playlist called “Ringtones” in iTunes
    7. Dragged the Ringtones folder from my desktop to the playlist I created in iTunes
    8. Made sure they appeared when in the list on the Ringtones tab in iTunes
    9. Opened the “Ringtones” folder that iTunes created in \Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Ringtones
    10. Renamed all the m4r files to m4a
    11. Try to sync but it fails because it cannot find the m4r files (this is good)
    12. Look at playlist created in iTunes with a bunch of X’s next to each ringtone
    13. Double clicked each ringtone (hit browse for the file, and selected each m4a file from the folder in my \Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Ringtones)
    14. Hit sync again
    15. Verify they are in your Settings>Sounds>Ringtones

    Thanks Jason for the initial steps, they did not work for me but I figured this out on accident.

  • Robbie

    let me know if this works for anyone

  • Scott

    Just tried this in Windows XP and I can confirm Robbie’s steps work. Thank you!

  • Joe

    Great find Robbie, I updated the post with your steps.

  • Eskap

    I found an awesome guide for this with full screenshots on Digg if anyone wants the link:…iTunes_7_4_1_with_Screenshots Good find all!

  • Francisco

    Awesome job Robbie!!

    Thanks a ton!

  • Jonathan

    @20 worked! thx

  • Donovan

    Worked under on XP SP2. Thanks everyone!

  • ghsfgh

    what a fucking microsoftish business, to prevent customers from what they want to do with their stuff!

  • Jason Choi

    Thanks Robbie for the followup. I forgot to mention druing my intiial trial that I also tried creating a new playlist, but after one try, it didn’t work for me, so I gave up on going that way, as it was pretty late at night and I was pretty frazzled by the whole process by now.

    I’ll go back and try it with the steps you outlined later today after I get off of work.

    p.s. I’m assuming in step 8:

    “8. Made sure they appeared when in the list on the Ringtones tab in iTunes”

    You mean the ringtones tab in the iPhone when it is connected to the computer.

  • Jose

    hi please please i might have missed something but i only wanna know one thing… do i change the file name without the name becomin xxxxxx.m4r.m4a or is that hows it supposed to look i go to get info click on info table then add .m4r to the end of the songs name is that how it’s supposed to be done…..??????
    please help i apreciate it alot

  • Eric

    #78 works for me. It must be something with the file association in Windows. I am using Windows XP and it worked for me :)

  • Jose

    ok thanks guys i figured it out i had file extension hidden in folder options unchecked it and now #78 works great thanks

  • Jose

    ps this way is so much better than jailbreakin or w/e the heck i was readin about that sounded dangerous

  • melinda

    Robert Ross said …..My guess is that you don’t have iTunes managing your music and clicking that switch will help things a bunch…..
    how do I make sure that I have it managing my itunes. don’t know how to do that, could someone walk me through it.

  • Jason Choi

    Robbie et al…

    The new workaround works! I was able to use old ringtones created in 7.4.0, and a new ringtone creaed only in 7.4.1 to work with this method. I guess we just needed to “trick” iTunes into doing it.

    Thanks a bunch!

  • JT

    Windows users pay attention! This works, period, however you must choose the option to show file extensions in Tools> Folder Options > View > show file extensions. This is why some of you can’t rename the file correctly for iTunes to recognize it as a .m4r After you get that to work then inside the iTunes Music Ringtones folder re-rename it back to .m4a so it is syncable to your iPhone

  • Windows Users

    Same as above just make sure you follow all the steps(Windows Users). STEPS (4) and (5) are VERY IMPORTANT and made it work for me.
    (1)Put .m4r file into \iTunes\iTunes Music\Ringtones folder
    (2) Double click on that .m4r file and it should appear and play in iTunes Library under Ringtones
    (3) Rename *.m4r to *.m4a (* = name of ringtone)
    (4)Play the file again in iTunes and It will say that iTunes can’t find the file
    (5)Press “yes” button to specify location of the file and double click on the file you just changed
    (6)sync the iPhone with iTunes

  • Jason Choi

    Confirmed that this also works with the newly created “ringtone” section in iTunes (the bell icon now shows up under “radio” on the left hand list). So you do not have to create a new playlist, as this works like a playlist, just drag your XXXX.m4r files to the bell. All functionality is there (shows an (!) for files not found after renaming the XXXX.m4r file back to an XXXX.m4a file). Just follow the instructions from Robbie.

    Happy ringtone making everyone! At least until the 7.4.2 patch (I don’t see why Apple can’t just leave this one alone though… I bought my last AT&T (nee Cingular) RAZR phone at BestBuy, then went to the Motorola website where they had a mini FTP program to transfer .mp3 files to the phone to use as ringtones (this was an old school RAZR that didn’t have the music player yet, so the file transfer program only transferred small .mp3 files, which would only be 30 seconds long. Though not explicitly saying ringtones, it was a ringtone transferer. So if Motorola releases a way to get ringtones from anywhere onto their phones outside of the cell phone company involvement, why can’t Apple. Sorry about the rant…)

  • Jason Choi

    I wonder if deleting a ringtone from this list will delete it from the list on the ringtones tab under the iPhone? Anyone give it a try yet?

  • Jason Choi

    Also confirmed:

    Deleting a file in the new “Ringtones” list (and sending it to the recycle bin) will make the ringtone dissappear in the “Ringtones” tab on your iPhone, so you can manage and discard ringtones you no longer want.

    It looks like I can finally update to iTunes 7.4.1 on my main computer now that we got everything working on Vista/Windows, since all my music files, contacts, and calanders were on my main computer and my laptop was my tester for the iTunes.

  • Kyle

    I’ve followed all the steps perfectly, and the ringtones do show up in the new ringtones button in itunes, as well as the tab when the phone is connect.

    But It still won’t sync, there is no error messages, and everything looks ok until I go into the Settings – Sounds options on my actual phone and see none of the ringtones.

    Anyone else have this problem?

  • Gavin Weld White

    @ Kyle: Yes, I have this problem as well.

    @ World: Anyone have a fix for this? To restate the problem…

    Everything works fine up to sync (rename file, import, rename again, sync). The sync produces no error messages. But it also produces no ringtones on the iphone. (Neither in “Add ringtone” when editing a contact, nor in Settings/Sounds.)

    Any clues?

  • Alex

    on a Mac (Power PC) it is crucial that you add it to iTunes using File/ADD TO LIBRARY in order for the .m4r to show up. I had to create a Ringtones folder and it shows up there. Then in the Finder, rename the extension to .m4a under Get Info. Works great!

  • Gavin Weld White

    @ Me, Kyle, and anyone else with that problem:

    I got it to work by trimming the song to less than 30 seconds (in my case, using GarageBand). Yay ringtones!

  • Lindi

    Jason C–
    could you please provide a link to the Motorola website you mentioned in post 96? I also have razr and would like to use this.

  • Captntbag

    @ Kyle (99)


  • Kyle

    I’m using Windows Vista by the way.

  • —-RD—

    I got mine to sync to the iphone using Robbie’s steps, BUT when i set a custom ringtone, when someone calls, the default ringtone just rings.

    Anyone else had this problem? the ringtones play and are in my sound settings, but when i set them to ring, they don’t work when someone calls…

  • Gavin Weld White

    @ Kyle, and other Vista users: I understand Audacity is available as a free app for Windows, and allows all the audio editing you need for this.

  • Kyle

    Gavin, what do I need to edit to get it to work?

  • Gavin Weld White

    @ Kyle: Assuming that the bottleneck, for you, is the length of the song, you’ll want to edit the sound file before changing the extension (m4a to m4r) and importing it to iTunes. Trim the length of the song I have had success with ringtones up to just under a minute.

    I should say that, since I’ve only done this on a Mac, I can’t vouch personally for its effectiveness on a PC.

  • Peter

    Reboot your phone (hold sleep/home). The new custom ringtones should now work (I had the same problem and that solved it)

  • Jason

    this is the best thing ever!!!!!!i probably had to play around with the different work arounds for about 4 hours, but it is sooo worth it. does these mean that i should never ever update itunes again? anyone know what the deal is that stuff?

  • Captntbag

    Got it to work… :) Thanks!

  • Sketch

    @ Gavin:

    Actually Audacity is free, open-source, and multiplatform. I’ve been using it on my Mac to cut files and export WAVs, and converting the WAV to AAC using iTunes.

  • Rob D

    Only way I could get it to work with latest iTunes on Vista was to:

    -Copy m4a file from library to somewhere else
    -Rename to m4r
    -Edit m4r file in hex editor and change a character of the Title or Album in the ID tag
    -Drag the m4r file into my ringtones playlist
    -Edit the m4r file info in itunes (I put artist/album as “Ringtones” and fix the title, removing the character I changed in the hex editor)
    -Rename m4r back to m4a in iTunes Music\Ringtones
    -Attempt to play m4r file, get error and locate newly renamed m4a file

  • Rob D

    I should clarify also.. The reason I had to edit a character in the tag is it seemed whenever I’d drag an m4r file in my library it would realize I already had the original m4a so it wouldn’t add it. The only way to get it to add was to make iTunes thing it was a diff song and/or album.

  • jeff

    Thanks post #95 that really helped.

  • NDSkins

    Worked for me on XP. Thanks

  • http://none Sheena

    Ok, I can get the file changed and into a Ringtones folder, but then I’m completely lost after that! I’m using Windows XP, and for whatever reason, I can’t get the files to show up in iTunes. Someone PLEASE help. I’ve been trying to hours and I’m going crazy, because it seems fairly simple and I’m just not getting it. HELP!

  • Veer

    worked for me on XP with itunes 7.4.1.
    Thanks robbie. follow #78 for getting it worked.

  • Cleverboy

    You can actually ringtone any song you want, using iTunes 7.4 or higher. Everyone needs to read this and NOT continue using the “renaming” trick, a bug based on the renaming, or unnecessary jailbreaking (if you ONLY want a ringtone). Apple simply made ringtones require special metadata to be set, like TV Shows. I made another blog post about it, although I think people have ringtone technique fatigue by now.

    iPhone Ringtones – What Did iTunes 7.4.1 really do?
    Someone should be able to make an easier version of what I’ve posted, but it’s the raw details and best thing to do in my opinion.

  • —-RD—

    Thanks Peter! Turning it on/off worked.

  • Brenterino

    This works great guys…I have “hello moto” as my ringtone off my razr, just to screw with my friends who work at motorola and are pissed that I got a iphone…thanks for all your work, the next beer is on me..K?

  • Tejas

    Worked great on my pc and the directions listed are perfect.

  • anna

    Finally got it to work! I’m on OS X. Didn’t have a ringtones folder- finally got one created. Thanks for the tips.

  • LaughingTarget

    Be sure to keep the names simple or they won’t work right. I just named mine 1, 2, 3, etc and the file size, song length, etc didn’t matter.

  • Andy

    the song shows up in itunes in the iphone playlist in the sidebar, but it doesn’t show up on the phone itself in the settings>sounds>ringtones…any ideas?

  • peter

    but can you trim up songs using the iTunes ringtone interface??

  • Bob


    Sweet that worked great. Thanks for the info on setting the “stik” to 14.


  • David

    I am using windows and none of the methods worked above. I took some of the above methods, and added my own and it works perfectly. You don’t have to make any playlists or anything…try it.

    1. Find the song you want thats ALREADY IN ITUNES!

  • Jocelyn

    You’re a genius. Thank you so much.

  • Ryno

    Instead of dragging the file as you said in step 3., I had to just locate the file in My Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Unknown Artist/Unknown Album/file.aac

    Rest of the procedure worked for me. Excellent!

  • Joe

    The hack I’d really like to see is one that enables ringtone editing for the thousands and thousands of files I didn’t buy from the iTunes store.

    It’s going to be tricky though, the ringtone editor won’t even activate if it can’t ping the iTunes store. No network connection, no ringtone editor.

  • Sagar


    Your mod worked. Thanks man :)

  • Anand

    You Are My Hero. Love You. No Homo.

  • bobbydope

    I was looking at davids instructions, step 4 says to edit the file to ringtone size. What is the ringtone size and how can i edit it to that.

  • helping

    you can edit the length (which would also decrease the file size) in iTunes, right click on the the song you wish to edit, click get info, hit the options tab, & select the time(s) you would like the song to start & end and then convert the file to an aac file…

  • Meepo

    This doesn’t work, what are your sync settings? when I sync it doesn’t add the file to my phone.

  • angie

    totally worked on my mac! thanks

  • Henry

    This worked Perfectly and left no messy remenents of those files, i used the old method and then used your on top of it and it works great! no more error message, just my FREE RINGTONES!!

  • Jesikah

    Thanks for the info on #78, however I seem to be having some trouble.

    #1: when I drag and drop the folder from my desktop that i saved my .m4r files in, to my new “Ringtones” playlist, nothing actually gets “dropped”. it won’t let me drop the entire folder OR single files. is there an reason for this?

    Someone PLEASE help as I REALLY REALLY want my custom ringtones back!!!

  • Erimaque

    First off, major kudos to everyone keeping this up-to-date. I think I finally figured out what at least works for me, consistently. I have a fresh copy of on Win XP and a ton of free MP3s. Also, using this I was able to synch songs longer than 3 minutes.

    1) In iTunes, find a song, and convert it to AAC
    2) Find the AAC version in Windows Explorer
    3) Cut and paste it to another folder on desktop called whatever.
    4) Rename to m4r
    5) Double click on it. This adds it to the Ringtones area in iTunes. Make sure it shows up in the Ringtones tab when phone is plugged in also.
    6) Attempt to synch. It won’t let you becauase the file is called m4r. It will say “blah cannot be copied because it cannot be played on this iPhone.” click OK.
    7) Find your m4r. Rename it to m4a.
    8) Important! Find the AAC you just converted in the iTunes library, and delete it. (it will have an exclamation point after it anyway, because you just changed the file extension to m4a). This is an important step and what works for me at least. Note: I do NOT have “keep iTunes music folder organized” or “copy files to itunes music folder when adding library” checked.
    9) Attempt to sync again. The file will show in the ringtones tab but it will not go to the iPhone
    10) Click on the Ringtones area under Library. The file will have an exclamation point after it. Double click on it, and point to the m4a file you just renamed.
    11) Final sync, should work.

  • George Fiorini

    Yeah, it worked great on my iPhone!
    Thank you Joe, greetings from Italy!

  • Chris

    Has of today I can’t get the ringtones to work. Even though the File was renamed with a .m4r extension If you go to the Properties of the file it is still recognized has a ACC file. I was able to shorten the length of the file to 15secs but not difference iTunes still displays 1:16mins for the song but will only play 5secs.

    Any Clues

  • Chris

    AAC file sorry typo

  • J

    WHen Im about to add the ringtone to my iphone, it says that the iphone won’t be able to play my ringtone, basically thats as far as i can get it. I tried creating the file smaller but i still encounter the same problem.. Can someone help!!!

  • Johnfu

    Thank you Erimaque it worked perfectly. Your directions are spot on. I am running Vista and itunes ver. and it worked Thank you.

  • http://none Sheena

    When I rename the file to .M4R, when I click on it nothing happens. I can’t get it into the ringtones folder for whatever reason, and I too have the problem of the file type still being titled as an AAC file in properties… any suggestions?

  • jkrane

    Looks like the new version of iTunes ( September 17) has disabled this ringtone hack. .m4r cannot be imported at all now.

  • Michael

    Just a tip. I could not get this to work in until i brought up the iTunes store for the first time. This seems to bring up the “ringtones” selection under “library” on the left side in iTunes.

  • John

    Question-What is the benafit of letting itunes update? I am still running ver. I don’t use the store, i just use itunes to sync my contacts and for ringtones. Question 2-If i do update itunes when i sync my phone will i lose the ringtones that i used the extention hack on?

  • Mark

    Im using iTunes 7.4.1(2) and am still trying to figure this out. I am not finding the name and extension lable. Is this still possible.

  • John

    Windows users pay attention! This works, period, however you must choose the option to show file extensions in Tools> Folder Options > View > show file extensions. This is why some of you can’t rename the file correctly for iTunes to recognize it as a .m4r After you get that to work then inside the iTunes Music Ringtones folder re-rename it back to .m4a so it is syncable to your iPhone

    This is copied from above. I was in the same boat as you this whole blog will do it for you as long as you follow each direction.

    Erimaque’s directions worked for me the first time. But now instead of syncing each time i just play the song each time to get the exclamation point. Also you need the “keep itunes folder organized” and the “Copy itunes to music folder when adding to library” checked in itunes,edit,prefrences,advanced. I have found it’s alot quicker than waiting for a sync three times.

    Can someone answer my questions above?

  • Erimaque

    I’m not upgrading to 7.4.2 until I can keep my ringtones. I just want to send a shout out to John, hey, I’m glad my directions worked for you… I don’t like to keep “keep iTunes folder organized” and the other checkbox checked, when I did that, it gave me hella trouble when I tried to convert mp3s to AACs. Like I said I just followed steps that worked for me, I don’t mind having to sync three times. Please somebody tell me how to convert my “protected AACs” now. LOL… Apple you are insane… free music is here to stay. What can I say, I like custom ringtones.

  • afh473

    is there a way to delete 7.4.2 and reinstal 7.4 or 7.4.1 i have the instaler for 7.4 it’s called itunesx.pkg is there something i can rename the pkg to let it reinstal or i have a pc that still has itunes 6 anyway to update that to 7.4 or any other way to creat a ringtone


  • http://none elskeetro

    Yes, there is a way to install an older version. Delete iTunes.pkg and iTunesX.pkg from your Library/Receipts/ folder on your hard drive then install your older version of iTunes.

  • http://none elskeetro

    In addition to installing an old version…i am working on installing 2 versions of itunes on my computer…one that i can keep up to date with current updates and that will contain my entire music library, and an old version (7.4.1) specifically for my iPhone library and custom ringtones. I will keep you all posted on my discoveries.


  • elskeetro

    OK, Here’s how i did it.

    I now have 2 versions of iTunes installed on my computer. One that i will continue to update (7.4.2 and beyond) and i keep my music library there for normal listening purposes. And another which contains all my iPhone info/music/custom Ringtones (7.4.1) which i won’t update and is only for syncing my phone.

    Here’s what to do:
    1. move your iTunes Music folder somewhere safe so it doesn’t accidentally get deleted.

    2. Delete itunes from the applications folder.

    3. go to Library/Receipts/ and delete all the files that have iTunes in the file name (iTunes.pkg, iTunesX.pkg, etc.) Empty the trash.

    4. Download iTunes 7.4.1 installer. I can’t quite recall where i found it, but it is not hard to find it, try google or or something along those lines.

    5. Install iTunes 7.4.1

    6. Go to applications folder and rename iTunes to something different. I chose iTunes741. Go into Library/Receipts/ and rename all the files with iTunes in the name just like you did with the application. (ie – iTunes.pkg renamed to iTunes741.pkg)

    7. this iTunes is now ready to work with your iPhone to make custom ringtones using the old 7.4.1 methods. Be sure to put all the iphone music into this library before syncing so you don’t lose it all from your iPhone.

    8. Download the latest iTunes version from (currently 7.4.2) and install it as normal. no renaming required here.

    All done!

    Step 8 isn’t necessary. There is no reason to run 2 versions of iTunes unless you want to keep up to date but also make custom ringtones.

    hope that helps for now. I’m sure there will be trouble when we all have to update our iPhone software.

    ok bye.

  • Emmitt

    So there is no way to get ringtones into the iphone from 7.4.2?

  • http://none elskeetro

    correct. so far 7.4.2 is a no go.

  • Harry

    iPhoneRingToneMaker works good with windows XP and iTunes 7.4.2, good thing about it is that it does not require iTunes to update ringtones to ur iphone, instead it directly updates to iphone it self but that also means that u will need to run this software everytime u sync ur iphone to iTunes to keep the ringtones. Bad thing about it is that u can only download the trial version for free and this trial version only lets you create 3 ringtones after that it asks to buy.
    Anyone has an idea how to crack this software?

  • Apple’sPissinMeOff

    Ok… gave it 20 different tries with every variation. But, with the newest iTunes update (v. 7.4.3) it won’t let you drag and drop a m4r file into a playlist. It lets you drop it in the Library, but for creating ringtones this seems to not do any good. Let me know of anything that will fix my problem even if I have to re-download an older version.

  • foxdie

    the new version 7.4.3 is very hard to create or sync ringtones ….

    I’m using XP and I did all the ways to create ringtones but it didn’t list in the ringtones list … ???

    Why Apple prevent their fans to create their own ringtones freely like other mobiles …

    The Hackers will do their jobs soon …

    If you solve the problem, e-mail me on
    waiting …

  • Breckenridge

    “Apple prevent their fans to create their own ringtones freely” because Apple will lose a sale for $0.99 everytime you make your own ringtone.

  • ivoryrose88

    Thanks everyone for all the hardwork. I followed advice from above and was successful in creating the ringtones (with music I already owned) and the iphone sync without error messages. however, still nothing on the phone even after a reboot. Itunes version and the phone updated to (wasn’t my idea). Any suggestions?

  • hello

    ok.. apple is not losing .99 everytime we make a ringtone. They are taking away userfriendly abilites from the user. A custom ringtone would never be available on itunes for sale anyways. no one is going to buy there stupid ringtones anyhow. At least I wouldnt. there is nothing on there that I would buy.

    thanks apple for being greedy.

  • onitsume

    looks like i’m having the same problem as a few people here. i followed all the xp steps and get the ringtone to sync to my iphone. it shows up in itunes as a ringtone in itunes and iphone, however it won’t show up in my actual iphone under settings>sounds>ringtones. any idea how to fix that?

  • Erimaque

    I, also, was fine, with iTunes, and my custonm ringtones. I have not updated iTunes yet, but I had to update my iPhone to and now my ringtones appear in iTunes just fine but not on my iPhone general settings. I’m about ready to give up and just buy iPhoneRingToneMaker.

  • vish

    look like i used all the above methods but none of them worked for my iam using i tunes7.4.1.2 and i phone version 1.1.1,but i could not get my ringtones, it came up in the ringtones tab why the phone is connected but when i tried to sync it everthing went well but i could not fing the ring tone in my iphone, i even tried using the iPhoneRingToneMaker but even it gave me the same problem , someone plese help me, thanks in advance

  • Irene

    Fun, free fix: Right click whatever song you want to use. Go to the options tab. Pick the 30 seconds or so you want to use. In the options tab, type in the start time, then the stop time. Hit okay. Right click the song again. Hit “Convert to AAC.” Don’t worry, this doesn’t actually make an AAC file, but an M4a file. Drag the file to your desktop to make it easy to find. I’ve been using the free trial of iToner (30 days) to sync these 30 second bites to my iPhone. Enjoy!

  • Irene

    Oops, missed a step! When you right click the song the first time, you need to go to “Get Info,” then go to the “Options” tab. Sorry!

    And for anyone wondering, I’m a brand-new iPhone user, so I have 7.4.2, and 1.1.1.

  • nytran

    hey, I have the problem, I converted the files from .aac to .m4r. But I couldn’t drag the files into the itunes. Can anyone tell me what to do. Thanks so much!

  • traddcliff

    i do all the steps…a ringtones folder is never created in my iTunes music folder.

    i also DO get to see the ringtone as syncable, but it says it can not use this file type. and i have tried m4a AND m4r

    please it would be cool to get this to work. APPLE PLEASE LISTEN…i want to use MY OWN MUSIC…music i make at home. no copy right…in fact ill give you a copy free

  • hek

    i did everythig to upload a ringtone in itunes 7.4 and I can sync it to my iphone, but the ringtone has no sound. Anyone who know how to fix this?

  • Jordan Fletcher

    OK OK i just got my iphone in the UK on O2

    I wanted to make timbalands apologise as my ringtone

    I followed the tips and got the song into the ringtones folder but when i click on my iphone then ringtones tab nothing shows up

    Anyone know why??

    i really really want a custom ringtone!!!

    Please help *begs*

  • Jordan Fletcher

    NVM i did it

  • Jordan Fletcher

    Is there a way for custom message tones?

  • Obedese

    I couldn’t get this to work with v.1.1.1, I tried using the older versions of iTunes with no luck. I updated the firmware to 1.1.2 and now I don’t even have to change back from .m4r…just loads up into my ringtones folder :) oh i’m running vista/iTunes 4.5

    so to recap I did the same thing everyone else has been doing upto the convert from .m4a to .m4r that’s all I needed. play the .m4r, and sync. Finally!!

  • Pimpjus

    This absolutely works! Amazing! Thank you. I have a PC. I had to first follow directions on how to convert to ACC then from m4a to m4r. after that. I tried to follow the update for windows xp and pc but it didn’t work while trying to sync. I then followed Robert Ross’ directions (Sept. 8th post) to the tee and it worked perfectly. Thanks again!

  • Pimpjus

    By the way I have Itunes 7.5 and firmware v. 1.1.2

  • Darrin

    I have an unlocked iphone which is v1.1.1. I have tried all of the usual to convert an existing music track to a ringtone.I am using itunes and I can’t see ringtones or convert them using the processes discussed. Can anybody help? I can’t keep on using the standard ringtones, I really want my CTU ringtone back pleeeeease

  • Kars

    After the above mentioned procedure, I could see my ringtones listed in the iTunes’s device’s ringtone folder. but it’s not listed in the Settings->Sound->Ringtone path.
    Any help?

  • Sisca

    I’ve been having the same prob i.e. managed to install the custom ring tones into my iphone, however, I can’t seem to find the ringtone in my iphone. Help anyone? I did try switching it off and back on again with zero luck.

  • Sisca

    I am currently using iphone firmware ver. 1.1.1 and itunes 7.5. Thanks

  • Joe

    Update your firmware to 1.1.2. Homemade ringtones are not going to work with 1.1.1.

  • drew

    This works great I used the instructions below

    1) Get the AAC file ready – short and small is best – YMMV
    2) rename it (get info window is needed on mac to be sure)
    3) Drag / Import the M4R file – ensure it shows in iTunes as a ringtone
    4) find the M4R file that iTunes is referencing
    5) really rename the iTunes file on disk back to M4A
    6) sync your phone – there should be no errors

    This worked with itunes
    Iphone : 1.1.2

  • Sisca

    The thing is my iphone is the unlocked version. I read it somewhere that unlocked firmware 1.1.1 should not be updated to 1.1.2. due to whatever reason there is. —> this is the site i read the above info

  • Ryan

    I can’t seem to get iTunes to recognize it as a ringtone. I’m using iphone 1.1.2 and iTunes; Anyone have any suggestions?

  • liyanne

    Eii,, i tried and followed all the steps but it’s not workin.. do i have to upgrade my phone to 1.1.2?? im living here in dubai and it might be locked if i upgrade it!! im running windows vista and itunes 7.4.1 ,, please help!! thanks!!

  • http://iPhoneRingToneMaker James

    My software is up to date, and I just downloaded iphoneringtonemaker and it worked great. Within minutes I converted an MP3 to a ringtone. Good luck!

  • Claire

    Firstly I am a Mac user. I’ve tried converting to m4r and m4a. but neither work. when i double click on it. it plays on itunes however it does not how on the ringtones tab. can someone help me please. this is awfully frustrating!

  • dilla

    I just did this using 7.5 with 1.1.2 and it works for me. I created the ringtones playlist, but I couldn’t drag my ringtones from there to the “ringtones tab” where it shows the ones that you have purchased through iTunes. In order for them to appear, I had to copy and paste them into the “ringtones” folder in the iTunes music folder and double-click the file. After that, they appeared under the “ringtones tab” and I was then able to sync them with my phone.

  • Robey

    using 1.1.2 and, all i did was crop the file in itunes, made sure it was an AAC file, put it on my desktop, deleted it from itunes but kept file, renamed it to m4r, double clicked and it synced to my phone with no problem. Im using vista also. let me know if this worked for anyone else.

  • joeyfeets

    +1 for Robey’s method. I have a jailbroken 1.1.2 w/ iTunes 7.5. Used iTunes to convert mp3 clips to AAC. Ensured Windows had folder option for “hide file extensions” UNCHECKED, so you can see and edit file extensions. After converting file to AAC, deleted it from iTunes (select option to keep file). Finf the file under the iTunes directory, changed the .m4a to .m4r extension. Double click the file and it opens right into “Ringtones” section of iTunes. Sync’s to device.

  • jj

    I am totally confused, b/c it sounds so simple and yet I am still unable to do it correctly. At the moment I have converted my song into 30 second. I have also converted it into AAC. However, I am unable to convert the file into m4r extention. I mean when i click on info on itune I can see the m4a. but I can’t change it from there. I have dragged it onto my desktop, but I can’t rename it there b/c all that comes out is the name of the artist and not the whole folders name. I am completely lost. Can anyone guide me in the proper procedure for getting a ringtone using windows 98?

  • jj

    well, actually i have windows XP, but either way i am unable to understand how to change m4a into m4r. please help

  • Tim

    Use the instructions listed at this site:

    To be able to edit your music down easily. Took me less than 10 minutes to make 4 ringtones from mp3’s that I had ripped from CD’s.

    After you’ve saved your file as a .m4a extension, go to that folder, change the extension to .m4r – NOTE – it will tell you that it might mess up your file. Tell it yes you’re sure and then just drag and drop the file from the folder to your ringtones folder in iTunes and BOOM! All done. I synced up my iPod and immediately had them available. I had problems with clips that went over 40 seconds. They didn’t want to transfer but I’ve had no issues with anything :39 or under.

    Hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have any issues.


  • Minerva

    Ok so i just got my iphone today…and i don’t know if itunes already came up with a way to stop this…but i’ve been trying all the methods that you guys have been posting

    1) create ringtone
    2) import to itunes
    3) convert to AAC
    4) right click and then go to Show in Windows Explorer
    5) change from m4a to m4r (or i also tried moving the file from itunes music to my desktop and then converting it there and then double clicking or dragging it to itunes)
    6) and yes i have already changed my preferences to “Keep Itunes Music Folder Organized” and clicked “Copy Files to Itunes Music Folder When Adding To Library”

    but even though i can see the new m4r file in my music library…and it’ll play..Itunes still wont create a Ringtones folder in Itunes Music nor place my m4r file in the Ringtones tab.

    the ringtone i want is less that 30 sec and I have Windows Vista not XP…i don’t really know what version of itunes i have but i’m pretty sure it’s the newest one.

    I really just want to make my own ringtones and i don’t see why this has to be so unbelievably difficult…. Please if anyone knows what I should do please help!!!!!!

  • Tim


    Looking at Vista, the system doesn’t like to give you as many liberties as XP, but you should still be able to do this.

    I’m not sure why you have to convert the file to AAC, but if you use the program I linked to in my comment, you should be able to save it as an mpeg4 (.m4a) file.

    That’s the only thing I see you doing differently than I am. I’m using the latest iTunes (7.5) as well and am not having any issues.

    I just got my iPhone today, too – very exciting stuff!

  • Ozzy


    If you drag a “.m4r” file to iTunes it shouldn’t be inserted in your music library. ITunes recognizes “.m4r” files as ringtones and puts them in the ringtones folder. If this isn’t happening for you then perhaps take a closer look at the full file name and be sure your file doesn’t end in “.m4r.m4a”

    If your going to rename extensions you must make sure the Operating System is not “hiding extensions.”
    To show extensions in Windows XP open up any folder and click: Tools –> Folder Options –> Tab: VIEW –> And be sure “Hide extensions for known file types” is UNCHECKED.

    Also something else I found out through trial and error. THE .m4r FILE MUST BE SMALL. I tried adding full songs as ringtones at first and could not get my ring tones to show up in the iPhone, finally I cut the duration of the song down to 30 seconds and now it shows up.

    Hope this helped,

  • Freakin Frustrated With all of you!!!


  • Jesse

    When i click the converted file to get it to go back in to my itunes it wont go in to my itunes library..what do i doing it on a PC also.

  • jessie

    ok i have windows vista…and been trying everyones method of ringtones. =(

    I have itunes

    if someone could write back explaining how? That would be greatly appreciated. thanks =D

  • Joe

    Update iTunes to the latest.

  • Winston

    Amazing… the gift that keeps on giving… this is the best thing I could have gotten for Christmas. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

  • Francesco_uk

    I’ve got the same problem with you guys which is you cannot sync m4r ringtones to your iphone. After throughly look at the the instruction at the beginning, what you need to do is using itunes 7.4.1 only (’cause I used 7.4.3 and it didn’t work), my iphone firmware is 1.1.1, and just follow the instruction carefully then you’ll get what you want, good luck!

  • littlewierdo

    To the poster of of msg 200…

    Yelling (using all caps) is completely unneccessary.

    4 letter words arent neccessary.

    Now that proper ettiquette is out of the way, how about telling us exactly what you are doing up to the point of the error and give us the details on what version of itunes you are using and perhaps we can help you troubleshoot it.

    I can tell a mechanic my car doesn’t start and he isnt going to be able to tell me much of anything. However, if I tell the mechanic, I hear a rapid clicking sound when I turn the ignition key, he will be able to tell me it’s most likely related to the battery being dead on the car.

    Obviously you arent a child, the iphone is too expensive for a child to have and unless parents have money to throw away to give their child a $500 phone, they arent going to have one.

    Act like an adult (even if you are a child). Crying, whining, complaining, titling a post ‘FED UP WITH ALL OF YOU’ doesn’t make anyone want to even get involved.

  • John

    i clicked the m4r file, but no ringtone tab shows up, does anyone know why?

  • Confused

    Got a problem over here, the ringtones appear in iTunes and they were sent to the iPhone, but they don’t appear in the ringtones menu in the iPhone, what sohould I do?

    iPhone: 1.0.2
    iTunes: 7.5

  • Wang

    ok I have Vista, and I followed Robbie’s steps. I was successful in putting my new ringtone in the iphone but for some reason I can not find it in my actual iphone. Eventhough my iTune is telling me it’s there in the iphone/ringtone.

    any advises? how i can make it show up in my iphone?

  • Mat

    Worked for me, if the ring tone was less than 30 seconds…

  • nikki

    May I ask how to convert a m4a file to m4r on a Windows? I have a feeling that these steps will work if only I could figure out how to do this. Thank you in advance!

  • JC

    People I have windows XP Professional, Itunes Iphone 1.1.1, I have followed the instructions several times with the same result,it looks like the ring tones are sync to the iphone but there are nos shown in the rintones list in the phone… any suggestions please….

  • kam

    i have macbook and itunes 7.5 and the ringtone that i made doessnt apear in my ringtone in the ringtones file

  • kam

    what cn i do

  • JennyB

    I have the same problem with the ringtones showing up on Itunes but no where to be found on the iphone???? Does anyone have any suggestions :(

  • snider

    ookay so i’ve made ringtones by doing the whole AAC conversion and then to the .m4a to .m4r and only some of them sync onto my iphone. i thought maybe if i just made some more it would recognize that i want to put new stuff on my iphone. but now my iphone wont even show up when i plug it in..
    i’ve tried shutting down my computer and turning off an on my phone. and also instead of docking it just using the usb cord and changing the usb plug thing.
    how do i get my iphone to show up and sync to itunes now?

  • snider

    okay, i don’t know why, but it worked this time :)

  • Rebecca

    This is awesome; it worked perfectly for some of my files. Strange thing is, for other files it didn’t. :S Some of my files just will not take in iTunes. They won’t play or import regardless of what extension they are under. Does anyone have any suggestions for this?

  • Teodoro

    Hello I’ve been messing around with making a ringtone to sync to my iPhone however I am running into a common problem. I am getting the:

    “xxx cannot be coppied on your iPhone becase xxx cannot play on the iPhone”

    I have tried converting the file back to an m4a once it is in my ringtones folder on iTunes, but it still will not sync to my iPhone.

    Sometimes it will sync normally with no error messages but then I check my Settings/Sounds/Ringtones on my iPhone and it isn’t there.

    I am using iTunes
    and the iPhone software is 1.1.2

    I do believe these are the correct versions for this hack am I correct?

    Hopefully someone knows an answer because I am puzzled.

    Thanks, and I hope no one else runs into this same problem because it’s frustrating.

  • george

    A man help me out plzssss I have the iphone unlocked right with t-mobile and it was cool with that but…. when I try to use the iTunes for ringtone and create my own ringtone didn’t work for nothing a sync but when I go back to my phone there nothing on the ringtone I have 1.1.1 version but before I unlock the phone it had 1.1.2 I think so can u help me out plzs


    Your friend

  • dratet

    Hi all,
    Itunes 7.5
    Iphone 1.1.2 Out of Box, donwgrade to 1.1.1, jailbreak, and upgrade to 1.1.2,
    when trying to sync the xxx.m4r, itunes is saying that xxx.m4r is not manageable by the iPhone ????
    I need help thanks

  • Lami

    Until now I was able to upload ringtones to iPhone, it show there but it did *not* play. The problem was I converted mp3 -> m4a using other program than iTunes (could’t get that convert to AAC menu entry, because I was using MP3 import codec). So if someone encounters same problem, make sure you:
    a) Have AAC import codec selected in iTunes
    b) use iTunes for converting mp3 to m4a
    Then do that m4a -> m4r renaming trick and it will work flawlessly. iTunes, unlocked iPhone 1.1.2

  • george

    yea but what about if you have 1.1.1 version on the iphone…..i mean thats what i have and my iphone i also have t-mobile sim card so my ?????? is what can i do to send a sync to my iphone as my ringtone i need help


  • george

    i get this error did song or viedo was not copied to the iphone iphone because it cannot be played on this iphone……..what do this mean???

  • Andy

    Please help:
    I have got everything working, the file of m4a and even the folder of “ringtone” appear in my iphone, and my ringtone file are in there as well

    but when i check the sound in my iphone, i can’t find the file anyway in the existing list of ringtone…
    I am only using version 1.0.2, does that make any difference?

  • Joe

    Ok Apple Gurus – Version 1.1.1 (unlocked phone for a network other than AT&T) – CANNOT UPGRADE because it will lock my phone, using itunes – anyways – how do i make ringtones without upgrading to 1.1.2 or downgrading my itunes from… I look forward to hearing your responses! Thanks in advance!! Joe

  • http://na jonhes

    stop bitching and go to another thread!!! my god it’s like 456 women cackling at once on here!!!!

  • yukitea

    i have an unlocked iphone using a t-mobile sim card and I tried the method and it didn’t work, but i found sendsong which takes the songs in your ipod and turns them to ringtones… some times the ring tones work, sometimes they don’t…but it’s better than what is on the iphone to begin with.

  • EasyE

    I have Windows Vista, I was able to get the ringtones to work (not by renaming it or anything like that, tried all that and didn’t work) I used Quicktime pro to convert to .m4r and added to ringtone library in iTunes. It added it to my phone and now i can use that ringtone. So it has nothing to do with changing the filename. Infact when I changed the filename to m4a it didn’t even show up on my iPhone.

    So.. the problem still for me is…

    I can add ringtones to my phone, let’s say the first file is called xxx1.m4r, so in ringtones on my iphone it shows this file and allows me to choose it.
    However, let’s say i want another one. Say filename xxx2.m4r, It works in iTunes fine. When i transfer it to my iphone it now shows (2) custom ringtones
    Problem is now both of the custom ringtones say this:
    Meaning it replaced the first file i put on there and they are now both the exact same file.
    However, in iTunes, under my iPhone tab, it displays both files:

    It’s like only letting me load one file. I try a third, and now on the iPhone in settings, ringtones I see:

    Now three of the latest file i added. However in iTunes still all three different ones show up as being on my device. WTF? anyone know what’s going on? Greatly appreciated

  • syracuseD

    I have iTunes 7.6 and iPhone 1.2.1 (don’t know the exact software version, but it’s the one as of January 28, 2008), and using Windows XP. Here’s how I got mine to work.

    1. On the iTunes program, Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced Tab -> make sure “Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized” is CHECKED -> make sure “Copy Files into iTunes Music Folder…” is CHECKED. With the Importing tab, make sure the “Import using” is set to “AAC Encoder” -> click OK.
    2. Go to your iTunes FOLDER under My Music in Windows, then iTunes Music FOLDER. There should be a list of bands and artists. Keep clicking through the artist names and albums until you get to the song files.
    3. Click on Tools (at the top of the window) -> Folder Options -> View tab -> under Advanced Settings box, make sure “Hide Extensions for Known File Types” is UNCHECKED -> click OK. Close all windows and frames so that the only thing you have running is iTunes the program.
    4. Find the song in your library you want as your ringtone and highlight it -> Right-click -> Get info -> Options tab. Cut down the song to about 20 or 30 seconds (for example start time 0:00, stop time 0:30) -> click OK.
    5. With that particular song highlighted -> Right-click -> Convert selection to AAC. iTunes will convert that song and you’ll find that it has created the same song but in a 30-second form (or however much you reduced it by).
    6. Drag that 30-second song clip to your Desktop.
    7. The song on the desktop should be xxx.m4a. EDIT THE TAG to .m4r.
    8. MOST IMPORTANT PART! IN iTUNES, highlight BOTH the original song you picked AND the shortened version of that same song that we just created by converting the original song. HIGHLIGHT BOTH OF THEM (using the ctrl button) and press “delete” on your keyboard.
    9. iTunes will ask if you want to delete the selected song -> click on “Remove” -> click on “Keep Files”.
    10. At this point, whatever song you started with shouldn’t be in your iTunes library!
    11. Remember that file you placed on the desktop? You know, the one that reads xxx.m4r? Double-click on it. The song will start playing under your Ringtones folder in iTunes.
    12. Sync and you’re ready to go.

    Hope this helps. It’s a whole lot easier to do than to say. Try it though.

  • Gas O

    I have itunes (7.6) running on Mac OS (10.4.11) and I can’t sync any ringtones in my iphone (1.1.2). What should I do?

  • Roy

    syracuseD, thanks for that advice – works great

  • BB97

    syracuseD, I have iphone version 1.1.3 and itunes 7.6.029 and it worked perfectly. nice work!

  • Y

    where is the file so i can download it?

  • MattL

    I have found a slightly easier set of steps, if you have access to a decent sound editor, like SoundForge. I am running iPhone 1.1.3 and iTunes

    1. Open your music file in your sound editor, and crop it down to 40 seconds or less. (note: you can compress the file, if you want – think BananaPhone, for example – to help get it in the 40 second limit)

    2. Save the file as an mp4

    3. Rename the file with an m4r extension

    4. Drag the cropped/clipped m4r file to your iTunes Ringtones folder (the one under your Library List, not a playlist).

    5. The file is ready to sync to your phone.

  • Eddie

    Okay, I did what you guys are saying, but here’s my problem. Even though on my computer I have like 6 ringtones I made, I sync them onto my iPhone and they show up perfectly in iTunes; however, when I go to the ringtone settings on my iPhone, 6 of the same ringtone (the last one synced) show up. Anybody have a clue how to fix that?

  • dee

    ok i’m still confused on how to change the file extension from m4a to m4r i can’t seem to find that. i got the steps from 1-9 but i’m stuck at 10.

  • syracuseD

    dee (237) – if you’ve done steps 1-9, including the all-important step 3, you should be able to right-click on the song file –> properties –> change the .m4a to .m4r.

    eddie (236) – I don’t exactly know why your old ringtones aren’t purging, but make sure you are keeping your self-created ringtones 30 seconds or less. I have noticed that my iPhone will not download ringtones longer than 31 seconds. Other than that, I can’t think of a solution to your problem right now.

  • fuse

    Thanks a lot. This tip still works and works great. Follow the directions and keep your ringtones under 40 seconds and it will work.


    This hack also works in iTunes 7.6 as well.
    I am on a mac and it was really easy to put a custom ringtone on my iPhone.

  • Gearhunter

    Hi Mac Users!!!

    I was getting extremely frustrated with many attempts at making my custom ringtone. The most CRUCIAL part of the process is removing “OLD” versions of the file from iTunes – regardless of whether it’s a Mac or PC that you are using.

    Once the files are removed from iTunes (Delete -> Remove -> Keep Files) ‘double click’ on your newly generated Ringtone (on your desktop). As promised above, this will begin playing from the “Ringtones” section of iTunes.

    To get the file onto my iPhone I had to ‘drag and drop’ into my iPhone – maybe this is because I have ‘manually manage music’ selected???

    Have fun people and many thanks to those clever people above who figured this all out – WELL TIDY!!!

  • club

    Hi all,

    Well i’ve scoured the above for hours and can change my file type etc but never ever have i been able to find a ring tone folder in my docs/my/music/unknownartists in itunes.
    This was a problem for others earlier in the thread but seemed to get lost as no cure was ever posted.
    Also I can drag .m4a files ringtone play list i have created in itunes but not when i change the extension to .m4r. Also i cannot drag folders to the ringtone play list.
    I am using mp3 files less than 30 secs which i have edited/cut using polderbits sound editor freeware and i have also used wavepad to convert to AAC and MP4. Could there be an issue with the audio conversion techniques i am using? can anyone confirm what audio conversion has been used for itunes to recognise and create a ringtone folder?
    I am using firmware 1.1.2 and itunes
    I appreciate any input as this is driving me nuts but i will not wave the white flag yet


  • club

    oops itunes

  • Jason S

    does anyone know if this works for an unlocked iphone updated to 1.1.1 and itunes

  • Scandalous

    I’ve got the same problem as club does. I don’t have a “ringtones” folder anywhere. Another problem is that after I’ve got it into a m4r and try and drag it or open it in itunes it does nothing.

  • digit-AL

    I have XP Home, iTunes & Software v. 1.1.3.
    I had major issues a la all of the above, but this worked

    1. Open your music file in your sound editor, and crop it down to 40 seconds or less, if not already.
    2. Convert the wav(or other audio) file to an mp4 (using dvdvideosoft – video to iphone mp4 converter, yes video! -
    3. Rename the file with an m4r extension (make sure you first uncheck “hide extensions of known file types” in tools/folder options/view)
    4. Drag the m4r file to your iTunes Ringtones window (not folder, I couldn’t find the folder, either)
    5. The file is ready to sync to your phone. (make sure you sync “all ringtones”, even if you only see your custom in the list, or you might loose your others).
    6. Be happy.

  • Mark

    i converted the song i wanted to aac, then copied it to a folder, then deleted the song in the library, then i coverted teh song in my folder to .m4r, i then double clicked it and it was in the itunes ringtones library, i then synced it, although it did not show it my ringtones tab. any ideas?

  • me

    i tried dragging all songs from my desktop but they didn’t show up in the ringtones tab in itunes what should i do?

  • club


    Ok firstly thanks very much mate i am now operational though not exactly as u said i did get there. I followed your procedure and the realy gave me a head start this is neat software. When i converted using this software and renamed my resultant file immediately appeared as a.m4r file (like mp4 but logo says ring). When i tried to drag to a ring tone playlist i had created i could not nor could i asdd to my music library.
    At this point i suspeceted it was my version of itunes so i upgraded to 7.6 as you noted you had. I had the same problem. I noticed however (which i had not before doh) that there was a ringtones icon on the left of i tunes when i clicked on this i saw that my .m4r file was indeed there. When i viewed in explorer (right click mouse to view file in explorer) i saw that now itunes had indeed created a ringtone folder where my file was located.I synched and checked my iphone but there were no custom ringtones shown. After a second synch my phone showed custom ring tone with my file underneath. I ave only done the one so far but will add others later and assume i will face no more problems if i do i will detail. So Thanks very much gigit-AL and i hope this method allows others to solve also as this has been a pain especialy as different methods seem to be succesfull for some but not for others. possibly due to differing iphone firmware revs and itunes revs.
    To clarify i am cured using itunes 7.6 (latest ver downloaded today) and i phone ver 1.1.2.

    Good luck

  • club

    update….i CAN drag .m4r files to the ringtone window (can’t to ringtone playlist or main library but this method does not require this anyway). Also i had 2 edits one of 44 secs the second of 42 neither were added to my custom lists so the 40 sec rule does seem to apply for me too.
    Any ideas where custom ringtones could be uploaded for others to use legally?



  • me

    is there any other way to contact you guys i really want this to work but i keep messing up please thanks

  • Alyssa

    the song i want for a ringtone shows up in the folder but it wont let me sync it to my iphone.

  • club


    which folder? is it less than 40 secs? does it show as a ringtone? have u tried multiple snmchs? whatt firmmware version is ur fone and what itunes rev??


  • KC

    Help! Did all teh rename, erase past versions, synced – happily got ringtone to phone – now try to get more than one! From my library of ringtones (that I made using this method) on my computer, I dragged them onto the Ringtone folder on my iPhone. There are 6 files. When I look on my phone, in the Custom section of Sounds, there are 6 COPIES of ONE of the ringtones. Just one. EVERY TIME. Whatever the last file is I copy in, that’s what I get 6 of. What the heck?!

  • e

    help to me too!!! I just got a 1.1.3 iphone and i use itunes 7.6 on leopard. I trimmed my song in quicktime. exported as mov. took it into itunes, and did all the above steps 1. converted to AAC, 2. deleted from library and moved to desktop. 3. renamed to m4r 4. double clicked and it appeared fine in the ringtones tab. 5. changed back to m4a in the ringtones folder. and then “synced” my iphone…but nothing appears in the ringtone tab of my iphone. I also tried just dragging from one ringtone tab (from the computer) to the iphone and it appears there, but when i go to the settings in the iphone and look for it in ringtones it’s not there.
    and it’s 40 secs.
    any thoughts??? i can’t deal with this crappy sounds…

  • club

    e, why did u change back to m4a? m4r is required to be recognised as a ring tone. leave the file as m4r it should show in ringtone window in itunes, right click on file and view in explorer and you will see where itunes has located the file e.g my music/itunes/ringtones browse to this location and verify that the file is m.4r and is an icon like MP$ but says ring on it. if so u should be able to synch. try to synch a few times as i have noted first time it doesn’t always work. try rebooting ur fone too but i think the issue here is u have renamed back to .m4a 40 secs may also be on the limit i think my longest is 37 make a small test ring tone to verify.



  • AlienX

    Here is how to do it on Mac, iTunes 7.6, iPhone 1.1.3
    – In Finder under iTunes Music, create a folder named “Ringtones”
    – Select the song you want as a Ringtone from your Library
    – Right-Click (Ctrl-Click) and choose “Convert to AAC”
    – Right-Click (Ctrl-Click) and choose “Get Info”
    – Under Options Tab select the part of the Song you would like as a Ringtone
    – Right-Click (Ctrl-Click) and choose “Show in Finder”
    – Rename this File to .m4r
    – Move it to the “Ringtones” folder you created earlier
    – From there move it to your iTunes Library again and it should show up in Ringtones
    – Now you can Sync it or drag it manually to iPhone/Ringtones in iTunes

  • AlienX

    Oh, after selecting the part in Options Tab you should choose “Convert Selection to AAC” again, to create a new file with only the selected part.

  • redhed

    I guess I’m having the same problem as others. I’ve done all the steps and my .m4r ringtone file is showing up in the ringtones tab in itunes, i sync and it says it synced, but when i go to the sounds setting, it’s not there. Am i doing something wrong? Can anyone help?

  • David

    AlienX (or whoever can help me here,)

    I have iTunes7.6 and iPhone 1.1.3 and I followed your instructions almost exactly, (The only thing I did differently is I didn’t shorten it through iTunes as I edited it down to 35 seconds in Sound Studio earlier,) but can’t seem to get it to work. When I get info on the file from within iTunes it now shows it as a Ringtone under ‘Kind’ but it won’t show up in my ringtones folder nor will it sync to my iPhone.

    The one area of your instructions I didn’t completely understand was right after you said: ” Move it to the Ringtones folder you created earlier,” you then instructed me to: “From there move it to your iTunes Library again and it should show up in Ringtones” Can you more specifically explain what you mean there? I have tried dragging the file from finder into the Library in iTunes, and I have also tried just putting it back in it’s original folder in finder. Neither of these work for me.

    I appreciate any help you can give me.

  • redhed

    from 259

    Ok, I figured it all out and was able to get a few ringtones one the phone. But, I was using old files that were already cut down to size. My problem now is: I want to make some ringtones from my exsisting itunes library of which all the files are .m4a I can’t seem to find a free program that supports that file type to trim down to size. First, can i trim it as .m4a with any program or do I have to convert it to something else first? I’d really appreciate it if someone could inform my slightly untechnilogical self. =)

    I am using a PC, not a Mac


  • YMA

    I have followed all of your steps and successfully put about 5 ringtones on my phone. However, those were all from other clips I had before. I just tried doing your steps 4 & 5 to create a clip from an exsisting song in my library. I made the clips, converted to
    AAC, moved them, changed the file ext. to .m4r and double clicked. They moved into the ringtones file, but I’ve tried Syncing a few times and these 2 new tones won’t sync. I also went back and deleted the original and clip from the library and they still won’t sync. When I click Sync, itunes shows syncing and these new files being copied, but they aren’t showing up. Am I doing something wrong? Also, what’s the purpose of removing my original song? I’d like for it to remain in the library.

  • DnA

    ok i did everything you guys said and the only thing is it says that the ringtone can’t be played on my iphone..why is that

  • DnA

    is it because i have the 1.1.1 firmware and the version i got for itunes is 7.6????

  • Rick

    Hey, I’m having the same problem as Eddie (236) and KC (254): no problem creating ringtones, no problem getting one of them on the iPhone, just can’t do more than one. It just makes multiple copies of the most recent one I’ve synced. Anybody have any idea of why this happens, or if there’s a workaround?


  • Rick

    A new problem now. I’ve made and successfully transferred a ringtone to my iPhone, and have it set as my default. Plays fine when I test it, but when a call comes in, one of the stock ringtones plays. All this despite my new custom ringtone being set as my default. Am I missing something here?

  • wari

    ok i did everything you guys said and the only thing is it says that the ringtone can’t be played on my iphone..why is that

  • sam

    ok i did everything you guys said and the only thing is it says that the ringtone can’t be played on my iphone..why is that

  • Jessica


    O my gosh.. This worked.. Thanks digit-AL.. You do now how long i have been working trying to get ringtones.. If you have windows follow his steps..

    1. Open your music file in your sound editor, and crop it down to 40 seconds or less, if not already.
    2. Convert the wav(or other audio) file to an mp4 (using dvdvideosoft – video to iphone mp4 converter, yes video! -
    3. Rename the file with an m4r extension (make sure you first uncheck “hide extensions of known file types” in tools/folder options/view)
    4. Drag the m4r file to your iTunes Ringtones window (not folder, I couldn’t find the folder, either)
    5. The file is ready to sync to your phone. (make sure you sync “all ringtones”, even if you only see your custom in the list, or you might loose your others).
    6. Be happy.

  • Steve

    I’m having the same problem as Eddie (236), KC (254), and Rick (265). I used Garageband to make the ringtone and I changed it to .m4r and it appears in both the ringtone section of my iTunes library and my iPhone library; however, when I go to the settings on the phone it will show 4 copies of the same exact ringtone. Any idea what’s going on here? I’m running iTunes 7.6.1 and iPhone software 1.1.4

  • Jonny Van Dyck

    Finally! I love you all! I was having problems until I used a smaller file. When I cut the audio down to 40 secs it worked. I was trying to use a 2MB file before and had problems.

    I followed Jessica’s email … I’m using XP with 1.1.4 and 7.6 itunes.

  • az_121

    I have the newer updates for both iTunes and iPhone and I was successful. Great job guys and girls! :-)

  • ron

    how can i cut my ringtones down to size?

  • Brian

    Thank you. I am a newbie to the apple iphone / itunes world. Last night I bought song that I had already had because it said that you had to buy the songs from itunes to turn them into ringtones. Then I messed up the ringtones and got two of those, not realizing that they cost money too. So $4 later I still did not have the ringtones that I wanted. Now I do thanks to you. I appreciate it.

  • M P

    I haven’t seen an answer to this so I’ll repeat it. Same problem as Eddie(236), KC(254), Rick(265) and Steve(270). My iphone will not autosynch the ringtones and when I drag them over all I get in my phone is multiple copies of the last ringtone added. Add 6 tones, get 6 copies of the last one. How do you fix this?
    Please, if anyone knows how to fix this share the info.

  • chris

    syracuseD’s method in post 230 worked perfectly except that the ringtone is playing too quiet on my iphone to even hear… The volume is all the way up too.

  • chris

    ahh my sound recording program was recording the music sound too low.

    Follow post 230’s method. I have itunes 7.6 and the newest version of iphone.

  • jslappa

    Tired of all the converting and deleting, just so iTunes will sync your ringtones? I hate that, so I found another way to get ringtones on my iPhone for free. Here are the easy steps…

    1. get whatever song you want and convert it to aac in itunes.

    2. Go to music/itunes/unknown and change .m4r to .m4a.

    3. Open SSH connection with iPhone and drag the new
    .m4a into ringtones folder. IMPORTANT **Place the .m4a into the ringtone folder with the standard ringtones, not the custom ringtones located in Mobile

    that’s it! Chop them down if you want, but it’s not neccessary.

  • Tyler

    Same problem as Eddie(236), KC(254), Rick(265), Steve(270), and M P(275)

    Everything works fine. I sync with iPhone but if I try to put more then one ringtone they all end up as duplicates of the last one that was transfered.

  • KC2

    Same problem as Eddie(236), KC(254), Rick(265), Steve(270), and M P(275)&tyler 279
    I have made the shorter ringtones and all of that, but there’s still something missing. It’s just the same ring tone multiple times. HELP

  • M P

    The apple website doesn’t even give you the opportunity to ask them about a specific problem that’s not part of a trouble shooting guide.
    If anyone knows a fix for the duplicating ringtone problem of Eddie(236), KC(254), Rick(265), Steve(270), tyler 279, or knows where we might find the fix, please share.

  • icelander

    i used the most simple way, just downgrade iTunes using the steps described here:

    only you downgrade to 7.4.0, not version 6-somthing, found there:

    FOR WINDOWS:….TunesSetup.exe

    FOR MAC:…./iTunes7.4.dmg

    once you have downgraded successfully, simply change the file extension to .m4r, put it in iTunes and sync it on your iPhone as a ringtone.

    only after following my own way i can’t actually play it on my iPhone. sure, it’s selected and should play but theres no sound! :(

    anyone got a tip?

  • M P

    I just got off the phone with Apple support and they had only two suggestions. Click and drag the ringtones individually and wait a few minutes between adding songs. (not sure how that’s supposed to work, but I’ll try it and repost).
    Second option is to take the phone to an “Apple” store. Not an AT&T store if that’s where you bought the phone, not an affiliated store but a true Apple store. For me, that’s two and a half hours away.

  • M P

    Waiting inbetween doesn’t work. I guess it’s off to the Apple store, I hope they can actually fix it. :(

  • Tyler

    Any luck MP?

  • M P

    Just got back from the Apple store and they had no suggestions at all. Just the usual try to restore and update which does nothing. Then they suggested it was a PC problem. Are any of you with the same problem using a Mac? I’m on the verge of returning the phone I’m so frustrated by this.
    If anyone stumbles on the magic combination of actions that corrects this issue, please share.

  • Steve

    M P, I am experiencing the same problem as you (duplicate ringtones instead of new unique ones), and I am on a Mac. I have no idea what to tell you.

  • Zee

    Steve, MP….I’ve been trying the same thing….numerous ringtones, but the same one. We need to know if there is a way to add more ringtones, without duplication. On the itunes Library, they are different, and even when the iphone is plugged in, the ringtones are there. However, on the phone itself, the ringtones are all the same…duplicates

  • ryank

    @288(Zee etc.)

    Exact same problem, veeery frustrating, no answers thus far.

  • Tyler

    Woot! Looks like the new iTunes update fixed this issue.

  • Sara

    Hey MP and others with this problem. I’m having the SAME problem with my iphone and it’s the most frustrating thing in the world!

    MP, I am using a MAC so that is definitely not the problem.

    I am beginning to wonder if this is a sort of purposefully implanted anti-hack?
    Perhaps Steve Jobs anticipated people wanting custom ringtones and he just couldn’t let them do it without paying him a buck a piece.

  • Steve

    The new version of iTunes has corrected the problem! Tyler is right! I am using a Mac and the duplicate ringtone thing isn’t happening anymore!

    Thank you Apple!

  • Mark Lucas

    Tue following worked perfectly on xp pro sp2


    1. Open your music file in your sound editor, and crop it down to 40 seconds or less, if not already.
    2. Convert the wav(or other audio) file to an mp4 (using dvdvideosoft – video to iphone mp4 converter, yes video! - Also allows you to trim the audio size..
    3. Rename the file with an m4r extension (make sure you first uncheck “hide extensions of known file types” in tools/folder options/view)
    4. Drag the m4r file to your iTunes Ringtones window (not folder, I couldn’t find the folder, either)
    5. The file is ready to sync to your phone. (make sure you sync “all ringtones”, even if you only see your custom in the list, or you might loose your others).
    6. Be happy.

    I am…

  • MzKodak

    Question: What if your itunes files are mp3 instead of m4r files? Am I still suppose to rename the file m4a?

  • lucy-beth

    how do i know which version of itunes i have? I’m new to this ipod stuff I just got the iphone on april 4th & have never had n e contact with ipod b4. I am upset that i have paid 5 dollars 4 songs 2 make into ringtones b/c i didn’t know i had 2 pay another dollar 4 the actual ringtone….help pleas

  • micky

    I FINALLY GOT IT TO WORK!!! I’m so irritated…you won’t even believe it! Ok, here is what I did.

    I already have a bunch of MP3 trimmed down as ringtones from my previous phone. The issue here, it seems, is you need the file to be less than 40 seconds long.

    1. I use WAVEPAD. open the mp3 ringtone, convert them into m4a. (make sure to trim them down to less than 40 seconds)

    2. After saving those files as m4a. Go and change all the extensions to m4r.

    3. Drag them into the Ringtone folder under iTune’s library. Hit SYN. THERE YOU GO!

    omg…I can’t believe apple make us go through all this just to have some decent ringtones…not happy. Now on to my mission to find how to convert MPEG to MP4 to put in the stupid iphone. ARGH!

  • Ray

    micky! thank you! it was really that simple. gotta be under 40 seconds!

  • marty

    hi guys
    ive just got an iphone and having problems getting ringtones – i have managed to convert them to m4a and m4r and got them onto my ringtone folder in itunes and iphone – BUT i can’t find then on my iphone in sounds/ringtones – please someone help as im going insane!!!!
    many thanks

  • bg

    Thanks for the tips. Whenever I “change the extension” to m4r, and attempt to play or drag into iTunes, it switches back to m4a. How can I change the extension permanently?


  • bg

    sorry folks, i went back and read Mark Lucas’s entry. it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nathan

    Hi guys,

    I Have tried various processes but can’t seem to get my ringtones to my Iphone. They show up in the ringtones section of my iPhone in iTunes but I can’t for the life of me find them on my phone under Settings>Sounds>Ringtones any help would be muchly appreciated.

    I have version 1.1.4 and iTunes

    Thanks guys.

  • gtom

    I’m having the same problem as Nathan. I synced my ringtones to my iPhone and they appear to copy to the phone okay, but when I check my phone, none of them appear under Settings>Sounds>Ringtones, either. Both of my ringtones are 28 and 24 seconds long, and I have v. 1.1.4 on the iPhone and iTunes version If anybody can help, it would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been stuck for hours trying to get this to work and am now very frustrated. Thanks.

  • gtom

    Nevermind. I finally got my ringtones to show up on my iphone. I heard that I had to delete the original songs from the iTunes library (but don’t move the files to Trash or Recycle Bin) and then sync the ringtones on my phone. I did that and it worked.

  • Matt

    I have been following the above steps, and here’s the trouble I’m running into:

    The ringtones, when synced, show up on the phone. THEY JUST DON’T PLAY.

    It’s not the volume on the phone, I swear. They even get a little checkmark next to them when I click on them. Just no sound comes out.

    Thoughts? Anyone? Ideas?

    Thanks dudebros.

  • Matt


    Using iTunes 7.6.2 and firmware 1.1.4


  • Steve

    First of all my iphone is 16gb at 114 and using itunes on Windows XP

    I have followed the steps on different youyube videos as well as step by step instructions on how to create a ringtone for the iphone .

    I started of by getting 20 or so ringtones as mp3 at about 20 sec in length.
    They are in itunes music playlist
    I then right click and convert to aac ( which sends the newly created file to an itunes folder somewhere else on computer .
    I then locate it and copy it to my desktop where it is an m4a file. I then rename it to m4r which changes the pic to an itunes ringtone on my desktop.
    Now in itunes itself i have a Ringtone (bell ) up at top left and a ringtone folder i created as well as a ringtone playlist
    The ringtone i try to move from desktop will only go into the top Ringtone spot but it doesn’t show as being in there
    Doesn’t matter if i deleted old files or not
    And with iphone plugged in there is nothing to see for a ringtone
    I have also tryed double clicking ringtone but still will not go into itunes ringtone spot

    I have read and read
    So Close
    anyone know where i screwed up ?


  • Kevin

    Can’t believe this.. I have with the newest firmware of 1.1.4. I can’t get any of the songs to get into my ringtones folder they are all basically converted to .m4a then renamed to .m4r Can’t get anything to show up in the ringtones folder at all. Can anyone help? Thanks!!

  • Sohail


    I would like to convert a MP3 into an iPhone ringtone. Please can anyone guide me how it can be done.


  • Rachel

    Convert MP3 to AAC.

    Drag AAC to desktop.

    Change M4A to M4R.

    Add M4R file to physical Music/iTunes Music/Ringtones folder.

    Open iTunes.

    Click on Ringtones.

    Drag the M4R file from the physical folder to the blank area inside the Ringtones pane.

    Sync iPhone.

    This worked for me a few minutes ago.

  • Cass

    I have no problem getting mine on my phone. Even have multiple ones no problem. I just want to know, since I had to delete the original song from the library, if I add it back in (I still want it on the ipod) will it mess up my ringtones next time I sync the phone?

  • pat

    I just followed rachel’s steps up above. I have added about 5 or 6 ringtones in the past, and just tried to add another.
    I have 8gb iphone 1.1.4 itunes 7.6.2 on leopard- powerbook…
    Everything works, including dragging the m4r to the “ringtones” pane…
    then I sync the phone (and have the selection to update all ringtones, I can even see it while it is syncing on my computer..) sync is complete.
    I check my phone, and my new ringtone is not there.
    hmmm.. any ideas?

  • JJ

    FINALLY GOT IT TO WORK. Key step is deleting the acc file in your library. Never did find that Ringtones folder til i actually got one in. Oh and drag the m4r directly into the ringtones tab in itunes that is also VERY important.

  • eden

    I’ve just got mine to work. For those who got the ringtone to your rington folder under your iphone but cannot see it in your iphone is because your ringtone needs to be only 30 seconds long. If it is longer than 30 seconds your iphone will not recognize it. So I suggest you undo all the steps above to checkout the youtube video “iPhone Ringtones free and easy without jailbreak”

    Good luck guys.

  • Foe

    I can get it in the Ringtones folder of iTunes, but it will not show up in the Ringtones folder under my iPhone. My iPhone is a 16Gb running on 1.1.4 and iTunes is version on Windows Vista, if that helps any. I have tried every variation I can think of in regards to demonstrated methods.

  • MiA

    I can’t get anything to work either…any help?!

    I’ve read over and over, and still nothing works.
    Version 1.1.4 for the phone, and version for ITunes.

    I converted the song to ACC
    Got info, Changed the length to 30 secs
    converted again to ACC
    copy to a ringtone folder on my desktop
    changed the name to m4a to m4r
    copied the file into ringtone folder in itunes
    changed the name to m4r to m4a
    relocated the file

    still, nothing on my phone. :o( I only have the ones I was suckered into buying~3, but I don’t want to buy anymore.


  • MiA

    both files are under 30 secs that I am trying…
    and I have deleted the ACC file from the main library, but not the song? Am I suppose to delete the song?

  • qu33nb33

    This is how it works for me. in Win XP with Itunes and 1.1.4 Iphone.
    1. I have edited the mp3 file to make sure it’s just around 30 seconds (can be a little more)
    2. In windows explorer I find the file and doubleclick it to open it in Itunes (Itunes has to be the default player for music files)for it to open right in Itunes.
    3. Then in Itunes, right click the song and select convert to AAC. It will convert the file and put it into a folder in your Itunes Music directory – I usually adjust the name of the song to say _ring at the end or something so I can find it.
    4. You’ve now got your m4a song in your Itunes directory in Windows Explorer.
    5. Copy the m4a file from the directory that it’s in into the Ringtones Directory (still in Windows Explorer) It never worked for me to drag it into the Ringtones in Itunes itself.
    6. Select the m4a file in the Ringtones Folder in Windows Explorer and change it to a m4r file. i.e. song_ring.m4a to song_ring.m4r
    7. Then, still in windows explorer just double click on your m4r file name and it will open it in Itunes IN the Ringtones folder.
    I hope this helps someone as none of the other posts worked for me either..I just kept messing with it until I got it..Now I’ve got all of my favorites as ringtones..I’m doing bunch more too, before the new 2.0 update in case this won’t work anymore!

  • MiA


    it won’t work still…I don’t know what to do! :(

    Thanks though!

  • MiA

    maybe it’s because I am mixing things, like I edit the file with itunes and don’t edit the mp3.

    Where can I find an mp3 editor?

  • MiA

    ok, so files are in my phone. In itunes, you can click on your “device” and look under ringtones, it shows that the ringtones are they, but when I look on my phone, only the 3 that I’ve purchased are there?! Any help?

  • qu33nb33

    I use the Creative (Soundblaster) Wav editor..which opens mp3 files so you can edit them and then save them again as mp3 files. It came on my computer..most of you that have speakers and sound cards will likely have something that was pre-installed, but if you do a search for any wave editor you should be fine. You want to crop the file down to the section of the song that you want and make sure it’s about 30 seconds or less. I have a few that are about 38 seconds and they have come through to my phone no problem.

    Mia Are you sure that you have those ringtones selected (checked off) or that you have sync ALL ringtones selected. it’s possible that the files are too long? I don’t think you can REALLY edit a file in Itunes.

  • Spidermulder


    I spent ages trying to follow various instructions. Got it to work and thought I would post what worked for me and it happens to be pretty much the same way as yours.

    1. Find MP3 selection and reduce to 40 or less seconds
    2. Double click shortened mp3 file to play in ITUNES
    3. In ITUNES Convert file to aac (right click)
    4. Locate aac (now m4a) File in EXPLORER (right click)
    6. In EXPLORER change file ext from m4a to m4r
    7. Double click file to appear in RINGTONES LIBRARY in ITUNES
    8. SYNCH and SYNCH again to be sure
    9. Eject IPHONE and check
    Main difference for me is that I did not have to change the file ext back to m4a from m4r, but do have to ensure you do not move or delete the original (shortened) mp3 file.

  • mizleadincutie

    Hi all,

    Ok so, this is where I am, I have my .MP3converted to .M4r, I changed it’s location to the Ringtone (Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Ringtones)folder, and it shows up on My devices under IPhone when I plug it in,and it’s there… the only thing is that it’s not showing up on my IPhone’s sounds? What am i doing wrong? help anyone?

  • tieTYT

    I’m stuck at the same part as mizleadincutie is. Is there a solution to this? My iphone version is 1.1.4

  • blueconcats

    I’m having the same problem as mizleadincutie and tieTYT as well.. what’s wrong?

  • blueconcats

    nevermind, the key to my problem was because i didn’t cut the song so that it was less than 40 seconds. After I cut the song shorter, I followed the same steps as above and had successfully synced my ringtones onto my iphone!

  • jodie-c

    hi! ive just bought an iphone and am tyrin to sort out some ringtones…am getting nowhere! the apple site says i can only use tunes which show the bell next to them….but out of all my purchased tunes none have the bell next to them! im not clued up with stuff like this….i have a windowsXP and iphone version 1.1.4….i want to be able to use songs i have already if poss but can’t make head/tail of what everyones been writing here! i don’t even know what m4r or AAC files are!! sorry! any help would be amazing thanks :)

  • Malcolm McCrae

    How do i change the name from a m4a to a m4r, i can’t get pass that step!!

  • Tony V

    I had similar troubles that a lot of others had reported. Here’s what I found. Following the directions provided by qu33nb33 (post 317) worked best. Originally, I had converted the mp3 using 3rd party software. *** USE iTunes TO CONVERT. ***

    I found that it shortened my original filename and removed any spaces. I’m not sure if the filename alone was the problem or the actual m4a format, but all worked fine once I did that.

  • Wyatt

    I can follow most of this but am getting hung up on the converting to an acc file in itunes. If I right click on the wav file (or any file for that matter in itunes) the only option I have is “Convert Selection to mp3″. The same is true if I go to the advanced. I am running itunes (on Widows XP)
    which was required to update to the 2.0 applications on my older version iphone.


  • cornelius

    Windows users, don’t bother with any of this. Just use this program:
    It does what you want, and it’s free!

  • TKO

    @Wyatt: iTunes is set to convert to one format in the preferences. Go to Edit -> Preferences, then look in the Advanced tab, and the Importing sub-tab. “Import Using..” lets you select the basic format, and from the stuff online I’ve read “Setting” should be set to “High Quality 128kbit”

    Once that’s done, your “Convert Selection to..” item in the context and Advanced menus will reflect your choice of format.

  • PKK

    I was able to convert them to ACC then rename them to .M4r and they show up under Ringtones in Itunes 7.7 but don’t sync with iphone 3G. Any idea?

  • radkins

    PKK.. I have the same problem. I can see the ringtone under the RingTones section of the main library. I do have the Sync option turned on for RingTones for my phone, but does not show any RingTones nor sync with the 3G.


  • Turbo Dav

    OK, for those who can get it to show up in the Ringtones folder etc etc, but just can’t get it to appear imn the Ringtones list on the iPhone, MAKE SURE you set the Album and Arsits. Don’t ask, but I just did that and whoosh, a new entry at the top, under Custom. Happy days

  • istarion

    I tried what the steps had followed, problem is: when it’s synced – I checked the ringtones; no sound D:

    It’s not even on silent mode. Any solutions?

  • Neesan

    Hi there

    I have Itunes version 7.7.1
    I followed the following steps
    1. On the iTunes program, Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced Tab -> make sure “Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized” is CHECKED -> make sure “Copy Files into iTunes Music Folder” is CHECKED. With the Importing tab, make sure the “Import using” is set to “AAC Encoder” -> click OK.
    2. Go to your iTunes FOLDER under My Music in Windows, then iTunes Music FOLDER. There should be a list of bands and artists. Keep clicking through the artist names and albums until you get to the song files.
    3. Click on Tools (at the top of the window) -> Folder Options -> View tab -> under Advanced Settings box, make sure “Hide Extensions for Known File Types” is UNCHECKED -> click OK. Close all windows and frames so that the only thing you have running is iTunes the program.
    4. Find the song in your library you want as your ringtone and highlight it -> Right-click -> Get info -> Options tab. Cut down the song to about 20 or 30 seconds (for example start time 0:00, stop time 0:30) -> click OK.
    5. With that particular song highlighted -> Right-click -> Convert selection to AAC. iTunes will convert that song and you’ll find that it has created the same song but in a 30-second form (or however much you reduced it by).
    6. Drag that 30-second song clip to your Desktop.
    7. The song on the desktop should be xxx.m4a. EDIT THE TAG to .m4r.
    8. MOST IMPORTANT PART! IN iTUNES, highlight BOTH the original song you picked AND the shortened version of that same song that we just created by converting the original song. HIGHLIGHT BOTH OF THEM (using the ctrl button) and press “delete” on your keyboard.
    9. iTunes will ask if you want to delete the selected song -> click on “Remove” -> click on “Keep Files”.
    10. At this point, whatever song you started with shouldn’t be in your iTunes library!
    11. Remember that file you placed on the desktop? You know, the one that reads xxx.m4r? Double-click on it. The song will start playing under your Ringtones folder in iTunes.

    But when I want to Sync there aren’t any songs that appear in the Sync list? They are in the ITunes ringigntones list though.

    • Luke

      Thank you Neesan, it worked :)

  • jo

    please help! i want to download ringtone into my iphone using my new mac but it don’t seem to work..

    previously when i first use on window it can still be done..

  • bboyagent

    TAHHH DAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    sync or manually add up to you!
    if it works send me a msg at

  • bboyagent


  • T

    I was able to create ringtones, I was successful in syncing them to my iphone, but it seems that I cannot put more than 2… anyone wiht that problem? Is there a way to put more of them? Thanks.

  • J

    how do i rename the file name using mac?

  • webb

    This works on the new version of I’m not able to make any ring tones or export the existing ones at all? Any TIPS, thank you!

  • webb

    Neesan: I followed your STEPS and everything works fine, but same problem towards the end. It shows in the ringtones (in iTunes) but not in my phone… Well’ll figure this out. Keep in touch! Or did you find out anything else?

  • webb

    Oh great, now there’s a new iTunes 8.0 and you can’t even convert your songs to AAC now. Apple is really pissing many of us NOW.

  • Asodo

    I used a program called tunebite to convert to AAC, then did the usual in version 8, works ok. The only problem I have now is I have 2 custom ringtones, different names, which it syncs it will put copies of one of them on the Iphone. If I delete one out of ringtones then the other syncs ok. Soon as you add another tone it syncs that over and removes the other tone, but you end up with 2 again with the same name.. bloody frustrating!

  • Geoff

    Post 337 worked perfect for me in iTunes version 8. Thanks Neesan!

  • ronfin

    Post 337 works perfectly for iTunes 8!

  • trey

    i have itunes 8 as well, and i followed the steps listed in post 337 and it still didn’t work. does it have anything to do with the fact that i’m using a pc

  • karen

    thanks to the gawd in post 337!!! after many hours trying a variety of options, none of which worked, your solution did…running itunes 8 and on a mac.

    for what it’s worth, for others still trying to make this work…one mistake i made originally was having the file size be too large. i’m not sure why, but the default was saving files in the 4.8mb range, and those wouldn’t play. nevertheless…using post 337, and remembering to do a second .aac conversion after i’d chosen the snippet i wanted, worked perfectly.

    thank you soooo much!

  • Ray

    337 works! Make sure that the song isn’t over 30 seconds (as says in 337).

  • Ray

    PS: Didn’t try 8.0.1 yet, don’t wanna mess it up, so if anyone tried it with 8.0.1, let us know.

  • Kat

    Thanks Guys! Took me a while but I got there. I tried everything and I’d get to a point and couldn’t go any further. In the end I downloaded, thanks Digit-AL, trimmed my file to 33 seconds and Wa La! Sooooo happy to be rid of the standard ringtones.

    A big thanks to everyone for all their effort!

  • Amber

    You know I have Windows Media Center and an 8gb iPhone. I wasn’t able to see the Ringtone folder either. So I had a sneaking suspicion that I’d have to BUY a ringtone, to force the program to create the folder. Which, it did. I was then able to drag .m4R files into my ringtone pane in iTunes and sync it perfectly.

    • Brandon

      very smart.

  • Phaze

    Mr 337, you are the man!

  • jen

    thx neesan!! worked for me yay!

  • nayblut

    i already have my old ring tong but i don’t know how to convert to my itune.

  • DaveH

    Completed everything OK up to file being in ringtones folder on iphone itself.
    Converted, created ringtones folder, the new tone shows in both folders in itunes (library and ringtones folder on phone) then when checking my iphone itself (settings, sounds, ringtone)I cannot find new ringtone – Anyone help, please this is driving me mad !!!

  • matt matt

    you could just make a 40 second track in garage band then go share and send ringtone to itunes

    • PC Repair Guy

      Kind of so obvious, can get overlooked eh.
      Thanks for the tip. Works beautifully.

  • harry hardon

    It works on itunes 8.0.2. you beauty!!

  • Joe

    Just a quick question everyone…

    I’m a complete technophobe, and my son is currently helping me to sort this iPhone problem. How exactly do I change the “m4a” file to “m4r”??

    Thanks in advance

  • Joe


    I didn’t check the “Do not hide known file extensions”, I’m a fool, haha.

    To poster 337: Thank you very much sir, you’ve made my day.


  • Si

    337 Post works fine for me on Itunes 8.02 and Software 2.2 on Iphone-Thanks very much!
    Sad I know but I wanted my Nokia Ringtone on the I Phone lol


  • Keith

    To poster 337 Thank you so much, It works perfectly on my PC with the latest itunes software. Thank you again you are a legend!!!!

  • David

    337 works, and I see the song under my iphone ringtones folder on itunes, but it is greyed out, not selectable in itunes nor in my settings–ringtones folder on the phone.

    • Newbiew

      David,even i’m facing the same problem.How did you solve it? Thanks

  • Stasie

    How do I change it BACK to m4a, does it need to go to the desktop again?

    Please advise

  • Dave Robbo

    i have this woring fine but as soon as i add a ringtone to the iphone it deletes all of my music files and i have to reisync, is there a reason for this??


  • Vicki


    Dont know if anyone can help but all of this seems to work on my mates computer but on mine the ‘.m4a’ at the end of the file name isnt showing up so i can’t change it to m4r. Does anyone know how i can get round this??

  • Kendall

    Alright this is kinda tricky, BUT I got about 3 ringtones on my iPhone in about 5 min. using iTunes 8. Ok, first off you’re gonna need some type of program where you can clip the song down to about 20-30 sec. Convert it to .wav. Next, download a program called FormatFactory and it SHOULD have the .m4r extension on the side. Last, pull up iTunes and on the side you should see ‘ringtones’ with a gold/brown bell icon next to it; click it once. Slide the .m4r file over from where ever you saved it and sync. No problems. Oh yeah I’m using Windows Vista.

  • ed

    Cell Phone Ringing ringtone is awesome. But due to a corrupt file I had to restone my iphone yesterday. As of 3/23/09 I am using the latest version of iphone and itunes. Cell Phone Ringing has worked with all iphone version including 2.2.1. However, it apparently does not work with the latest itunes version 8. The ringtone appears and plays under itunes ringtone folder and appears in the iphone ringtone folder in itunes but will not sync to the phone. There is no error just no ringtone. Any ideas? Thanks, –Ed

  • ed

    CORRECTED: See [[ ]]. Cell Phone Ringing ringtone is awesome. But due to a corrupt file I had to restore my iphone yesterday. As of 3/23/09 I am using the latest version of iphone and itunes. Cell Phone Ringing has worked with all iphone version including 2.2.1. However, it apparently does not work with the latest itunes version 8 [[when sync’ing to an iphone that has already sync’ed with itunes running version 8]]. The ringtone appears and plays under itunes ringtone folder and appears in the iphone ringtone folder in itunes but will not sync to the iphone. There is no error just no ringtone. Any ideas? Thanks, –Ed

  • PJ

    I realized that the ringtone has to be under 40 seconds to sync with iPhone (iTunes 8.1, iPhone OS 2.2.1)

  • Jango

    This is very frustrating. I just bought a new iPhone 3GS and am working on a year old iMac. I have the clip, it’s less than 30 seconds (8 to be precise) and it shows up in itunes but I can not get it to go to the Ringtones folder. I have changed the file extension to .m4r on my desktop and double clicked, it DOES NOT go to the Ringtones folder, which remains empty. Nor can I drag it to the Ringtones folder, nothing happens.

  • Susanne

    Hi, I just worked it out with iPhone 3GS and iTunes 8.2. The following way (very similar to above, but you can leave tones as a4r) is working very fine – this also explains how to cut the bit out of the sound file you want:
    Only thing to look at though – the file should be short. It works with 15 sec. duration, but with 1:30 it did not work (not sure what the limit is)

  • Ringtones Guy

    It works for me!!! Many thanks.

  • Matt

    I want to reiterate that Susanne’s link ( will work for iPhone 3Gs and the latest itunes (8.0 i think). Also, VERY easy and you don’t need to download any other software or use a jailbreak.

  • Hyrcan

    Renaming to m4r and dropping back into iTunes did the trick in iTunes 9 and os 3.1

  • me

    i can’t change ‘m4a’ to ‘m4r’. anyone can help me?

  • John Dondapati

    Try this for creating a m4r ringtone from any format.

  • Crystal

    Hi wellthis is all good but the m4r thing doesn’t come up at all when i acc it and put it on my desktop it just say the name of the song no extention and if i click on properties then under file type it says MPEG-4 and doesn’t let me change ???

  • blah

    I’m not sure if I’m the only one that would make this stupid mistake, but maybe it helps someone:

    Copying the ringtones over didn’t seem to work because I tried to move the ringtones directly into the ringtone folder. Dragging and dropping them on the Iphone symbol worked though.

  • Nick

    This method does not work. I been trying this for 3 hours, I drag and drop the ring tone, but it’s and it says it’s transferring to the iPhone, but when I got try to set the ring tone, nothing is there.

    I really don’t understand how this is working for everyone else but me.

    Apple Sucks.

    • Naresha

      I’m really sorry Nick. I’ve been trying for weeks on and off to sort out this ringtone issue :( finally this method was the only one that worked for me (after following the create aac – change file extension, drag into itunes etc). Once the song is in the ringtones folder, changing the extension back to m4a was the only way to get the ringtone to sync in to my iphone

  • Makal

    I am using itunes and i have windows 7. Are any of these tips useful for getting ringtones for this version?

  • Brinked

    If your goal is to get free ringtones, check out Brinked. The #1 spot on the internet to get free ringtones.

  • Naresha

    Thank you!!! Changing the file format back to .m4a has now put the custom ringtone in to my iphone!!! finally someone had the brains to post the right suggestion for this issue!!!

  • Caitao_kueh39

    HI is there anyway to get new ringtones without syncing your whole iphone?

  • Treeent’

    i cant get it to work at all

  • Brandon Downs

    I get mine at Brinked

  • Lolitalala

    If you want to create and download your mobile ringtone by yourself consider much easier way with
    good luck!

  • Ian Saliba-Curtis

    I’ve been pulling my hair out with this! Can’t add much except that if the file has been extensively edited and – at some point – a sampe rate higher than 41000 was ever used (as I do in Wavepad) it doesn’t seem to matter what you do, you always get a “…cannot be played…” error in iTunes. I transfered the same file as a .m4a “music” file and the iPhone played it perfectly! Another several million reasons why I need to develop my own iPhone ‘everything’ manager. Apple need to consider this; if iTunes can play the original .m4a file and the iPhone can do the same – HOW (on what criteria) is iTunes determining that the phone can’t play the .m4r file? Maybe they should just accept what everyone has been saying for ages now – iTunes belongs on the tip! It’s a nightmare!