iPadiPhoneTips & How-to

How To Create Ringtone for iPhone on iTunes 10

September 6, 2010 — by Simon Ng971


iPadiPhoneTips & How-to

How To Create Ringtone for iPhone on iTunes 10

September 6, 2010 — by Simon Ng971

With the debut of iTunes 10, it is widely reported that Apple has removed the “create your own ringtone” feature. The feature was first introduced in 2007 after the launch of the original iPhone. It allows iPhone users to create custom ringtone from a track purchased from the iTunes store for $0.99.

As MacLife realized, the feature is still found on iTunes 9.2.1 but is no longer built into iTunes 10. For ringtone fanatics, don’t worry. You can still use a manual method to create custom ringtone for your iPhone using iTunes 10. And, most importantly, it is completely free.

If you want to create your own ringtone for iPhone, simply follow the step-by-step procedures. As I am a Mac user, the guide is written particularly for Mac user. That said, it should also work for those using Windows. I have highlighted the difference (if any) so Windows user can also follow.

What if you are using the older version of iTunes (say, iTunes 9)? Despite the guide is specifically written for iTunes 10 user, you can also follow it to create ringtone on older iTunes version. The procedures are very similar.

Okay, let’s get started.

Step by Step Procedures to Create Free Ringtone on iTunes 10

1. Launch iTunes and pick a song you want to convert to ringtone

2. Right-click on the song and click “Get Info” to view the song properties

3. Select “Options” tab. Check and fill in the “Start time” and “Stop time” to extract the portion of song you want to create as ringtone. Ensure the length is not longer than 30 seconds. Otherwise, iTunes will not recognize it as a ringtone. When you are ready, click “OK” to confirm.

4. Again, right-click on the song and select “Create ACC Version”.

5. iTunes then automatically extracts the portion of song you have instructed in the previous step. The new song file is just 30-sec in length. That’s the song you work on from step 6 and onwards.

6. Next, right-click on the song and select “Show in Finder”. This will launch Finder and locate the song file you just created.

Note: For Windows user, you should choose “Show in Windows Explorer” instead.

7. Rename the file extension from “.m4a” to “.m4r”.

8. Next, go back to iTunes. Right-click on the song you have created and select “Delete”.

9. Click “Remove” to confirm the removal and then click “Keep File” when you’re prompted. This instructs iTunes to remove the song (the 30 sec version) from iTunes library and keep the actual file.

10. Go back to Finder and double-click on the ringtone file (.m4r) you have just renamed. The ringtone will automatically add it to iTunes’ ringtone library. You can now sync it to iPhone using iTunes. Enjoy your new ringtone!

Does the procedures work for you? In case you have any problem, feel free to leave us comment.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

  • slah

    hi simon,

    i was wondering if you could help me out with this one.
    i dont get the option to create an aac version.
    i do get an option to create an mp3 version though.
    but when i do and change it to m4r. it does not show
    up in itunes when i add it or drag it in.

    • Danny

      This has always looked at what your default import options are set to. Change that value in options, and you will see that new value show up when you click on the file.

      • K-la

        Hi, I too am stuck here. Could you be more specific where exactly I can change this option?

        • Jason


          Under the General tab, there’s a section in the middle that says “When you insert a CD” Beside the drop down box there’s an Import Settings… box. Click it. Under Import Using, choose AAC Encoder. Setting: use iTunes Plus. Then OK twice. Then when you right click, the option will say AAC instead of MP3.

          • cinder.

            Jason –

            SO AWESOME! Thank you! When I updated to the latest iTunes it removed all of the ringtones that I had created using the same exact method described above. When I tried remaking them I was faced with the “Create MP3” option instead of the AAC option.. I just figured Apple caught on and made an irreversible update. THANK YOU so much for letting me know that it’s simply an option I had to update on the Preferences tab.

            Many, many thanks!!

          • Kenneth Corber

            I have my options set to choos AAC encoder, but I do not get either option (MP3 or AAC) when I right-click on the song.

          • shanna

            THANK YOU JASON

          • Emma

            When I tried to put the AAC Encoder setting on there is ony one ok I can click, so it never saves. It always just goes back to MP3…what do I do?

            • Drake

              Youve gotta change that in settings

          • poshe

            This was the most useful piece of info that i’ve been looking for for the whole day! Thank you, Jason!

          • once i have made my new ring tone and changed the format to 1.m4r and put it back into my Itunes music page tones doesn’t appear in the top left coner this is the first time that I am doing this help

      • Teresa Phan

        im so lost when it got to the .m4a to .4mr because i have a windows and idk i made the section of the song i wanted but then my ringtone is still under mpeg-4 and idk what import settings and all that stuff is. HELP PLEASE

        • Brett

          I had this problem to. After hours of frustration, I found this to work. When you move the file to windows explorer, go to tools >folder options. Click the view tab. Uncheck the box that says “Hide extensions for known file types.” After I did that, I had success

          • after

            it did work, cheers …

            • Brenda

              now my question is, how do you set the ringtone to play when someone calls you?

              • Bob

                Brenda, Goto settings on your iPhone, then sounds, and select the ringtone sound you want! 🙂

              • dave lynn

                go to contacts, choose your contact, then edit, then choose ringtone

          • HoboJonesy

            AWESOME again! I also got caught up at the move to Windows Explorer…the “uncheck hidden extensions” worked awesome!

          • I finally got the extensions changed but, now when i go to I tunes to the delete portion I don’t have that option I have:
            Uncheck Selection

            The delete option is missing.

            • Avril

              Hi Rose,
              I think you can not see the delete option because you are in the recently added rather than the music?
              Hope this works

          • Julia

            THANK YOU!

          • Angel

            I had this same problem and saw your comment, used your method and it helped! Thanks so much:) I have been at this for an hour! lol

          • apm

            Where exactly do you look for tools? on itunes or the windows explorer?

          • Vickie

            I had the same problem. Thank you so much for the solution.

          • Taysianichole

            Where is tools?

          • Brett’s idea worked for me!!!!!!

          • Candice

            Help!! I have opened the explore part but dont know where the tools part is, all I want to do is change the A to a R

          • cmbro

            Thank you for the tip!! This worked for me!

          • Jade

            where can I find Tools ? Is it on Itunes ? or Window Explorer ?

          • Once I unchecked the box to stop hidiing extensions for known file types. BAM. Thank you!!!!!

          • sam

            This did not work for me. I don’t have anything that says tools in the window

          • Carly J

            THANK YOU!!!! I was going NUTS trying to figure this out!

          • Jamie

            THANK YOU!!

      • Diego


        Step 6.5: In “Windows Explorer”, click “Organize” on the menu bar, and there is a button called “Folder and search options”.
        You basically want to unhide the extension name for the files.
        Go to “View” and UNCHECK “Hide extensions for known file types”. Then you will see “Yoursongname.m4a” instead of “Yoursongname”.

        Continue on with step 7, rename the “Yoursongname.m4a” to “Yoursongname.m4r”.


        Hope this helps!!!

        • amaiz

          hye thanks Deigo, it really help me

      • kenza

        why my itunes did exist ringtone in my library?

    • Michele

      Hi there! Thanks so much for this information! GREAT INSTRUCTIONS! Only one issue… The last step (#10) doesn’t seem to work for me. I can’t get the file to show up in my ringtones! What am I doing wrong?

      • april

        I had the same problem – got through all steps but it will not add to my ringotnes list – can anyone give me some advice on how to add it now that I have created it?

        • Nabby

          Make sure under Preferences -> Advanced you have it checked to let iTunes keep your music organized and to copy it into the library. That seemed to work for me.

          • Julie

            On a PC, got the ringtones extension changed and added back to iTunes, but can’t get them into ringtones. Tried the Preference advice. Mine was already set that way.

            • quinton

              just change the file extension to m4r and double click (while in windows)

              • anon –

                HI im having trouble changing the file type to an m4r, ive tried renaming the file and it does not work. 🙁

          • joshua

            I had this same problem but this fix (Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> check “Keep iTunes Media folder organized then “OK”) worked great. A quick sync and the tone is on my phone.

            • maureen

              after following the instructions and checking every step (including this one) over and over, i’m not having any success. am i looking for the ringtone in the wrong place, maybe? it’s in my “music”, but not in my “sounds”. any other suggestions?

            • I have a mac and I cannot figure out how to rename the file extension from m4a.

              • Bob

                Carol, I’ve noticed most people having trouble are pc users (go figure). Unless I’m missing something, your problem is too simple. In step 7 of the good instructions, just click once on the file name. It should become ‘selected’. Now put the cursor right behind the “a” in m4a and do one backspace (delete), then type an “r”. Click out of the file name and BINGO … You’ve changed the extension to .m4r

          • Bryan

            That worked, thanks Nabby! 🙂

      • Padmaja

        i have got the same problem.. 🙁

        • tracey harper

          me too – any ideas?


          The problem is likely not iTunes! In the window where your file is saved, select TOOLS > FOLDER OPTIONS and click on the VIEW tab. Scroll down in Advanced Settings until you see “Hide extensions for known file types”. Make sure that is unchecked and hit apply! File types should now show and your file is likely named “(Name of file).m4r.m4r”! When you tried to rename it for the file type, it just added to the name without actually changing the type! make sure there’s only one .4r (just like any other ringtones you might have in the folder!) and double click it when you’re done. It should open in Ringtones now.

          If you want to turn off the file extensions from showing, you can go to that same setting and recheck the box!

          Hope that helps 🙂

      • April

        The same thing is happening to me. I managed to only test trial one ringtone and it worked, but when I tried to make another one, none of them managed to show up in the ringtone section, i even tried to copy and paste them but they disappear. HELP!

        • Seetharam

          The ringtones show up on my mac but i cant find them in my iphone 4s under sounds > ringtones.. so how can i set my custom made tone as my ring tone??

      • Jen

        I’m as well unable to get the last step to work! Please Help!!!

      • David

        I had the same problem, the newly created ringtones were not showing up on my iPhone 4s after synching. I opened “tones” in itunes and then manually dragged and dropped the new tones to my iPhone, and this solved the problem.

        • Spencer4hire

          Thanks David,
          That worked for me. DRAG and DROP….

    • eddz

      i tried the steps mentioned above,but when i sync my iphone ringtones,none of the ringtones appear(in my iphone so i can set as a ringtone).i really need some help on this

      • Al

        Try making sure that in the ringtone section when you plug your phone in you have the “sync all ringtones” checked instead of “sync selected”. had the same problem till I realized what it was doing

        • Shecal

          I chose “sync all rigtones” and the sync semmed work, but my ringtone did not appeared in my iphone. What more should I do?

        • Shecal

          I chose “sync all rigtones” and the sync seemed work, but my ringtone did not appeared in my iphone. What more should I do?

        • mrstella

          Thanks for this suggestion. I synced but the new ringtone wasn’t on the phone. I made the sync option change as you suggested and synced again. Now it is on my iPhone. Thanks.

          • Dave Bennett

            Where did you find this sync option? I cannot find any reference to ringtones at all on my Mac’s iTune’s iPhone sync page.

        • Gina

          When I go to my iphone settings on the the computer and try to check sync ringtones, it tells me that all of my music on the iphone will be deleted if I choose to sync the ringtones… Help?!

        • Alex

          My computer won’t even show a ringtones option for my iPhone. I have the tones tab in my library but not for my phone, any ideas?

        • Little Teeth

          Thank you! This was such a simple step that caused so much stress because I overlooked it. Thank you thank you thank you!

        • Noelle

          Oh, thank you! This is what I was doing wrong!

        • Heather

          This advice worked for me. I hadn’t noticed that there was a separate “tones” sync button. Clicked it and it worked like a charm. Thank you!

      • andrea

        eddz , i face the same problem too !

      • Spins

        I noticed that in itunes under DEVICES/RINGTONES when I had me phone hooked up,that the ringtone would not play, however it did play in LIBRARY/RINGTONES. So I deleted the ringtone in devices and drug the peice from Library into the devices, synced and Bay-yam! there it was. Happy Days

        • Priscilla

          This worked for me! Thank you! I upgraded my iPhone4 software and had lost my custom ringtone. I had spent hours trying to get it back, searching for solutions all over the internet, and it wasn’t until I did what you suggested that the ringtone finally returned to my iPhone. Thanks again!

        • Claudia

          Thank you! That worked for me 🙂

        • WhoMe?

          This worked for me, too! (After I’d run all my software updates on my Mac and officially “set up” my iPhone). The ringtone has to be in “Devices/Tones.” Thank you!

        • Helious

          this work for me too. need to put the .m4r inside the library first then drag to device yes. thank you.

        • Michelle

          Great advise! I was having problems in having the ringtone reflect on the phone! Thanks!

        • jose

          This trick works! Finally, thank you for sharing.

      • Parkeso

        Hey I found out that if the “tones” tab isnt in your itunes, you have to turn it on through preferences. Once you do that, you have to go through the steps that are mentioned above. Make sure that you dont have an already created ringtone of the same song. Delete the ringtones that appear in the regular library. Then do those steps and it will appear in the “tones” tab. Then sync it to your phone and you will have it available to use as a ringtone! =)

    • BobdaBuilder

      It should show up in your ringtones folder in the Itunes interface

      • Christy

        I’m having the same problem. It does show up on iTunes under my phone, but not on the phone itself. Another link said it should show up under ringtones/custom, but it doesn’t. I’ve synched repeatedly, unchecked, rechecked, re-synched, shut down, powered up, re-synched…nothing.

        Full disclosure – I’m new to iPhones and just got this one 2 days ago.

        • Amelia

          I am also having the problem where it shows up in Ringtones on my iTunes, but not in my phone. I used this method before with an iPhone 4 and it worked just fine, but I just got a new iPhone 4 and it won’t work now. Ideas??

        • T-bomb

          I had the same issue, not sure if it was covered already, but I had used exactly 30 seconds, I changed it to 28 seconds, and now it shows up in my ringtones on my phone…so something to try at least

          • Carola

            Worked for me. Thanks!

          • Helen

            Thankyou to all help… i’ve had hours trying to get a song as a ringtone. Changing to 28 secs finally sync -ed to give a custom ringtone.

            i”m very grateful!

          • Justyna

            After several trials, indeed that was about the length… 29 sec solved the problem of not-syncing. Thank you!

          • Wendy

            that did the trick for me too. even though the ringtone came up in the tones folder on itunes it did not show up on my list of ringtones on my phone. i changed the end time to 28 sec and it worked! thank you!!!!

      • Julie

        It doesn’t

    • Tiah

      this happens for me aswell. its really annoying

    • You have to change your import settings. CD import settings can be changed between AAC and .mp3. After you change your import settings then you can see the “Create mp3” or “Create AAC” in the drop down menu.

      • dennis

        my problem is that when i click on AAC (or mp3), a window says that i cannot convert the song since it is “protected.”

        i have no idea what this means, aside from the obvious fact that i cant create ringtones.

        since i am not particularly literate on these things, would someone please let me know how to proceed.


    • Ben

      I could only get convert to aiff file. After a bit of searching, I found that you need to change the itune setting. As listed in this link. http://www.creationrobot.com/2005/04/convert-mp3-to-aac-easily/
      After that, it will allow you to convert to aac. Good luck!

    • Ahadeki99

      The instructions worked perfectly. The major 🙁 problem I had is that the songs I converted are ruined. They play for exactly 30 seconds and stop on my iTunes and my iPhone. Howevere I synced one of them with my blackberry and it played well. Help!

      • Heynertch

        Just right-click on the ruined song in iTunes, then get info, options and unchecked the start and stop time that you had previously set.

    • purepr

      This worked for me: Deleted from both iphone and itunes the custom m4r tone I originally created. In Windows, shortened the m4r file name to 18 letters. Dragged the file back into the itunes library and did another sync. Success, but not sure why.

    • Wei Hao

      Hey Simon, wonder if this website is still visited by you, but I’ve problem creating this.
      I’ve done all the procedures, but when I right click on the AAC version of the song, I clicked ‘Show in Window Explorer’ and the song I wanted came out in a new folder, but its still the same name, not in .M4R or anything. So I rename it to ___.M4R and when I did, I went to itunes and deleted the AAC version of song and double click the one showed on the folder but it doesn’t appear as ringtones. It appeared as a normal songs in itunes. How? I need help.

      • melinda

        In windows 7 it does not allow us to change the extension type. I have tried as well and no luck.

        • Charles Bash

          That’s curious melinda. I made my ringtones using Windows 7! I think the problem is that you have extensions of known file types hidden. See comments elsewhere in this chain on how to show extensions.

          • Manhster

            Thanks Charles bash!!

            Showing the extensions fixed the problem, now I can change it to (.m4r)

          • David

            Charles…thank you…I knew it had to be something simple

        • Oliver

          you can change the file extension, search “show file extension” and click “show or hide file extensions” then uncheck the box labelled “hide extensions for known file types” now you can just rename the file with the new extension

      • nikhil

        i having same problem if u find such solution then tell me….

    • savy

      i get the same problem whay did u do to solve this prolem pls help ?

    • savy

      i get the same problem what did u do to solve this prolem pls help ?

    • kiwi

      Hey slash, actually it’s because your import preferences are set to mp3, what you need to do is go to your preferences (itunes menu=>preferences) in the “general” tab; then click on “import settings” and set it to “AAC encoder”.

    • steve

      I am a Windows user and have the latest version download of iTunes. I cannot find a general tab to change mp3 to aac. Can anyone assist me. I am totally lost in the whole procedure. Thanks!

    • Diego


      Step 6.5: In “Windows Explorer”, click “Organize” on the menu bar, and there is a button called “Folder and search options”.
      You basically want to unhide the extension name for the files.
      Go to “View” and UNCHECK “Hide extensions for known file types”. Then you will see “Yoursongname.m4a” instead of “Yoursongname”.

      Continue on with step 7, rename the “Yoursongname.m4a” to “Yoursongname.m4r”.


      Hope this helps.

  • Diablo

    You are the man Simon I have iTunes 10 and a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 4 and all is working perfectly, thank you and keep the excellent work

  • Good info to help to create free ringtone.

    How about making one iPhone app to do that ?

    • @Forrest,

      You can check out the earlier review of Ringtone Designer Pro. Let me know if the app works for you.

      • Savy


        after follow step by step of your ringtonr procedure it working good. but the problem is when somesbody call me they don’t hear the ringtone the i create only myself hear that .do you have any idea what wrong with it pls help?


        • Crystal

          your creating a ringtone not a play back tone so the person calling you is not suppose to hear the music. You want an answer tone where the person calling you can hear music call your cell company

  • hakiem

    fantastic!! thanks for very straight forward tutorial.
    works like charm =)

  • Jim Gardner

    Great tutorial. Very new to iphone4,
    I am using window vista, when I rename the file with the extension it works, but when you look up the properties of the file the m4a is still in the name. Windows does not show the file extension and I cannot seem to find how to view them in any format.
    I assume if this is not working then when I double click it it goes back into Music folder in itune, I do not have a ringtones folder in my library. ??

    • Emily

      I’m not sure why it still says m4a, I’m having the same problem…but I can tell you about the ringtones folder not being there cause mine disappeared too…go to edit then preferences (it should open up to the general tab) then click on the Ringtones box and click ok and it will show up

      • Jill

        Thank you Emily!! I couldn’t find my ringtones folder

    • Victoria

      I am having the same issue. Also in Vista. No matter how many different ways I try, it won’t change to M4R. Just renames it rather than changing the format. So when I double click, it still just adds it back as the clipped M4A.

      • Heather

        I have the same problem Victoria. Did you ever figure out how to change the format? I haven’t found any guidance on this issue yet, but will keep wondering through this blog…

      • KatieAnn

        You need to change your file settings to show commonly used file extensions (control panel in ewey-GUI win vista n 7). Then you can see n edit the extension. Otherwise your pc thinks the .m4r is still part of the file name.

        Also, do you have admin rights on your PC to modify & delete files? (right click folder to see properties) I’m assuming you do – usually ppl do by default n that one is removed specifically rather than not given @ the start, but depending on where the file is located (I.e. folder in a network?) you need not only read, but also write access.

        Just some thoughts for whats going on there. If you don’t have write access in THAT folder, try copying to another loc (like desktop), then rename, then copy n paste new file back in. Clearly if you got to the step b4 that you can create/add files, so this is a possible alternative.

        But based on your description I’m guessing it’s the file extensions issue I mentioned first. Should be quick n easy once u have file ext showing.

  • gina

    After doing everything, I dbl click on file and it does not show in my ringtone file. I have a MacBook Pro and the itunes 10 version. What am I doing wrong?

    • @Gina,

      Make sure you have changed the file extension to .m4r. If double-click does not work for you, you can choose “File” -> “Add to Library…” in iTunes and select the ringtone file to add it into the library.

      • BJ

        Hi Simon,

        Thanks for all your information – I have itunes10 and iphone4. After doing everything you suggested… m4r etc…and ensuring that ringtone is enabled in preferences, I still cannot get it into the ringtones folder on the iphone. These are ringtones I have purchased through itunes!

      • stig

        My problem is that when I synchronize I am told that it can’t because the ringtone is too long, – even if its only 15 seconds?

      • CQ

        I did get to do all the changes but neither double clicking or adding manually to the tone library won’t work 🙁
        It’s doesn’t do anything!

        • RM

          Same problem CQ. I am at a loss.

  • Jim Gardner

    All good – found where to change view options to get ringtones to display. Changed my setting in MY COMPUTER to show file extensions. All works well, THANKS.

    • Heather

      Jim, Thanks so much for that advice!! Everything was going smoothly, but I didn’t know how to get the file extensions to show in Windows. As soon as I got that straightened out, everything continued on like clockwork!

  • wes

    gina….I’m a Windows Vista user and I had the same problem. In order for me to get it to show up in iTunes you can go to File->Add File to Library and navigate to the file location in step 7 above. I got it to show up after manually adding the file.

    • Kelsey

      thank you wes you were so much help!!

  • Jim

    Everything works fine in Windows 7 up to point where you add it to the iTunes library. I doesn’t add to the library and you can sync it to the iPhone.

  • David

    Hey thanks simon, worked great. Now if I just could convert some of the songs I purchased from iTunes to ringtones.

  • Try Unlim Tones, it saves the ringtone to your iPhone in the app and also (my fab feature) allows you to use the ring tone as your text alert. This to me is the best ring tone app out there, you can dowload tones as well as customize any song in your itunes library

    • Tara

      I can’t seem to find this app…can you give me more info on it

    • Tara

      I can’t seem to find this app Unlim Tones…can you give me more info on it

  • Pingback: Lowest Prices on iPhone Stuff » Post Topic » Create Custom iPhone Ringtone with Ringbuilder()

  • Sharon

    Hi Simon, I have a problem. After I click on “Show in Finder”, I see 2 files — 1 with an AIF extension name and the other with MP3. I changed the AIF into m4r but when I double-click it, nothing happens.

    Please help! Thanks in advance!

    • @Sharon,

      I suggest you to go through the procedures again. There should be a file with .m4a extension created.

      In case you still have problem, I suggest you to try out Ringbuilder which allows you to create the ringtone on iPhone.

      • Terina-Lee

        This happened to me too, there’s no ‘create AAC Version’ anymore, it’s now ‘Create AIFF Version’

  • Pingback: Create Custom iPhone Ringtone with Ringbuilder | Technology Blog()

  • Aisling

    I can’t even get past step 3! When i try to change the length of the song, it keeps defaulting back to the full length.

    • Deb

      I have the same problem… I did several months ago and it worked. Now the time won’t stay. I don’t know what is going on or if they changed something in the program

  • Alice

    Hi Simon, It works. Awesome!

    Mac, iTunes and iPhone…Thanks for your straightforward, simple and clear way of explaining ringtone making…


  • David

    Aisling, make sure you check the boxes beside the start and finish times and then click okay.

  • Orko

    On Itunes I have 5 different custom ringtones (I followed Simon steps), after sync I do have the 5 custom ringtones listed on the iphone on itunes but then I can find only 1 on the iphone, how can have the 5 on the iphone?

    • Eric

      I have the same issue. I have several custom ringtones, but my iPhone 3GS only lets one play. The others show up under edit, but when I click save, Marimba is selected. I am on iOS 4.1 and iTunes 10.

  • Stefanie


    Can i check why my iTunes 10 do not have the ringtones category ? What’s go wrong ?
    So once i create a ringtones it will be added to the music cat which is not correct as the ringtone will not appear in my iphone 4

    • @Stefanie,

      You can check out this post about how you can enable ringtones library in iTunes 10.

  • Boism

    in my itunes 10 doesnt have the ringtones category, can you show me the way to create it?

    • @Boism,

      You can check out this post about how to enable ringtones library.

  • ed

    theres no create a ACC version optionin my itunes, just MP3 version option…..

    • @ed,

      Try to go to “preferences” -> “import settings”. Change your import format to “AAC Encoder”. Then you can convert any current song to AAC.

  • jbrown

    Diligently followed insturctions (5 times; ugh) I do not show the tone in ringtone folder on Itunes.

    • @jbrown,

      Probably you haven’t enabled ringtones in iTunes. You can check out this post for the resolution.

  • jbrown

    I should have mentioned the ringtone does show up in the “music” folder of itunes. The rigtotne itslef is one my iphone, in the ringbuilder app, but not in the ringtone folder of settings on iphone.

  • jbrown

    Simon – Thanks for the response. I do have rignotnes enalbes. It seems the problem is in the “Click “Remove” to confirm the removal and then click “Keep File” when you’re prompted. This instructs iTunes to remove the song (the 30 sec version) from iTunes library and keep the actual file.” part. The window I get (windows 7) ask to remove to the recycle bin, and does not ask to save the file. I delete the original and save the new one, then nothing happens opther than it plays in itunes when I double click it. Thanks

  • Babs Jordan

    After step 5 … adds 30 sec song to my RECENTLY ADDED folder.
    Found it there .. launched Win Exp to find song on step 6. For step 7 – I do not see an option to change to .m4r file.
    So I am stuck there ..
    However, on to step 8 .. I also do not have ‘delete’ function when I right click on song.

  • John

    Have you heard about Ringbuilder ? It’s an easier way to create ringtones on iPhone, try it here : http://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/ringbuilder-creer-vos-sonneries/id388838108?mt=8 Oh I forgot, you can share your ringtones thanks to this app 😀

    • Thanks, John. I have already covered Ringbuilder earlier. You can find the review here and here.

  • Alex

    Hey i have a problem i was hoping someone could help me with

    I trimmed the original song, created an AAC version, showed it in Windows Explorer, but when i clicked it twice in a slow interval to rename it to .m4r it didnt change the file type, and when i double clicked it it just played as an MPEG-4.

    • sbruno10

      I had the same problem. anyone know how to fix it?

  • kevin Then


    the procedure just doesn’t work in my itunes 10, i have follow all the procedure and success to get my file change to m4r but my itunes 10 doesn’t accept for import the file to the library from my mac book pro or my imac, any solution thanks

  • jbrown

    Simon – Tried againand it worked this time. thanks a lot

  • Kevin then

    Hi, it Still doesn’t work on my iTunes 10

  • Reid

    i have done everything you said but i cant figure out how to change the file extention to a .m4r
    how do you change the file and not just the name of the song?

    • @Reid,

      If you have problem with the method described in this article, you can try out Ringbuilder that automates the creation of custom ringtone.

  • Tiffany

    I used the free app RingMaker and it will automatically make your songs into m4r files. The only problem I’m hitting is that iTunes 10 does not want to import the songs into my rintone folder. I’ve tried dragging the files into the folder, importing the library, and importing the songs individually. I even uninstalled and re-installed iTunes to no avail. Why isn’t iTunes acknowledging my m4r files?

    • Lynn

      I’m having the same problem! I even tried making them manually as explained in the article above, but it’s still the same problem. iTunes won’t acknowledge my .m4r files as a ringtone.

      • @Lynn,

        In case this method doesn’t work for you, I suggest you to try out RingBuilder. It offers a better way to create custom ringtone.

        • samz

          All my original ringtones are in Itunes on my computer in ringbuilder, but there is no ringtone any more on the left hand side where apps, radio etc are when I open itunes. I can’t get figure out where I can upload them as it doesn’t give option down at the bottom of the page under apps like before

  • Mark Santos

    Hi. when I go to the finder to rename the file mo .m4r, there’s no rename option when i control click it.

  • Brilliant! I couldn’t figure out how to get iTunes 10 to actually see the files. This solution worked perfectly. Thanks!

  • Teddy

    ummm. my show finder says show in windows explorer. After that it shows the song, but when i click on it to rename it it doesn’t show the m4a part at the end for me to change it. Please help me out. I use to do this before, but ever since i changed my pc. It just doesn’t go through.

  • Thomas

    Why is it my iTunes was not able to find the Ringtones setting?

    • @Thomas,

      You need to enable it in preference. Check out this post for details.

  • mot

    Thx for great tutorial. I am having similar problems with adding ringtones to my Ringtone folder in iTune10. I even used Ringtone Pro to create the ringtone. Uploaded it to my computer (m4r) format. However, when I click on it, it does not show in the Ringtone folder and when I try to add it manually it does not work either!!!!!!! Any ideas. It is driving me crazy. I am on widows vista.


  • Jerry


    I have followed these steps in the past and it worked like a charm. Something happened, I am not sure what, and all my custom ringtones went away. I followed these steps again; everything seems to work except when I got to change the ringtone on the phone, it does not show up. It is in the ringtones section of iTunes, but not on the iPhone. Any suggestions?

    iPhone 3GS, OS 4.1 iTunes Windows XP SP3

    Thank you,


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  • Ping Lacson

    I followed these steps but when I’m on Step

    9. Click “Remove” to confirm the removal and then click “Keep File” when you’re prompted. This instructs iTunes to remove the song (the 30 sec version) from iTunes library and keep the actual file.

    -As soon as i click “Delete” it doesnt prompted me to “Keep File”. It was deleted without prompting me.

    I followed until the last step (even saw my Ringtone on “Ringtone” tab on itunes) and sync my phone, nothing happened. Cant find the Ringtone on my Iphone. Even though I can see my Ringtone on the itunes, still cant get it.

    Please help.

    Windows Vista User
    Iphone 3gs (Ver 3.1)

  • Awesome tip mate! Works in Windows as well. Instead of using finder, just use Windows Search to locate the .mp4 file and rename it to .mpr in Windows Explorer.

  • Misty

    Same thing happended to me as Ping. Didn’t get prompt to keep file. Now everytime I click song it plays the 30 sec version… How do I get the full song back?

  • Paul

    Same as Misty, didn’t get the option to keep the file. Misty, you may have to add it to your library from your hard drive again.

  • Misty

    So after looking and seeing file on hard drive and also in itunes folder I couldn’t figure out how to not hear 30 sec version. I then just clicked on song in itunes with the get info. and unchecked the start and stop time that I used to create ringtone and viola it is now working fine and both edited ringtones are in the folder working as well.

    • Ken

      I was so thrilled to see your post as i experienced the same thing. Had spent a good deal of time setting up all these ringtones, them started noticing that those songs would only play for 30 seconds! So glad to see the fix was so simple.

  • Mike

    Works like a charm! Thank you!

  • Sam

    I created the AAC file with the .m4r extension on the desktop and imported into itunes, but is shows in the main library and not as a ringtone. The file extension is .m4r…

    When I try to drag it, the pointer shows a circle with a line crossed through it.

    Any suggestions??


  • Sam

    I created the AAC file with the .m4r extension on the desktop and imported into itunes, but is shows in the main library and not as a ringtone. The file extension is .m4r…

    When I try to drag it, the pointer shows a circle with a line crossed through it.

    Any suggestions??

    btw, i am working on Vista and itunes 10


  • Heira

    Great guide Simon!! I appreciate all the step by step information.

    I was having problems changing my file extension from .m4a to .m4r, whenever I changed it the file would still show up as a .m4a file. and what I found was that you had to disable the “Hide extensions from known file types”.

    1) In Windows Explorer –> Organizer –> Folder and search options –> View
    2) Under Files and Folder –> Disable “Hide extensions from known file types”
    3) Rename your music file extension, it’ll show up as, “Song name.m4r.m4a” which is why the rename wasn’t working. change it to, “Song name.m4r” and voila!

    Note. when you import the song into Itune, the ringtone will not show up under the Music tab, it’ll show up under the Ringtone tab.

    Hope that helps!

    • Lauren E


      I have been battling this and reading comment after comment trying to find the solution for my problem of not being able to switch files from m4a to m4r. You’re comment is the first and ONLY comment to actually address this!!

      Thanks so much!!!

    • Melisa

      This was exactly what I needed to figure out, Thanks!!!

    • Pam

      Thank you so much Heira!!!! I don’t know why Simon was not telling us that!!!! I was trapped there and was losing all hope… LOl…

    • Marty


      You the man. Have spent hours trying to rename from .m4a to .m4r.
      Kept doing the same thing over and over expecting different results each time.
      Dittoes and many thanks.

    • DL


      I don’t get an organizer tab or anything in Windows Explorer. So I am lost at how to make the changes you are telling us about. I believe myself to be somewhat computer literate, but now I’m second-guessing that.

      Thanks for anyone that can help me!!!

    • laracroft

      I no u dont no me but i could kiss u! I have spent ages trying to get a ringtone on my iphone and thanks to you i now have one!

  • Alistair


    I have done everything that has been listed here and manage every step but when i synce with my phone it does not show up in ringtones it goes straight into ipod, it is list has a ringtone on my pc, Can anyone help?

  • Scott

    I have tried moving ringtones into iTunes, adding them via File|Add to Library, copy & paste. None of the ringtones appear in my Ringtones folder in iTunes. I have followed your directions to the T and everything appears to be in order. Any suggestions?


  • Gem

    how do i change the file extention?? so confused. im using windows vistor and have an iphone 4 🙂 PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

    • @Gem, I think the file extension is hidden for your Windows Explorer. You can follow these steps to enable it.

      1. Open a folder or open explorer
      2. Click the Layout button (to the left of the Views button)]
      3. Click Folder Options
      4. Click the View tab
      5. Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types
      6. Click OK

      Now you should be able to change the file extension. If you need further reference, check out this guide about showing/hiding file extension in Vista.

  • Gibson

    Thanks – good lesson. One question:
    Songs (and selected parts of songs) have different volumes, making many newly-created ringtones either too quiet or too loud. Under “Options”, I make volume and EQ adjustments to the original files at the same time I modify the start/stop times, before creating the AAC. However, after changing the extension and creating the .m4r, the start/stop modification holds, but changes to the volume or EQ settings revert to their starting levels.

    Any thoughts on how to apply volume changes to the ringtones? If I can’t hear them I’ll miss calls, and if they’re too loud the baby cries, my dog barks, my wife is woken up, my mistress has to hide now that my wife is awake, my boss will yellow card me, the pastor will use me as an example of why to turn off phones before service, and I will lose at my daily hide-and-seek game as my phone gives away my position.


  • Hi Simon,

    I have a problem that I’m hoping you or someone here can help with. I’m trying to sync between my iMac, iTunes10 and my iPhone 4.
    I’ve created the AAC version of the tune I want, which is under 30 seconds. I’ve also changed the file ext from .m4a to .m4r, but iTunes won’t let me delete the AAC file in the iTunes library.

    I thought I was doing something wrong so went though the process a few more times. I’ve now ended up with about 4 AAC copies of the 30 second snippet, that all say they are ringtone files, but I can’t delete any of them from the iTunes library and it won’t import it into the Ringtones folder.

    Do you have any idea what I’m doing wrong, and if so, what can I do to correct the situation, please?


    NB: Apologies for the double post, I accidentally posted the same question in the Missing iTunes library blog. The questions should obviously be here and not there.

    • You can locate the .m4r in Finder. Just do a search for the .m4r file and you can double-click on it to import into iTunes. If you still got problems, I suggest you to try out RingBuilder, which also lets you create custom ringtone.

  • Laura C

    Is there a way to fade out the song at the end instead of just cutting it off? I followed your directions and they worked for me! Thanks! I have a macbook pro and Iphone 4.

  • Gibson

    Hello Simon. Any idea on how to adjust volume or EQ when making a ringtone?


  • paul

    i have a problem with the itune> You know i want to make ringtone whit itune10.
    Could tell me , when i show new window the song that i creat is not show the rename .m4a. that why i can not chang to .m4r

  • areeys

    mine says “show in windows explorer”, is that the one? and i cant change the m4a to m4r. help please

  • Tim M

    Hey man, ive tried this but my computers too old… but ive actualy bought a ringtone off itunes sync’ed it to my iphone (3gs) but i cant actualy make it my ringtone. It’d be great if you could point me in the right direction cheers

  • kevin

    yessssssssss many thanks, thought i tunes had me on ringtones after the update, cheers

  • Dave

    This didn’t work for me. When I got to step 7, I hit a deadend. Didn’t see any way to change the extension. When you open up the song in Explorer, it does not show the extension, only the song title. I even tried going into properties.

    I have Windows 7/64bit


    • Christina

      To change the file type to .m4r on Windows 7, click on Tools in Windows Explorer. Next, select Folder Options. On the View tab, uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”. It’s idiot-proofed by default so that you can’t unwittingly create an unstable file. Click Ok. Now you will be able to rename the file to filename.m4r.

  • Gim

    Hi! I need help. I have an Iphone4 and I’m using itunes 10 on my macbook. So I have no problems with any of the steps. Got up to the point where I have already created a ringtone and it is already saved in my ringtones library. The problem is, no matter how many times I sync my iphone, the ringtone does not get transferred to my phone. Please help. Thanks! 🙂

    • Yuri

      On your itunes, go to “devices” (choose your iphone)–> “tones” (along the top next to summary, info, apps, TONES, music etc)–> check the box next to “Sync Tones”

  • ok i am stuck on number 6. i have a window and when i click on window explorer i didnt see m4a just the song…

  • Prem

    My import pref has been set to AAC encoder but I still don’t get “create AAC” when I right click the song after setting the play duration to 30 secs. My iTunes version is 10.1.14 on windows vista. Am using iphone 4. What cud be the issue?

  • Stacy

    I just tried to do this but when I deleted the song and confirmed removal, it never asked me to “keep file.” So now I have nothing…nothing in my ringtones folder…help?

  • Gem

    followed your step by step instructions in making a ringtone…which are FANTASTIC!!! could never have done it without!! thanks.. however…
    can u make files into txt message tones? i would like to change my txt tone however there is nothing there for ‘custom’ like there is on the ringtone section….also the song that i took the 30seconds i took out for the ringtone will now not play all the way through from start to finish>! can i fit this??
    any advice much appreciated 🙂 thanks.

  • Dylan

    Hi there, I got this Problem. My Itunes Library tabs doesn’t have the Ringtone tab. MISSING. Theres still Music, Movies, TV shows, podcast, Apps, Photos But not Ringtone. Anyone have this Problem or Know how to solve this problem?

    Thanks in Advance.

    • samz

      Did you find an answer….I am having the same problem?

  • sammie

    got a problem

    when i open file location, it doesnt say .m4a and when i rename, delete from itunesm and drag it doesnt make ringtones file.

  • Katie

    So I followed all the steps to create a ringtone, which worked so thank you. However, after deleting the 30 sec song I created, the original song is still there and should be playing the entire song as if I had never done anything to it, BUT it only plays the 30 sec I created. It shows at the top of iTunes that the song is supposed to be the entire song, but it only plays the 30 sec worth. Can you please let me know if you’ve experienced this? If so, what did you do to fix the problem?

    • Katie

      Nevermind I figured it out.

  • Angela


    Awesome tutorial!

    I’m a Windows user and thought it might be helpful if you added a few extra “Windows” steps into your tutorial.

    Between steps six and seven, it would be helpful to put a note in there (for Windows users) about the “hide extensions” option. It would also be helpful to add that after creating the AAC version, they should go back to the original version and uncheck the start/stop times, so the song will go back to its default time.

    • @Angela,

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll edit the post to incorporate your procedures for Windows user later.

  • Cristina

    Simon thank u so much for this tutorial it helped me a lot. All though I had some trouble with the file extensions but I finally found a solution going to http://www.mediacollege.com/microsoft/windows/extension-change.html
    it works for windows.
    Now my next problem is to actually find my ringtone on my phone 🙁 if u now of a solution I would really apreciate it.

  • peter

    i have done all of the file change over but i don’t have the ringtone folder in the library section so i have no where to put it???


    • Megan


  • Faiz

    simply awsm thnx a ton 😀

  • George

    Peter, I had the same problem. You need to go to file and manually locate the file in your itunes folder where you created the ringtone. From there, just double click on the ringtone file and it will automatically upload to your ringtones folder on Itunes. Now , just sync your phone and you should see it in a “custom” folder under ringtones on your phone. Hope this helps!

  • Rhian

    I did all them steps just fine but my iphone isn’t regestring the ringtone, by this I mean when I try to change my ringtone the one I created isn’t coming up on the phone only the ones I’ve purchased? Pleaaase help its REALLY annoying me 🙁

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  • Phil

    I have followed your instructions to obtain a ringtone on iPhone 4 version 10. I get to the stage where I can conbvert to AAC and rename the file (in Windows) but then there is no furterh progress. The system does not instruct me to “Keep File” ( step 9) nor can I detect any folder in iTunes that is named Ringtones. Where do I look? I have right clicked on the”Name Bar” and also looked in View but there is no folder named Ringtones? How do I get it?

  • Michelle

    When I try to convert files purchased from iTunes, it tells me protected files can’t be converted. Any way around this?

  • Nkechi

    How do i change the file extension? just by changing the file name itself? and how do u actually upload the ringtone once its on my iphone? Im using Windows..

    • I guess the file extension option is disabled on your Windows. You can follow these instructions provided by Heira, one of the commenters, to enable it:

      1) In Windows Explorer –> Organizer –> Folder and search options –> View
      2) Under Files and Folder –> Disable “Hide extensions from known file types”
      3) Rename your music file extension, it’ll show up as, “Song name.m4r.m4a” which is why the rename wasn’t working. change it to, “Song name.m4r”

  • After I click on get info and check the start and stop time, and then go back and create an AAC version, when I find the file, there is no extension on it. So I can’t change it from .m4a to .m4r. I have tried simply adding .m4r and it does not go to my ringtone folder. I must be doing something wrong. Would appreciate any input.

  • After writing my message, I went back and looked at the comments and the one from Simon on the hide extensions was exactly the problem. I’m downloading ringtones left and right. Thanks for the help.

  • Samantha

    Followed all the steps, and the ringtone shows up in my Ringtones folder in iTunes. However, when I sync it doesn’t seem to appear on my phone…. any help would be appreciated!! thanks =)

  • seeker

    You have to click on your iphone tab in the left column when your phone is connected to itunes. Then go to the ringtones tab and make sure there is a checkmark in the box next to all your ringtones. Hope that works for you.

  • Phil

    Hi there. used your instructions to create the mini-file for a ringtone. My problem is how to get that file onto my iPhone without having to synch all the music again. Its probably very easy but my technical skills are limited in this area so any help given will be gratefully received.

    • Ginny Le

      After finishing that step by step tutorial, In iTunes 10, in DEVICES (on the left) click on “…”‘s iPhone > click on Ringtones (on top) > check Sync Ringtones. You can sync all your ringtones or only selected ones.
      Hope it helps and sorry for my bad English 😉

  • Phil

    Sorry…just an additional comment ….as the Ringtones icon does not appear on my iTunes nor on my iPhone , I currently have no idea where I need to be looking, how I access the file and where I put it.

  • seeker

    When you plug your iphone into your computer to sync itunes, there should be an icon on the left column that says something like “phil’s iphone.” If you click on that, you should see a ringtones icon.

    My ringtones file for itunes is on the left column under the library section. It is below music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and apps. The next one is ringtones.

  • Phil

    Either I am stupid or we are looking at two totally different screens….In Library I have, Music,Films, TV Progs,Podcasts, Apps and Radio
    There is no icon there or bleow Philip’s iPhone for Ringtones… ?

    • ddarrenn

      to get the ringtone folder in windows, with iTunes 10, click Edit->Preferences->General. Then, make sure ringtones is checked under Sources.

      Hope this hellllpss.

  • seeker

    Well, mine is AT&T so maybe that makes a difference. I’m puzzled about it not appearing on itunes. Maybe you can click on help and see if there is something there. I am like you — I’m challenged by all this. But I was able to get it done and I thought maybe what I had found out could help. I’m afraid it’s going to take someone much brighter about iphones than me to solve your problem. Sorry I couldn’t help more.

  • Lenea

    Hi, what do I do if I have ringtones but cant upload them onto my iPhone because my iPhone isnt connected to this particular iTunes? It wont allow me to add ringtones…

  • ddarrenn

    Hi theree! I got everything to go wonderfully, but I can’t seem to get the ringtones from the ringtones library to the ringtone thingy on my iPhone.. Helllp?

  • Ginny Le

    Thanks for the tutorial, it worked well to me. But there’s one more thing to do, remember to change the Start Time and Stop Time of the song back to their original settings. Otherwise it will only play in the 30 seconds.

  • bob

    Dear Simon,
    Everything worked perfectly until Step 8. iTunes did not give me the option to delete the file. Please respond.


    • You can also press the delete button to remove the song.

  • sahbean

    any word on how to create custom text tones as well? and thanks for the ringtone 411- it works beautifully!

    • eddie

      Simon, until i followed your instruction until the sixth step when i clicked show in folder, the music is in MPEG 4 file, not in m4a. how’s it?

  • Phil

    I have successfully got the ringtones icon now on the LHS of my iTunes screen.
    Two problems:
    First I cannot copy music from the music list into ringtones. It does not “allow” it. I followed the instructions for creating the 30 sec excerpt and that is showing in my music list but will not copy into ringtones.
    Second, there is no indication against any of the music in my Music folder that they can be ringtones. An earlier answer stated that if you right click in the top bar it would indicate which items were eligible for ringtones.Don’t seem to get any of this.
    Once I can get some items intot the Ringtones folder, then maybe I can see if they download to my phone when I sync.

  • Jess

    These are the only instructions to have ever worked for me! THANK YOU!!!

  • Ann

    Once I sync it, I can’t find it on the phone. Any help? Gee. Droid is much easier.


  • Janice

    I made the ringtone and it came up under ringtones but, I can’t move it from my Mac over to the ringtones under my iphone 4

    • Janice, did you mean you have already synced your iPhone with iTunes?

  • Java

    I have seen a few ask this question but no replies…. I created the ringtone and that worked perfectly. Its under my ringtones in my iTunes, but after syncing, I cannot find the ringtone anywhere on my iPhone 3GS. There is only an old ringtone in there in addition to all the defaults. How do I get it on my phone? Thanks

  • Shan Shan

    I try the same thing,but I don’t know why its not showing on my iphone4 and my iphone4 its shows that my iphone4 is version 4.2 something like that.

  • Jack Bennett


    I’ve followed your instructions TO THE LETTER, but the final step — syncing — does not bring the ringtone down from iTunes onto the iPhone. It’s in the Ringtones folder in iTunes, but that’s as far as it gets. Suggestions for other things to try?



  • Flo

    Thank you so much Simon. You’re the best. I’m new to iPhone (from the bb) and I was sure that I was NOT purchasing ringtones after I already purchased the songs =)))

  • tom

    Hi Simon ..I have itunes10.2.1 and osx10.6 .. I followed your steps and created the tone..When I plug in my new iphone4 it doesnt recognize the tone during the sync. I physically have to drag it from my itunes ringtones into my iphones folder on itunes.It then syncs and my phone recognizes it..When I choose it as my default ringtone the preview plays perfectly but..when someone calls the phone is silent..If i go to one of the stock ringtones provided by apple like marimba it works fine..Any suggestions???

  • balaji

    hi 🙂
    ur tips were helpfull i got the ringtone in the itunes section i dnt know how to sync to my iphone 🙂

  • ed broders

    i made the m4r file but couldn’t get it to my phone I’m using windows and the ringtone doesn’t show up. where do i look for it

  • Tom

    I have see this post many times before yet have not seen the solution. I have my ring tone in itunes and they show under the ringtones tab yet do not sync? please help

  • john

    hey okay well i got up to step 7 and then got stuck when you say rename the file extension from m4a to m4r i dont know what to do i im also using windows explorer so if anybody can help me out id apprecate it

    • janelle

      i had the same issue. you need to go to the control panel and change your settings to show file extensions (i think it’s under folder options IN windows 7; i had to search for it). once you do that, go back to the file, right click to rename it and then change the extension. the rest of the steps worked perfectly. good luck!

  • patrick

    Thanks for the tip – I thought I was losing it when I couldn’t find the ringtone option anymore. One cleanup step that I think is necessary (at least it was for me): You need to go back to the original full-length song in your Music folder, right-click and choose Get Info, and go to the Options tab and change the start and end times to what they were before (start time of zero, stop time of whatever the length of the song is). Otherwise the next time you play that song it will only play the small clip that you chose for your ringtone.

  • Onur Yasar

    i used this method ever since i had an iphone. weirdly, when i switched my library to an external hard drive, adding any ringtone to my library causes my itunes to start extremely slow, like in 4-5 minutes. i described the problem here but noone seem to have a solution yet: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2802772&tstart=0

  • Mohammad Khaleel Gookhul

    Dear, Simon I already convertmp3 from itune to the ringtone for my iphone4 but the problem is i dont have the option to sync in my Iphone4 can you help me please?

  • Scarlet

    Thank you so much for the info!!

  • kathleen

    I have an iMAC-version 10.6.7, iTunes version 10.2.1. When I select “Create AAC Version” I get this popup message “song” could not be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”

  • sam

    I have problem on ringtone. I made the .m4r doesn’t show on the ringtones?

  • Trini

    I finally got the ringtones to sync!!! I have iTunes 10, iPhone 4 and Windows 7 (32 bits).

    First, your device MUST be connected. Now, from your Library, in the Ringtones folder, select the ringtone you want to sync, drag and drop it under the Ringtones folder from your device, it will sync perfectly and appear in your phone.

    Thanks for the guide 🙂

    • Lola

      You go Trini! That did the trick for me! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Q

    I finally got through all the steps and have the ringtone on the phone but it shows up only in ipod not my ringtones folder. How do I set it as a ringtone?

    Help please

  • kathleen

    has anyone else gotten the popup from iTunes that says,”(the name of your song) could not be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”…?

  • caro

    Everything works until the part where i have to open the file in windows.
    When i open it the file isn’t named ‘m4a”. therefore, then i want to rename is to “m4r”, it lets me, but the file doesn’t show in my ringtones folder even after i delete the shorter version in itunes.
    please help

  • ob

    Top Man!

  • coral

    I got stuck. i already converted it into an aac file, but i cant find where/how to rename the file extension. help?

  • Vault-kid

    So I’ve done all the steps and I see the ringtone in my “ringtone folder” under devices but when I sync and check for the ringtone in my iphone4 it doesn’t show.

  • Keith

    I just did what you posted step by step but still no ringtone shows up on my iPhone. When I go to ringtones on my phone there is no custom tones showed. I have a new iPhone 4 and a Mac laptop. Any suggestions?

  • Keith

    Okay, I just did what Trini suggested and I got it to work – however, I want to change my text tone. Any suggestions?

  • Monique

    These instructions are awesome. I have the original iphone and have finally been able to upload my own ringtones from a previous phone using your procedure.

    One caution on windows 7. The system automatically defaults to “hide file extensions”. You will need to change this to unhide in order to change the file extension as required above.

    I am really happy with this, thank you.

  • pete

    I am having a lot of trouble with this. I can create an .m4v and then change it to .m4r and it opens in itunes as a ringtone, but when i try to sync to my iphone it wont. Someone said to try and change it back to .m4v and then sync this allows the ringtone to be synced onto my iphone but when you go to change your ringtone in settings its not there.

  • Danny G

    I dont get a choice to show in finder all i get is “show in Windows Explorer”

  • shainabear

    I wanted to say thank you for this tutorial. It was very helpful. 🙂

  • terry

    hi,,,i cant see the option ”show in finder” so i can not continue
    what can i do? i have windows 7 with itunes 10 on HP labtop

  • faras

    i did all these things to make ring tone finaly i make it and i get in to itunes in ringtonr folder and snyc in iphone inthe end i could not find custom folder in my iphone i go setting and sound and ringtone not available plz can u help me how to add custom folder in iphone 4

  • mohed

    plz can u help me i did all these step finaly i get ringtone in itunes libraay in ringtone and i sync in iphone …the things is in my iphone when i go 1st settings 2nd sound 3rd ringtone but i could not fined custom ringtone folder .plz can u tell me how to create .

  • Jeff

    I tried to do this, but it is not working. I made the m4r version at 30 seconds, but Itunes does not create a ringtone folder. When I look at it in windows explorer it says it is a ringtone. I am using Itunes version with an IPhone 4. They must have fixed the newest version of Itunes so people can not make ringtones anymore. I guess I’ll just have to download app and do it that way.

  • Chris

    Thanks a Million. I use Iphone 4 and your instruction is awesome.
    I now create ringtone for my iphone 4 like crazy. God bless you!

  • phil astley

    what do i do with the copy on my desktop? i have a pc if i delete it it cant be found in my ringtones

  • saife

    I have a weird problem here. I have windows xp and on step 6 i right clicked the song and clicked on show in windows explorer but in that folder the song does not have a file extension at all, i mean there is no m4a on the end of the song’s name so i cant change it to m4r. please tell me what i should do with this kind of problem

    • Jeff

      When you go into windows explorer to change the file extension click on tools on the nenu at the top of the folder screen, then folder opitions, then view, then in the window locate the option the says hide extensions for know file types, make sure it is not checked. click ok and the extensions for the files in that folder should be visable. This will only make the files in the folder with your ringtone in it, or whatever folder you are in, show their extensions. If you click on apply to all folders while you are in tools the file extensions will show in every folder you look in. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Hi. I’ve followed all the steps above and have synced it to my phone. Now where do i find them on my phone? They come up in a ringtones file under the ipod icon on my phone but i don’t no how to make them ringtones 🙁

    • Leo


      When you are in itunes you will see your iphone device. There is another ‘tones’ section there. Open the ‘tones’ library in the library section first then drag the tone into the device’s ‘tones’ section. Then when you go to settings then sounds in your phone you will see it is the first ringtone available. Just tick it and it’s selected.

  • Hi, I follwed all the steps and have synced the ringtones to my phone but i don’t no where to find them. There is no ringtone icon on my phone. The tones come up in an album called ringtones under the ipod icon in my phone but i don’t no how to use them. Please help 🙁

  • Steffi

    Hello friends,
    I’m also facing this Ringtone problem, I’m using iPhone 4 with iTunes 10 on Windows7… when iam converting it from .m4a to .m4r it gives me this prompt message
    (If you change a file name extension, the file might become unusable. are you sure want to change it ?) When i clicked on Yes.. it Changed.. but when iam deleting it from iTunes10 it just deletes.. no ‘KEEP FILES’ or any option.. and when iam trying to dragging it, it not shows in iTunes10 music library Please friends help me in this…


  • Steffi

    Hello friends,
    I’m also facing this Ringtone problem, I’m using iPhone 4 with iTunes 10 on Windows7… when iam converting it from .m4a to .m4r it gives me this prompt message
    (If you change a file name extension, the file might become unusable. are you sure want to change it ?) When i clicked on Yes.. it Changed.. but when iam deleting it from iTunes10 it just deletes.. no ‘KEEP FILES’ or any option.. and when iam trying to dragging it, it not shows in iTunes10 music library Please friends help me in this……..


  • JMT

    Hi. I have iTunes 10.2.2 and iPhone 4 with PC, all updated.

    I have used to AAC to M4R before with no problems. However, now it will no longer accept 8 out of 10 ringtones I tried to make. When I try to add them to the iTunes library, they never show up under Music or Ringtones. Is it possible some of them are now protected under 10? Should I revert back to iTunes 9?

  • JMT

    I have a PC, iPhone 4, and iTunes 10.2.2. I’ve made several ringtones using the AAC to M4R trick. With the new 10 update, my old ringtones work but when I try to make new ones converting AAC to M4R, they no longer work. They show up on my Desktop and will play, but when I click “File–> add file to iTunes” they do not show up in Music or Ringtones. Is it possible some are now protected? Should I revert back to iTunes 9?

  • nathan

    I have done everything like it says to do, and i have done it countless times on my phone, but just purchased the hangover sound track and tried to convert the Stu song off of my purchase. Well it will not work, i do excatly what the guide states but when I try to put it into the ringtones tab it will not let me, then a exclamation mark pops up on the song in the library saying it can not find the location of the song anymore. I also noticed that the song is summary states it is a purchased AAC song, does this have anything to do with it not working

  • nathan

    I have done everything like it says to do, and i have done it countless times on my phone, but just purchased the hangover sound track and tried to convert the Stu song off of my purchase. Well it will not work, i do excatly what the guide states but when I try to put it into the ringtones tab it will not let me, then a exclamation mark pops up on the song in the library saying it can not find the location of the song anymore. I also noticed that the song in summary states it is a purchased AAC song, does this have anything to do with it not working. It is also giving me a warning when i convert it to .m4r that it may become unstable if i continue, i did not remember it saying that before.

  • nathan

    sry about the duplicate guys, internet waas messing up didnt see the post

  • Shrey

    Thanks for your help.

    You could also include a section which provides help on how to activate these options through preferences menu.

  • Dan

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for this! The volume reset problem described earlier by Gibson makes this unusable. Any ideas?

    Thanks again,


  • Heather

    If you are using a PC and having problems changing the extension to .m4r, you probably need to change your settings so it will show the file extensions. For more information, see http://neyugn.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/m4a-to-m4r/

  • can u help me how to do it in itunes 9.1 there is no option to covert AAC??

    • I think the procedures also work on iTunes 9. If your music files are already in AAC format, you’ll not see the conversion option.

      • Nathan

        I have already changed the settings so that it no longer hides the file format, and even though the song info states it is a purchased AAC file I still have the option to convert to AAC, but even after I set the length and rename the file to .m4r it is not putting it anywhere into iTunes, in fact it is stating it can not find the file location, I don’t know what the heck is going on lol, I have version 10.2.2, did iTunes remove this with the latest update

  • bunlongyan

    oops…what should i do ? if i didn’t see file extension how can i change to m4r?

  • Roy

    Well everything’s working fine but the new ringtone is not getting displayed in my iPhone; but in itunes the ringtone section in my my phone shows the new ringtone…..

  • Steven

    I’ve got my ringtone done and visible in the ringtones folder.
    (macbook, itunes 10.2.2)
    I’ve instructed itunes to sync all my ringtones (I’ve only got 2)

    The ringtones appear in the ringtones folder on both itunes and my phone.

    But cant seem to set the new ringtone on the phone (iphone 4) itself.
    Only the original custom ringtone is there.

  • didn’t work at all.

  • Dakota

    When I double click it, it doesn’t appear in iTunes.
    I hear the music, but it isn’t listed.

  • GazMG

    Worked perfectly. Thanks 🙂

  • when i pick “show in windows explorer” i can’t change the file extension from m4a to m4r. help!!!

  • amy

    whenever i do what you say, it never puts the 30 second song on itunes its only just the one song without the 30 second cut and i cant get it to work please help me

  • Robyn

    I’ve done all the steps but when I try to sync the files to my iPhone, it says that the audio format is not supported by the iPhone. I’ve changed the file extension to m4r, I’m using iTunes 10, my iPhone is completely up to date and it’s an iPhone 4. ??????

  • natarsha

    thankyou so so much its great and worked for me !!

  • Iphone user


    You Rock!
    People using windows, uncheck the “hide known file extensions” in folder options. And you rename m4a to m4r. Then double clicking works.

    Thanx again Simon!

  • dvipol

    Awesome tutorial!!!!!!

  • Blythe

    Help! On a PC when you delete the file it just deletes it and doesn’t keep the file like on the Mac! It can’t even find the song anymore!

    • Blythe

      Make sure to add the file to your itunes library before deleting it!

  • shelby

    when i do all the steps and go to sync it, a message pops up that it could transfer the ringtone because the file was to long, i went from 30 sec at first, all the way down to 10…is there a setting on my phone to change the amt of time aloud for ring tones or something? please help!

  • Summer K

    This worked perfectly for me. Thank you for the incredibly easy step-by-step instructions!

  • Faizan Ather

    Thanx a tonne mann …
    u made things a lot easy for me 🙂

  • Dazz

    FYI for anyone on windows 7 having issues go to control panel>appearance and personalization>Folder options>view and un tick “Hide extensions for known file types.

    this will allow you to change the file types to anything you want!

  • Sam

    Hi, i have vista and latest version of itunes, at step 8 when i go back to itunes, right click the song i created, it has no option to delete. even the edit menu at top has delete faded, rendered unusable. Where am i going wrong?

  • cherri

    after done to create the song but the last step of “sync to iphone” that is not working…why?

  • AJ

    freaking awesome!! thank you!!

    • Tim

      Most of you guys have got a lot further than me.

      After altering the start and stop times and creating the AAC version the version that appears is 0 seconds long instead of 30. I have tried checking that I have correclty changed the start and stop times but it keeps on creating a song that is 0 secs long.

      Can you help? thanks

  • Xmac

    I am using Mac and iPhone 3G. Buy fail at step 10. I tried everything that’s mentioned above 🙁

  • DeeDee

    Unbelieveable! Thank you soooo much! 🙂 Worked like a charm!

  • Dr Dre

    I am getting an error trying to convert this file… I don’t have the privilege to make this change. I am using MacBook Pro with iTunes 10.3.1(55)
    iPhone 4 and I am an admin on this Mac…. what is the problem…

  • Dr Dre

    I am getting an error trying to convert this file… I don’t have the privilege to make this change. I am using MacBook Pro with iTunes 10.3.1(55)
    iPhone 4 and I am an admin on this Mac…. the song is on the HD… what is the problem…

  • Dr Dre

    sorry for the duplicate post

  • Michael

    Worked like a charm! Many thanks, Simon.

  • Abby Shimona

    Sweet! I converted Michael Jackson’s Siegfried and Roy Mind is the Magic and it is awesome! Worked like a charm!

  • Loren

    Simon!!! You are freaking AWESOME!!! A thousand thank you’s to you!

  • Navin

    thanx dear its work very easly and created lots of ringtones,
    and also want to know how to install videos in iphone 3 and which format its supports….

  • Edi Matzel

    I love you!!!! Finally, after all this time, haha, Time…I finally have a ringtone for “Time” by Pink Floyd of the amazing bell sequence at the beginning of “Time”….Did I mention, I Love You!!!

  • Awesome! Thanks, bro!

  • comic

    thanks lol… it working thank you very much

  • taylor

    it didnt work

  • Chana Wojahn

    Hey, it wont let me rename the type to the m4r… it will only let me rename it, so i tried that and it didnt do anything…PLEASE HELP!!! i have a windows

    • You can follow these instructions provided by Heira, one of the commenters, to enable it:

      1) In Windows Explorer –> Organizer –> Folder and search options –> View
      2) Under Files and Folder –> Disable “Hide extensions from known file types”
      3) Rename your music file extension, it’ll show up as, “Song name.m4r.m4a” which is why the rename wasn’t working. change it to, “Song name.m4r”

  • Emily B

    I’ve got iTunes version 10.4 and my boyfriend’s second-hand iPhone3G. I followed all the steps easily enough up to step 10, where the 30sec file doesn’t show up in the ringtones folder, which itself I had to find on the preferences list. I’ve tried a few apps, only to find they’re for iPhone 4, etc, so when I found this page I got excited. But yet again I’ve found myself disappointed. Is it something I’ve done wrong or will it just not work on the iPhone 3G?
    Please Help!! My current ringtones are horrific!

    • Emily B

      Actually, I’ve just realised I can’t change the file extention as it doesn’t show the extention when I change the name of the file. Is this because I have crappy Vista?

  • kiki

    When i right click on the song, i don’t have the option to create anything…
    regardless of whether it is an aac or an mp3 (my setting is set to aac).

    under my advanced tool bar.. the create an aac version is faded meaning i can’t select it.

    i am running itunes 10.1 on mac

  • Rowan


    I cannot get step 8 complete. The option to delete is not highlighted. I also cannot drag it to the trashcan. The delete option does not show up when i control click the song ringtone either. In addition to that the original won’t play on my ipod.

    Thanks for the help.

  • Stig Andersen

    My imac tells me, that the ringtone I try to sync. is too long (regardless of the length). So it´s not really working. Do You have at solution proposal?
    Thank You

    • @Stig, make sure your ringtone is of length not longer than 40 seconds.

      • Stig Andersen

        Thanks Simon, – but like I said. No matter how long or short, even 15 seconds, is declared “too long”?

  • Suman

    Hi There!

    I am a I phone-3GS user, i am able to create customized ring tones successfully but, i am able to c only one customized ring tone under Customize in my i phone, and i can see all the ring tones i have created in the i tunes ring tone folder, when i create a new ring tone and sync with i phone the old one will be replaced with the new one, i nor under standing y its happening pls help me out

    Many Thanks

  • greg

    k so i cant rename the file in windows i dont know y it wont let me change the type i could u some help cuz im getting angry lol

  • KKK

    It WONT let me rightclick on the song what do i do? I’ve tried like 30 times and it doesnt do anything!!!!!

  • Molly W



    follow this tutorial, it worked for me AND it showed up in my ringtone folder!

    • Neal

      i was getting so frustrated at my computer cause i couldnt swith the .m4a into .m4r but your link help tremendously, again
      THANK YOU!!

  • Suman

    Hi There!

    I am a I phone-3GS user, i am able to create customized ring tones successfully but, i am able to c only one customized ring tone under Customize in my i phone, and i can see all the ring tones i have created in the i tunes ring tone folder, when i create a new ring tone and sync with i phone the old one will be replaced with the new one, i nor under standing y its happening pls help me out

  • Emily

    hi thanks for the tutorial it worked up until I couldn’t find any of the ringtones on my iphone! i have ‘sync ringtones’ checked and ‘all ringtones’ checked as well under that. where do i find them on my iphone though?

  • Sawyer

    Is there a similar way to create a tone for incoming text messages? Most of the defaults are long bits of music, but I want something really short.

  • Summer

    Now when i listen to my music it stops and starts the song where the ringtone is. WHY??????

  • DenisDenis

    The extension m4a does not appear to replace it…i have nothing to replace…what is wrong with my itunes….it’s the first time that i have this problem…please help.

  • chandu

    Ive done all the procedure it was successful. but when i try to find in my iphone 3g, there are no customize tones. So wat needs to be done

  • HHamilton

    Dear creater,

  • HHamilton

    You might want to specify that on windows you must select Organize>Folder and search options>View and uncheck the box that reads “Hide extentions for known file types” ibefore you’re able to change .m4a to .m4r Other than that this works perfectly and now I can jam to Pumped Up Kicks when my iPhone rings. Thanks.

  • Javier


    Thank You

  • Emily

    Hey! um I cant rename the song to a “m4r” what should i do? Mine will only stay a “m4a”

    thanks emily

    • Are you using Windows or Mac?

  • Thank you Jason!!! So AWESOME!

  • Patrick


    Thanks for all the tips found in this thread. With a little tweaking I managed to defeat Apple and create my own ringtone (still not sure what I did exactly but I’m sure w/ practice I’ll get it down).

    P.S. Couldn’t help but notice that all of the other sites I looked on failed to mention the AAC feature. Could that be a make or break step?

    Thanks again!

  • jason

    Great! this worked beautifully!!

  • ryan

    all fine up to the point when i have to change the file to m4r, i manage to find the file no problem, but it has no extention on it, iv tried just adding .m4r on the end but that doesnt work, any ideas…

  • Ian K

    So I’ve been trying this, and it’s working fine for just one song at a time. If I add a second, it will only let me use the first one alphabetically. Is this what’s supposed to happen?

  • Harun

    Thanks jason, It’s work!

  • Hi,

    After making the ringtone when i right click and do show in explorer they do show me the song but it has the same name they dont have .m4a written so then when i remane it to .m4r nothing happens.

  • Heather

    yay thank you!!
    i have a samsung phone and simply needed to make them on iTunes, they didn’t have to stay there. steps 1-6 were all I needed

  • Kevin

    OK… I did all the steps. New ringtone shows up on my iphone in iTunes. But I can’t find it anywhere on my iphone when I unplug it from my PC.

    How do I set the new ringtone?

    I went to a contact name, selected “Ringtone” but the new one I imported is not there.

    PLEASE HELP! Thanks!



  • evelyne

    dude, thanks! i lost my previous instructions and yours saved my hide!

  • Hu

    Worked perfect!! So glad they are people like you out there. Knowledgeable and generous! Thank you!

  • A Lau


    Thanks for sharing the steps. I encountered some of the problems raised by several people in this thread before it finally worked for me.

    Suggest you edit your steps and add the following as Step 1B:
    Ensure the following are in place:
    a. Ringtones folder is seen in the Library. If not, go to Preferences/General – select Show Ringtones.
    b. Under Advanced tab, Create AAC Version option is available. If not, go to Preferences/General – Import Settings/Import Using, select AAC Encoder.
    c. If you are not prepared to lose the original tune/song, make a separate copy of it, and use this copy (rename it) to create your Ringtone file.

    Also in the step to change m4a to m4r — make sure it is the 30s file AAC encoded file that was created and not the original song; else, just changing the extension does not mean it becomes recognized as a ringtone file.

  • shashank

    hey i am not able to get ringtone folder in i phone ..plz help me out

  • shashank

    after all procedure ringtone is not going in ringtone folder

  • steelcurtain

    I was able to make the AAC version and it is now in my ringtones folder, how do I get it to my iphone, it’s not showing up anywhere that I can see after I sync my phone with my itunes.

  • I made the ringtone fine, but when I go to edit preferences, all is lost. I click on AAC converter, however when I go back to create aac version, it has reverted to mp3. help?

  • Natalie

    I have made a ringtone before following steps the same as these and it went onto my Iphone. Followed these steps again for a second ringtone and it WILL NOT TRANSFER FROM THE COMP TO THE IPHONE. Not looking for an answer beacuse there is none, one day it will just show up, just pointing out to Apple <== THIS FEATURE IS EFFING SHIT, ITUNES SHITS ME UP THE WALL!!!! RINGTONES FEATURE IS FULL OF GLITCHES! And i have an iphone 4!!!

  • Mackenzie

    When I click delete, the “keep my files” button never comes up. What do I do to fix it?

  • ranjeev

    while making the ringtone i m unable to put the start and end time..can u plz help me with that

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  • Ivy

    HI, Simon.

    I follow all of the steps, and the ringtone is created into my Ringtone folder on iTunes, but I sync it and it is not on my phone….. Don’t know why it doesn’t work….

  • Brussels

    Thank you! It works great!

  • Karen

    Worked like a charm! THANKS!!!

  • Ahmed

    For those who cannot see the created ringtones. Please resetart your iPhone. It worked for me 😉

  • Works beautifully, just don’t forget to go back to the original song and reset the start/end times!

  • I cannot follow the last step for a music I purchased from iTunes about five years ago. It is already in AAC and when I put it on the desktop it copies the entire song and even when I do a file->add to lib it does not show up in the ringtone window!

    • Christina

      I know this is old, but I randomly choose you so that perhaps my reply can be seen by others searching for this exact information.

      These steps are too difficult and there is an easier way.
      If you are a windows user….

      1. Go to start, type in search “folder options”
      2.Open, go to View
      3.Scroll down to where it says “Hide extensions for known file types”, Deactivate this (It needs to be unchecked)
      4. Click “Apply”
      5. Open Itunes, select your song
      6. Go to Get Info
      7 Click Options at top
      8. Change your music start and stop to consist of anywhere from 02-30 seconds of music
      9. Create ACC Version (This gives you your selected part of the music)
      10. Right Click, Copy
      11. Go to Desktop, Right click, Paste
      12. Change the extension (the text after the period in the title) (ex. rose.m4a) to m4r.
      13. It will warn you of changing the extension file, go ahead do it.
      14. Your icon for that music should say ringtone.
      15. Drag and drop this into your TONE section of the Library.
      16. Sync Idevice.

      DONE! Good luck.

  • Nick Lucas

    Great tip, clearly explained!

  • andy

    i have windows so when i press the “show in windows explorer and i tried changing to m4a but there is no m4a just the title of the song

  • Patrick

    O.k., I have file created and opened in windows explorer. How do I change the extension in windows? and then subsequently load to i-Phone and apply it?

  • don


  • LIsa

    I dont seem to have a ring tones tab in my itunes so i can complete all steps to create a ring tone btu then have no where to pick it up from in itunes.is there anything i can do?


    • Patrick

      Lisa, check out this video on youtube. Especially if you are using i-Tunes 10 on a Windows 7 platform.


      • Lisa

        Hi Patrick

        thanks for the tip, it worked and now i can see the ringtones folder and have moved my ringtone into this folder, but i cant sync it with my iphone as i dont have a ringtones tab under the device in itunes. i have tried syncing the whole phone but the ringtone i have created is not appearing on my iphone. Under the sounds setting on the phone i also dont have custom ringtone section – just standard…any advice?


        • Patrick

          Lisa, I may be missing something, but I’ll try my best to help. Try shutting both systems down, phone and p/c. After your relaunch i-tunes, make sure you select you device (phone or i-pod), in the center below the display for the sync progress bar you should have a list from left to right that goes: Summary, Info, Apps, Ringtones, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Photos.

          Make sure you have ringtones selected, after that I usually try to be as specific as possible in my folder selection as I have about 20 gigs of music and I do not want it all on my phone.

          From there you should be able to select the ringtone of choice.

          If not, reply back and we’ll keep hammering at it till we get you up and running! 🙂

  • Kas

    Using an iMac and iPhone 4. I’ve created the .m4r file. The ringtone folders are showing in iTunes for both the phone and the computer. But both show as empty.

    I’ve tries importing into the ringtones folder by playing the m4r file, by importing, etc. I have following and tried every trick above, including running RingtoneMaker but though I can make the ringtone and it plays on the phone after a sync, it’s not showing in the SETTINGS to set it as a ringtone, and it’s not showing in either of the ringtones folders in iTunes.

    Help? This is really frustrating.

  • keekee

    okay i cant change my m4a to m4r…how do i do that cus minez just pop up the name in im using windows.

  • Miranda

    Worked Great! Thank You So Much!

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  • Adam R

    Hi, I had this problem too, where you import your newly created m4r file into iTunes but it doesn’t show up in your ringtone section.

    The way you fix that is like so:

    Before you double click your new m4r file, change its name ever so slightly. If for instance, your file is called ‘PHONESOUND.m4r’ change it to ’01 PHONESOUND.m4r’ then try importing it again. So you add a 01 and a space before the file name

    Work now?

    • Adam R

      By the way, if your ringtone doesn’t show up in your iPhone, yet it’s said that it’s synced, you need to add a full bank of metadata to the ringtone file, then sync again. Look at other ringtones for an idea of what to include. Give it an artist name, album, artwork etc. Sync again, and it should be there

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  • Adil T

    Thanks .. works great !!

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  • Tanya

    Just FYI. This method was working for me on all my music, none of which I had downloaded from iTunes. I downloaded one song from iTunes and wanted to make that into a ringtone, and IT WOULD NOT LET ME! I went through all the steps like I always have and I couldn’t get it to show up in the ringtones on my iPhone. I downloaded the song via another method (NOT iTunes) and went through this same process and it worked. It must have to do with something encoded in the iTunes verson (ie: they want to make more money and make you BUY the ringtone for the song you ALREADY purchased). So, go download your song in an mp3 format, rename it and import it into iTunes, THEN use this method to create your ringtone. Hope this helps some of you frustrated iTunes users!

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  • Virgil

    Yesterday I bought the “R2D2: Curt” in the iTunes Store and never worked, but now, I just made a tone for my SMSs with this method and it worked perfect. thanks 😀

  • Latika

    Thanks so much for this instruction sheet. Super easy and clearly explained for n00bs. Really appreciate it.

  • alex

    acolo la LIBRARY eu nu am sectiunea RINGTONES sau cel putin nu mi apara la itunes 10.5

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  • SusanCnett

    I had no trouble creating the file but after I synched it, it is in my music list but it doesn’t show up in my ringtone choices.

    Is this because I am using iOS5?

    Am I doing something wrong?

  • cristine

    Thanks a lot.
    It can be done sucessfully~~~~

  • alex

    i have iOS5 amd ,y problem is ive done everthing,read a lot of comments,but in the end under the ringtones setting in my iphone, there is not ringtone. it is in the music ingtones folder of itunes and the ringtones folder of my iphone, however, it still isn’t in my iphone ad ive shut off itunes and shut pff phone and started both again, still nothing.

    someone please help.

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  • Charles Bash

    Is there a problem with IOS 5? I followed the instructions, added it to iTunes (and it shows in the Library of Ringtones.) But when I synced my iPhone (4S if that makes a difference) and tried to use that ringtone, it doesn’t show on the phone.

    Thoughts about what a Blackberry escapee is doing wrong?

  • todd

    doesnt seem to work—i double click and doesnt show in my ringtones and i even tried to hit file and add to library and nothing.

    • SusanCnett

      In iTunes, the ringtones showed up under Library (left hand column) but not on my phone. I selected it from the Library and dragged it to my iPhone (in the left column also) but they transferred.

      • Charles Bash

        Yes, Susan, that’s my missing step. It’s necessary to tell iTunes you want this ring tone on your phone.

    • raine

      same for me. I was able to do it before but it doesn’t seem to work now. Changed it to m4r but won’t automatically go to the ringtones… I did the add file still now use… Can’t seem to make step 10 or the last step work. HELP

      • heather

        I’m having the same problem with the last step. When I double click the ringtone, it adds it to my music library not my ring tones. I’ve read all comments and tried the different suggestions but nothing works. What am I missing??

        • Charles Bash

          raine and heather, you didn’t mention what platform you are using when trying this step. It makes a difference if you are using a Mac or a PC (unfortunately).

          • schanen

            I am a pc user and i got to the last time and had the same results. It shows in my iTunes library, but not as a ringtone. Please help!

          • heather

            Sorry Charles, I use a PC.

            • Charles Bash

              heather and schanen: Then we are on the same platform. I’m running on Windows 7 (which also may be a difference) using Itunes 10.5.

              in my experience, the 4 critical steps are:
              1. Save the file while in iTunes as an AAC file
              2. In Windows explorer, rename the ..m4a file to .m4r
              3.Double click on the m4r file and it will be now opened in the iTunes ringTones folder
              4. Drag the file from iTunes to your phone’s ringTones folder (in iTunes under the Devices folder.)

              If those steps don’t work, I’m as confused as you are.

              • heather

                Charles: after doing step 1 above, I go to windows explorer, the music file there is listed as mpeg 4 not m4a. Could this be the problem? These are songs I’ve added to iTunes are from Windows Media Player. When they are added to iTunes, they are converted to AAC. I still do step 1 as listed above, same as step 4 in Simonblog, with no problem.

              • Schanen

                Charles: Like Heather, my files were MP3 converted from Zune and the file format is Mpeg-4. When I right click and select rename, it add the .m4r to the end of the file name, but in the properties, the file still shows as being an Mpeg-4 file. Could this be causing my problem and if so, how can I resolve it? I am an IT, so I am very computer savy, just not familuar with iTunes as this is my first time using it. Thank you very much for your help!

              • heather

                Schanen, do the following, it worked for me, at least on one song! I’ll see about more. Good luck!!

                You can follow these instructions provided by Heira, one of the commenters, to enable it:

                1) In Windows Explorer –> Organizer –> Folder and search options –> View
                2) Under Files and Folder –> Disable “Hide extensions from known file types”
                3) Rename your music file extension, it’ll show up as, “Song name.m4r.m4a” which is why the rename wasn’t working. change it to, “Song name.m4r”

              • Schanen

                Heather: Thank you so much for the info! It worked all except getting it onto my phone. It shows in iTunes under Ringtones and shows under my iPhone under ringtons within iTunes, but on my phone itself, it is only showing under music. It is not under ringtones for me to select 🙁 I still need help!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  • randyk

    thanks to every one for their comments they have helped me a lot. heather tip on on disabling the hide extensions is what really cleared it up. once i was able to rename the file i could drag and drop to my ringtone in iTunes and when i opened up the ringtone folder its there. cool but it shouldn’t be this hard. sync my phone on ringtone and now its shows up in my phone settings. I wanted to make a silent tone for callers i dont want to hear from. i used voice memo to record 28 sec of silence
    ( i had to muffle the mic not perfect but will wrk for me) then i synced my phone music with include voice memos and that moved it to itunes all that was left was to follow simons instructions and now i have a silent ringtone. maybe this will help others and thanx again for everybodys help

    • heather

      Shanen I too had the same problem. The ringtones show in my iTunes under my iPhone > ringtones but when i sync only 3 went on. I did sync from my phone, settings>general>iTunes We-Fi Sync>Sync now, and that added 2 more but I can’t get the rest to sync…I’ll keep trying. Anyone else have any suggestions?? Doesn’t make sense only a few would sync when they are all in the folder!
      Glad I could help RandyK. Just reading earlier post help clear it up for me.
      Can’t find a solution in earlier post about why ringtones aren’t all syncing with my iPhone now.

      • Schanen

        Heather and everyone else having problems getting your ringtone to sync to your phone. I GOT IT!!! Thanks to Adam R above, he said to “1. Before you double click your new m4r file, change its name ever so slightly. If for instance, your file is called ‘PHONESOUND.m4r’ change it to ’01 PHONESOUND.m4r’ then try importing it again. So you add a 01 and a space before the file name
        2. By the way, if your ringtone doesn’t show up in your iPhone, yet it’s said that it’s synced, you need to add a full bank of metadata to the ringtone file, then sync again. Look at other ringtones for an idea of what to include. Give it an artist name, album, artwork etc. Sync again, and it should be there”
        So I changed the name of my file by right clicking the file and selecting Get Info and on that first tab, I changed the name, added a bunch of details, everything but grouping, save it and then sync’d again and it showed right up on my phone under ringtones. Tested and it works!!!! Hope this helps!!! Good luck and thank you to everyone!

  • Varun

    Followed the instructions and it worked like a charm! thanks!

  • Erica

    I. Freaking. Love. You! thank you so much!

  • Glyph

    all worked fine until #9 when itunes did not offer me ‘keep file’, only ‘delete’ with the warning that this would remove ot from eerything.. Got the clipped piece, in AAC renamed it, double click in finder and it is NOT in ‘ringtones’; tried dragging it to desktop and dragging it into ‘ringtones’. no go. The clipped piece got a separate line in itunes, with its short time noted, but I could not work with it. what to do?

    I m using macbook pro, itunes10 and iphone 5.

    • amya

      Just an FYI you dont have the iPhone 5 you have an iPhone 4S

      • Glyph

        @amya of course! I meant the system inside, which was just updated sorry, didn’t mean to be presumptuous.

  • Glyph

    OH, wOw, I figured I could just re-import the song and remake the bit so DELETED the piece form itunes, and THEN it did work, AFTER the delete, up came the KEEP FILE offering at last. WORKS great if you follow all directions! Thanks!

  • gameboix

    hey i just tried to do this and it wasnt working for me, i created the .m4r file and put it into my library but it doesnt recognize it and it says that this ringtone wont work with this iphone4 (not 4s)

  • Bosnian DeviL

    there is an ALLOT easier way to this… if you had an older Iphone and had custom ring tones.. here is what you need to do to get the ringtones on the newer iphones with itunes 10.5 or later… just drag one of your custom ringtones to the music section and it will Automatically set up an Ringtones TAB.. click to Sync ringtones and you are allset.. any questions e-mail me [email protected]

  • Bosnian DeviL

    GUYS ………there is an ALLOT easier way to this… if you had an older Iphone and had custom ring tones.. here is what you need to do to get the ringtones on the newer iphones with itunes 10.5 or later… just drag one of your custom ringtones to the music section and it will Automatically set up an Ringtones TAB.. click to Sync ringtones and you are allset.. any questions e-mail me [email protected]

  • dalirumi

    I made “Crazy B$#@h” into a ringtone for my brother. Couldn’t find it any other way. Thank you. The tutorial was perfect!

  • Andrea

    Hi, I did everything as you implied. but it doesnt show on my iphone i have the 4s.?? please helpppp

  • Tommy

    Worked perfectly!!! Thanks a lot, you rock!

  • Morgan

    This worked great! Thanks!

  • Becky

    Thanks so much! I’ve bookmarked this page and will be using it again! 😀

  • Thank you so much! Really quick & easy. Just wish iTunes would make a “create ringtone” button that is all of this in one click!
    But until then, you have done a great job!

  • Lawrenza

    i have tried many times to get a custom ringtone on my iphone 4s and it is sooo frustrating since i dont have a ringtone section in either my iphone devices section on itunes or in my libary. even if i input the .m4r it still doesnt work since there is no ringtone section

  • Worked perfect except for one additional step. Mine would not sync to the phone. I had to drag it from the itunes ringtone list to the iphone over on the left. Then it sync’d it. Not sure if this is a new development or not but wanted to add it. Thanks!

  • Arpan

    Hey Simone,

    whenever i delet songs i created it doesnt give me next pop up message that u want to keep song and it just gets deleted. and when i play original song, it just give length of songs i created.
    anyidea why is it happening?

    also getting message from itunes that you do not have provilage to save files?

    Any idea why is it happening?

  • Taylor

    I’m having trouble renaming the file, and when I removed it from iTunes and went to the Ringtones, it didn’t work when I double clicked the file. What am I doing wrong?

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  • Isabella


    Hey Guys! This is the way! After trying Simon’s way, I wasn’t exactly sure how to do it all….so I googled and it led me to this FREE App. This app helps create a ringtone and has video to how to get the ringtone on your phone. It seriously works – I’m NOT joking. This works because I finally got my “I’d Lie – Taylor Swift” as my ringtone 🙂 And now I’m super happy!

    Try it out, I guarantee you it works. The best thing about it is that it’s ALL free!

  • Alaska Paul

    Your instructions (and a few comments) worked great! Now I have a great gong and a rooster on my ringtones for my iPhone4s. Thanks very much.

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  • Asia

    i havet he file converted but my itunes wont sync now

  • margie

    Here is a nice guide to make ringtone longer than 40 seconds and make text tone for your iphone

  • Jessica

    thanks for sharing this! you/this is so awesome.

  • Scott Greenhut

    Was working like a charm – but then at the end I get an error message saying the file couldn’t be imported as a ringtone because it is too long (even though I made it 25 seconds).

    Also – if a try a song twice, the file is now “missing”

  • kyli

    its in my ringtones library but it is not in my fingtones on my phone when i plug it in???

  • Thanks so much for this Simon, super easy and now all my friends are Beatles tunes!

  • KF

    thank you much! Simon!

  • Jon

    i cant find out how to change it from mpa to mpr i have windows of anyone could help please

  • Maggie

    Just got an iPhone 3 – took a few goes to get it on but eventually – changed to 26 secs. It was on ringtone folder but didn’t come on phone – deleted ones that didn’t work made new one & it worked – THANK-YOU!!

  • thao

    hi Simon, when I’m in Windows Explorer then I click on the song I’ve made, it ends up in my Music section not Ringtone? :s

  • Melissa

    Hey I have a problem. I followed your tutorial to the letter (the only exceptions being the windows vs. mac things) everything worked until I tried to put the ringtones on my Iphone 4.

    The window is there when I look at my Iphone on screen but it says the ringtones are still syncing. Also because they are ‘still syncing’ I cannot delete them. Plus when I look at the Iphone itself it has no evidence of the ringtones I made. Even though they are perfectly fine and will play in the itunes library in their own folder.

    Please Respond as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • Scott

    Hey, im using the iPhone 4s, and when i try to rename as an .m4r it doesn’t let me, ive tried every way i know, does anyone have the same problem, or the solution?

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  • Sam

    I am running a PC system and I can follow everything perfect until I change the file format from .m4a to .m4r. For some reason that is not an option? Any help, please? Thanks


  • Paul

    Thanks Greg, works fine. I did everything, showed up in ringtones folder, wouldn’t sync. Dragged it from Ringtones folder to iPhone and it synched. Thanks bro.

  • Pedro Huerta

    wow great details step by step simple as that thank you so much I was able to create about sixteen ringtones. Just one question I was trying to create some songs but it kept telling me the song was protected. Protected by who me or Itunes?

    Thank you.

    • Charles Bash

      When you buy a song on a CD or iTunes, you buy the right to play that music. The author’s copyright however still abides, so converting commercially available to an ringtone with out permission may not be legal. iTunes remembers copyright data when it knows those facts, and restricts your modification of it.

  • Bhum

    its superb…worling gr8 in my iphone 4 (4.3.5) with itunes 10.5… thnx…

  • Annie

    Just tried this on my new iPhone 4S. Worked like a charm!

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  • joyce

    I followed your intructions for creating a ringtone for Iphone 4 on Itunes 10 but when I complete everything and double click Finder and select ringtone then sync to iphone it puts it in my ringtone but when I select it it doesnt play. It shows up sort of faded compared to my other ringtones with an arrow next to it. When I click on the arrow it wants me to go to itunes and download the song.

  • joyce

    This isn’t working. I followed the instructions for creating ringtones with iphone4 in itunes 10. The last step “sync to iphone” it puts it in my ringtone but it comes up faded compared to my other ringtones with an arrow next to it. If I click on the arrow it wants me to go to itunes store and buy it. Plus when I click on the song to change the file ext. It doesn’t show m4a. It doesn’t even show an ext.

  • missyb

    Thank you, this worked for me today. Lost ringtones after update to ITunes 10. Added them back to ITunes from folder on PC and dragged them from library to phone in the ITunes screen.

  • Jas

    Goodmorning, I bought iphone 4s 4 days ago and try to make my own ringtone , i am doing good till step 8. In step 9 when i press delete , it just delete from the folder it doesnot ask me to keep file or move to trash. and in 10 when i double click the ringtone it start playing but it doesnot go to my ringtone side , plz hlp.

    • Dimitris

      ..I follow every step you describe for my new I phone 4 S, but when i m trying to create AAC version, although it seems that something happens, there isn’t any new file, 30 seconds in length. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions

  • Martin T

    Hey there.. I have a problem with the Iphone 4S. It doesnt seems to work.
    I make an acc version and make a 19 sek song. Rename it to m4r and it shows in my “Tones” i Itunes. But i cant find it anywere on my phone?? Could anyone awnser me on mail please [email protected]
    Tnx alot.

    • Chris K

      IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions to the letter and it works fine. The biggest issue is your ringtone must be exactly 28 seconds long. Shorter or longer and iphone won’t recognize it (even though it will show up in itunes as a ringtone on your iphone).

  • shags

    This was great….quick and easy to do, took 10 secs…..good work peeps.

  • Thank you.. it works.. 😀

  • nick

    thanks alot!! i get my ringtone

  • Wendy

    Perfect, thank you!

    Don’t forget to change the start and stop times on the original track back to the entire length of the song when you’re finished – couldn’t figure out why Moby kept jumping to Modest Mouse after only 28 seconds when I was playing music in iTunes after I’d created my lovely ringtones 😉

  • Alex

    I ve an iphone 4 updated to 5.01 from iphone 4 s.and itunes 10.the problem is:Everything work ok till the sync when instead of ringtone I had a new button called “Tones: in Itunes but overthere no ringtones.I want to say that I follow all steps and before of updating the new version everything was ok.
    Please help with this..
    Thank you.

  • Claudine

    Just wondering. The ringtone works fantastically, however, I followed the steps and now the original song in my regular playlist is the 30 second version. I seem to have lost the original song. How do I get it back?

    Thanks, Claudine

  • Syahid

    Thanks. It works like a charm. (:

  • Brooke

    I followed all of the steps given, all went well so far, except when I click on the song to play it so that it should show up in my ringtones tab, it doesn’t. I’ve also shortened the clip from 30 seconds to 28, and it didn’t help. Could it have something to do with the fact that when I rename the file it doesn’t end in .m4a? It was just the name of the song.

    • Syahid


      I think you got everything right except renaming the file. Well frankly speaking I’ve never used Mac, so here’s a tip of which I used for my Windows.

      1. Open the “Windows Explorer”.

      2. Click “Organize”.

      3. Then click “Folder and Search Options”.

      4. When a window pops out, click on the “View” tab.

      5. Look for “Advanced Settings”.

      6. Under the “Hidden files and folders” you need to uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”.

      7. Apply the changes (Don’t worry because you can always restore it to default afterwards.)

      Then only you will be able to see the extensions:
      e.g. SongName.m4a

      So, rename it to e.g. SongName.m4r

      Finally open it with your iTunes and it will automatically be added as you new ringtone. Good luck!

  • MaiTong

    oh hey i just wonder how to change the second of when it start singing.Like for explame the whole song was 3.45..and i want the second like 0:25-0:55…but i can’t change it…

  • itsjsutabby

    okay so I’ve tried reading through all of these post but there’s a lot- I’ve done everything to get the ringtone onto my phone. It shows up under tones in my itunes, I’ve synced using all ringtone and just clicking the one I’ve wanted, and its only 26 seconds long. I can not get it to synch on my phone! Even during the synch where I can see it transferring on my computer.
    Someone please help me. I lost all of my stuff when I transferred.computers and I just want my ring tone. Thank you.

  • Christina

    Ok I did all the steps with no problem except for step 7. I have a Sony Vaio Windows 7 laptop n how do i change the mp4 to mpr?? Help please.

  • jon


  • Ron

    I have created the ringtone, but when I sync I get the message “Ringtone not copied to iPhone because its duration is too long” I have specified 0:00 – 0:30. Any help?

  • Ron

    Created the ringtone as described, but then got the message “The ringtone was not copied to the iPhone (3GS) becuase its duration is too long. Any idea how to fix this?

  • sopo

    i`ve done everithing well but when i come to the moment when i have to put my ringtone in the librery ,it doesn`t exist.how can i make ringtone folder in librery?

  • Fon

    Hi, I am using windows 7. when i tried to delete the 30sec created file from iTunes Music Library, it only prompt me that the file selected for delete will be removed from the library and will also be deleted from the devices that synchronised the library with. it didnt further prompt me to “keep file”. I saved all my songs in my personal folder (not the one in iTunes or related). kindly advise.

    Thanks =)

  • Gil

    Hi! I did all the steps. I now have the regular song and the mr4 short (ringtone) version in my music file but it doesn’t appear in the tones folder.

  • Mary

    I dont get the option to ‘keep file’.
    My options are ‘delete’ or ‘cancel’ ?

  • Chris R

    Mary, that’s what I’m getting, too. No option to Keep the File. When I double click on the file in the folder where I saved it, it does not create a ringtones folder. Anyone have any suggestions as to what we are doing wrong?

  • Kim

    It works! Thank you so much for posting this 😀 Beat iTunes at their own game!

  • Tim

    Does this work for the 4S?

    I have created the ringtone in my itunes but can’t drag it to my phone.

    • Steph

      Yes it does. Below the Library where it says ringtones as if your phone weren’t connected the ringtone is there. You simply just drag the ringtone from in there to the section on your iPhone where it says ringtones and it should be there.

  • Ahmed

    Hi Simon,

    Well, because of your articles I was able to do all the requirements (I managed to show the “Ringtones” in my library in itune)

    I did exactly everything, although the song is trimmed and in the ringtone section of my library in itune, I still can’t find it in my phone??

    I have iPhone 4 with iOS5.0.1 I am registered from Oman , so in my itune lots of stuff are missing.

    I don’t want to end up jailbreaking my iphone just for the sake of having my own custom ringtone.

  • Mohammad Khaleel

    Dear Simon, am having problem with my ITUNES. I can create the ringtone but the problem is i dont have the ringtone option in my itunes. Even i have done Edit and Preferences still no option for ringtone. it give me option for music and tones only. when i finish to convert it for ringtone it plays on tone and when i syncrhonise it still no option for ringtone. can you help me please.

  • Mohammad Khaleel

    Dear Simon, am having problem with my itune, i dont have the option ringtone in my itunes. i have done edit and preferences still no option for ringtone.am able to convert it for ringtone but dont have option for ringtone in my iphone. can you help me please?

  • Holly

    I went through all the steps and when I got the final step of finding the song in the ringtones option in the Finder, it was not there. Can you help?

  • MjkeG

    Worked like a charm. Hit a snag adding the ringtone. Took me a minute but If you don’t have “Tones” option under “Apps”, You’ll need to go to Edit – Preferences and check “Tones”

  • anuj jain

    thanxx a lot…its really working even iphone 4s…i got the same problem then i opn my iphone in itunes n clicked the upper option of tones n then clicked to sync tones all…thanxxx

  • Mike

    Several years ago, I purchased a bunch of electronic “ringtones” through the iTunes store. I later learned, through Apple official help, that I needed to convert each of those ringtones-songs to ringtones to be played by iPhone. I believe the charge was 99 cents or something like that for each conversion. With the help of Apple’s online technician, I converted five of those “ringtones-songs” to ringtones and have been using one or another since. A few days ago, I updated my iPhone software to iTunes 10. Everything worked, except I no longer have those converted ringtones. The still show as “tones” in iTunes and I still have the original songs-ringtones in my iTunes library. But when I connect my iPhone and bring them up in “Tones” (all checked on the left side), and click “Sync”, the iTunes goes to synching steps and finishes, but none of those ringtones appear on the “Sounds” menu and ringtones on my iPhone. I find this very frustrating because I purchased the original ‘songs-ringtones’ through the iTune store and then paid Apple more to convert them to usable ringtones. Can you please help.

  • Sally Cook

    Simon ….. you’re a marvel. Followed your instructions word for word and it worked FIRST TIME. It’s great being able to pick and choose my own favourite tunes as the basis for my iPhone ringtones. Thanks heaps. Sally, Australia

  • Daniel

    How do I change m4a to m4r?
    I dont see that option.
    Please help.

  • Adam

    This doesnt work? I dont have a ringtones folder on my iphone when i plug it into itunes, nor do i have an option for custom ringtone on my iphone. Help. :o(

  • Megan

    Hi There….
    I followed the instructions on How To Create Ringtone for iPhone on iTunes 10 and it worked perfectly. I just have one problem. When I was done and I synced my iPod and it only plays the song in the 30 second ring tone version not the full play song. I went back into the finder and deleted the smaller ring tone file and re-synced my iPod but it is still the same. Any suggestions?

  • Tayna

    I have an imac and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much!!

  • Dan

    This doesnt work? I dont have a ringtones folder on my iphone when i plug it into itunes, nor do i have an option for custom ringtone on my iphone. Help. ( i cant seem to get the ringtones to sync to my iphone ring tones

  • Tantan

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for this information. I have already completed the steps until #9 however I’m stuck with step # 10 – there’s no Ringtones in my Itunes Library. Please help. Thanks in advance. God bless!

  • Xman

    I have followed the steps outlined above very closely. The same instructions appear of several other blogs. I am able to follow them right up until step 10. Double clicking the file does not automatically add it to my iTunes ringtones library. Initially, I had no tones or ringtones option under either my library or iPhone in iTunes. I was able to make “Tones” appear under each by selecting it in preferences but I am still not able to make the ringtone file I’ve created appear in the tones section of the library in order to synch it with my iPhone. My file is only 9 seconds long, so it it not too long and I added a .m4r to it (I’m on a PC and not able to see any file extension on the file when I create it following the instructions above). Please tell me what I’m doing wrong as I’m desperate to have custom musical ringtones. Thanks.

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  • Frank White

    Worked like a charm… just bought 2 new iphone 4s’s and plan to surprise my wife with it for Christmas… used your work around to take a 30 sec sample from our wedding song… setting it up as her ring tone, gonna hang the phone in the Christmas tree… and a few minutes after we’re finished opening gifts, I’m gonna call her new iphone…

    Thanks and booyow from Baltimore!!!

  • Sue

    I am trying to cut a song to start in a certain place for a slide show. Is it possible to use same method but not convert it to a ring tone? Thanks.

  • sam

    everything works, but when i double click at the end.. it goes to my music not my ringtones. i dont even have a ringtones folder in my library. how do i make one or what can i do?

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  • brittany

    it still saves to my music and not ringtones

  • Chris

    just bought a new 4… and can’t get this to work….. HELP

  • SydneyH

    so, i created an ACC version. Then, it says to change the extension “m4a” to “m3r” . Well, mine didn’t have the mf4 extension in the first place. What do i do?

    • Sandra

      I had the same problem. But the problem isnt with itunes. What you have to do is go to your start menu, then click on control panel. Then select “Appearance & Personalization.” Once ur in that menu there should be an option that says
      ‘Folder Options.” Once you click on that, another window should pop up, and click the “View” tab. From there, look for the option “Hide the extension for known file types” and DESELECT it. Once you do that, your files should read .mp3 and when you follow the steps at the top u will see the .m4a file which you can change then. Hope this was clear!

    • Sandra

      I had the same problem. But the problem isnt with itunes. What you have to do is go to your start menu, then click on control panel. Then select “Appearance & Personalization.” Once ur in that menu there should be an option that says
      “Folder Options.” Once you click on that, another window should pop up, and click the “View” tab. From there, look for the option “Hide the extension for known file types” and DESELECT it and press ok. Once you do that, your files should read .mp3 and when you follow the steps at the top u will see the .m4a file which you can change then. Hope this was clear!

  • Simona

    So, I bought an Iphone 4s yesterday and I tried to create a ringtone for it. I did everything like you said but there is no Create an AAC or Create an MP3 version whatsoever. I’m using ITunes 10.5.2 and I already changes my settings to AAC encoder and ITunes Plus. Any suggestions?

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  • Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your site in web explorer, could test this? IE still is the market chief and a large section of other people will leave out your excellent writing because of this problem.

  • TommyM

    For me, there was one more missing step – I had to check “Manually Manage Music and Videos” towards the bottom of the Options section. Only then could I drag the ringtone I’d made, from the Library’s Tones Section, to the Phone’s Tones Section, as an earlier poster had explained. Thanks So Much!

  • Matt

    when i save it to windows explorer it just comes up with the file name and no .m4a on it? and when i import it it just goes in my normal music libary rather than a ringtones one. Help please.

    • Sandra

      Go to ur control panel and choose the option “appearance and personalizations” then when u get to that menu u choose “folder options”. It will pop up a menu and look under the “view” tab. There should be an option that reads “hide the extension for known file types”, DESELECT that and then the .m4a should show on ur music files.

  • Julie

    what do i do if i dont have a ringtones folder in my itunes?

  • Jessie

    i followed all the procedures but i dont get the tab for ringtones on the side. HELLP!

  • beth

    everything is good, all the steps except it going into the ringtones folder :/

  • Anthony

    When I go into get options, everything is greyed out and will not let me click the check boxes, how do I overcome this? I purchased the song through the store.

  • lola

    When I double click the new m4r file in finder, it doesn’t open as a tone in itunes, it opens in music…. And I can’t seem to get it to the tones section, even though it does say it’s a ringtone in the files’ info…
    HELP!!! 🙂

  • Savannah

    I found that some of this blog was unhelpful for my pc, so I found an alternative. There is an app that you can download called music ringtone maker. You make your ringtones using the music on your idevice, and then follow simple steps to install it.

  • Jack

    Somehow i couldn’t change the file extension. I followed your instructions and renamed the file by adding “.m4r” at the end of the file name. Did exactly as you said. then somehow, that 30 sec file will be renamed back to wt it was before (at no point was the file type be changed to m4r). what is wrong with it? i am using windows!

    • Brad

      Like many of the windows users, I was having problems changing the file extensions. Windows disables the extensions in file names by default and you have to enable it.

      Follow the instructions in the this link to be able to change file extensions in windows:


      • Brad

        After that it works fine. ^.^ Now I have my favorite ring tones on the iPhone and all is well!

  • fernando

    Ok, so I’ve made a few ringtones with you guide, simple enough thanks. But I’m wondering why is the quality of the ringtones so bad? could I make better sounding ringtones?

  • Wadorange

    Great instructions! This worked perfectly, even with my Windows laptop. Thanks for posting.

  • Carly

    When i click remove (delete) after i right clicked, it isn’t giving me the option of keeping the file. It simply deletes it.

  • Justin

    Hello i tried this but it doesnt work i have it in my tones and everything and i synced it but it wont appear when i go to setting and check it also a werid thing is on the box to the left of it when i check it i get .04 gb in my books but when i uncheck it it goes back to .06 it might have to do with something im not sure but yup help would be very appreciated. I Run Windows Vista

  • Kristina

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Sara

    Hi! I am stuck on step 7. I am using a PC and I don’t see the option there to change it to a .m4r file extention. Thanks!

  • Hemant

    Thanks, it works awesome, I was puling my hair out before reading this article, not a big fan of iTunes.

  • Tim


    I tried this and got through all of the steps until it said to delete the file, which is where I got confused. Anyway, I renamed the .M4A to .M4R, and opened it in iTunes and synced, but it still didn’t show up. Also changed the Sync Selected to Sync All and still nothing. My last question is… am I looking in the wrong place? Went to Settings->Sounds->Ringtone, and its not there… Help, I’m confused. :/

  • Russell

    when i went to delete the tone after i made it, i was never prompted to keep the files, i am on windows 7

  • Jessica

    I’ve made ringtones this way before but I’m on a different computer and the ringtone folder on my iTunes isn’t popping up. When I go to rename the song to .m4r, the name doesn’t have mp3 in it but the icon shows MPEG 4. I don’t know why it won’t show the ringtone folder so I need help. I thought maybe the ringtone would show up wen I plugged in the phone but it just stored itself in the iPod. What can I do?

  • Cstdj

    i have done all you said there and it came out perfect but i cant locate it in my folder when i go to change my ringtone? any idea?

  • caleb

    i need help! i have downloaded the portal 2 ring/text tones for iphone but they wont move into itunes.

  • Jayy

    hi, good job. just 2 things. I don’t have the “show in finder” option. Please, please help.

  • Thannk you ….. it works…

  • Hugo

    It worked like a charm. When my wife calls me she no longer sounds like a duck, she now wears “hot pants” by James Brown. She likes it a lot.


  • dayna

    im at the stage to move the completed ringtone from library to iphone but itunes says its too long to be a ring tone even after i change it to 30secs and even 6 secs still says its too long. But obviously its not. Im not sure how to fix this.

  • Ruben

    thanks 🙂 you helped me a lot!

  • After i right click to locate the create aav file…no option like this

  • Joe

    Hi, in my itunes i don’t have a ringtone library, what should i do?

  • Lisa

    When I go to delete the file I made I do not get the option to keep the file

  • C.J.

    Hi! I followed every single step exactly correct, but when i synced my iPhone 4, in the “Tones” section of my phone options, my created ringtone shows up colored in gray. When I sync my phone, the ringtone never shows up. Could someone please help me? Thank you!

  • Poppy

    Thank you! I spent ages trying to suss this.

  • Megan

    These instructions worked perfectly except I can not get the custom ringtone to appear on my phone.
    It is an m4r, it is 26 seconds, and I tried dragging it to my iphone, snycing it, copying and pasting it, but it will not appear as a ringtone on my phone. It is not appearing as a custom ringtone under setttings->sounds->ringtone.
    What else can I do?

  • Megan

    I am attempting to make a custom ringtone for my iphone 4, but it is not syncing to my iphone or appearing under settings->sounds->ringtones.

    It saved as an m4r file, has no info but the title, and is only 26 seconds.

    I’ve tried double clicking it, copying and pasting it, syncing my iphone, etc and it will not go onto my phone.

    Does ANYONE have any advice?


  • Jamie

    I have iTunes 10 and I did al the steps but when I went to drag it into the tones section it wouldn’t allow me to drag anything into it. What am i doing wrong?! Any suggestions would help! Thanks 🙂

    • I had the same issue with the tone going into the Tone section. I use an external drive to house my iTunes Library, wonder if that has anything to do with it?

  • Wina

    Great instructions! Followed all the steps to set up 4s and the “ringtone” is on my phone. How can I assign to my contacts?

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  • Megan

    Thank you *so* much! This was super helpful!

  • Mike

    Great instructions! Much better than the annoying videos I found on the subject.

    It all went well until the final step. First of all, when I double click the file (in Windows Explorer), nothing happens.

    Also, there’s no option for ringtones in my library. I have the latest version of itunes.

    • Mike

      Nevermind, I got it.. Shoulda read all the other posts first.

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  • Bella

    Thank you so much. It works :))

  • Neehar

    Man, This is awesome. Thanks for u r nice explanation .

  • Dev

    Thanks you so much, it is really very helpful.

    Keep such useful things posted.

    Cheers. 🙂

  • Dev

    Thank you so much.

    Very useful information.

    Keep posted. :))

  • savy

    i wonder why my itune doesn’t have a ringtone option .another thing while i drag the file that create for ringtone the extention not change to m4a can u plz help??

  • Milt S

    After renaming to m4r no matter what I do, it drops back into the music library and not the tones library? I’m using Windows 7.

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  • ligj

    It all went fine but at the end when I double click the 30 sec ringtone came right at Library > Tones but still I can’t use it in my Iphone nor i can see it, any help please how does this work cuz im new at ITunes.

  • ligj

    It all went fine but at the end when I double click the 30 sec ringtone came right at Library > Tones but still I can’t use it in my Iphone 4 nor i can see it, any help please how does this work cuz im new at ITunes.

  • Angelica

    I can do everything fine up until step 8 / 9, it doesn’t give me the option to keep the file, it just deletes the song and the file. I use Windows Vista and iTunes, could anybody help me please?

    • Angelica

      Never mind, I figured it out and got some onto my phone, except now it will only put the two most recent ring tones I make onto my phone, and everything else before it just disappears and gets replaced with one of the two on my phone. Can somebody please tell me how I can get more than just two custom ring tones to stay on my phone? They all stay in my itunes, just not on my phone.

  • kamalistic


    I’ve followed the same steps for my iPhone4 and worked perfectly.
    However, now I’ve upgraded to IOS 5 and everything seemed file, from creating AAC to it appearing in ‘TONES’ on iTunes.

    However, it’s not appearing on my phone in the ‘ringtones’.

    Help plsssssssssss… 🙂


  • Shannon

    Hey there, I didn’t finish reading the q+a thread so I don’t know if this was ever addressed but in case anyone had the same problem I did (made the ringtone just fine but it wouldn’t show up after successfully syncing) the solution was to erase all other track information under the “get info” section of the m4r file.

  • Leka

    Thank you sooo much!!! This helped me out…at first seamed confusing but much convenient than what i used to do before :o]

  • joanna

    i dont see the “ringtones” bit at the side of the itunes window…

  • Kristina

    THANK YOU!!! The information you have provided as well as giving step by step visual examples was very helpful, thanks again! 🙂

  • Phil

    Hey, thanks. This worked for me. 🙂

  • Mario

    I’ve done everything in the instructions but I’m just having problems setting the ringtone on my phone. The ringtone is in my I-tunes and everything. pls help

  • Thanks for the info and help, works very well.

  • Alicia

    excellent tutorial. Worked perfectly… so glad i found this because it was driving me crazy trying to figure this out!!!!

  • Dan

    Hey guys who got stuck at the last step.
    Windows 7

    ITUNES puts the 30 second tone under “TONES” in your Itunes menu on the left hand side.

    You can then drag and drop onto the phone

    It will then appear on your phone.

    We got stuck at this point. ( doesnt matter if you let Itunes manage your music or NOT)

  • Bryan

    Here is an easier way to do this whole process (at least it worked for me and took me 30 sec)

    Find the file in windows ( or Mac) right click on it and find the “send as email attachment” MS outlook opened up for me ready to send DO NOT SEND !! just right click and then click “save as” the box pops up them click for file type change to “all files” then name it ” song.m4r” I saved to desk top , then find file and put in Itunes ringtones……worked perfect for me no need to create AAC and all that other jazz.

  • Bob

    YESSSS! I finally got it! Your process works flawlessly. The KEY is to change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r. I was stumpped until I checked the file extension of the ringtone that I just imported and discovered that I, in fact, had not change the file extension correctly. PC users: in windows explorer when you see the song and right click it will show you the file extension. You need to see the file extension when it is sitting in the folder and when you rename it just change the file extension. I hope that makes sense.


  • Victoria

    Thank you =D

  • Dan-Starr

    Help! I followed the instructions and it didn’t copy to the ringtones folder… so i did it again and now I only have 2 copies of the 30 second version in iTunes. How do I get the complete song back? ‘Cause I can’t even re download it from the iTunes store….

  • Elizabeth

    I did each step necessary and was successful in creating the ringtone file, BUT for some reason it wont automatically go to my iTunes “ringtone library”…why is that? I’ve made a ringtone before in the past and it worked just fine but now for some reason it is just the last step that wont work. And yes, my iTunes is updated. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? Please help!

  • Anna

    I’m absolutely computer-illiterate and these steps worked perfectly. Many thanks!

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  • Cec

    Thank you so much Heira, That was just what i needed…

  • http://www.Ringer.org is the best ringtone maker I’ve ever seen! Completely free, online, no registration!

  • Tanya

    I followed all of the directions and made it all the way to the end and synced but it’s not showing up on my iphones ringtone menu. I have itunes syncing all ringtones but this new one isn’t there. Can anyone help? Thank you!

    • Leelou

      Tanya…try changing song from 30sec to 28sec. Worked for me

  • Andy

    Syncing Without iTunes??

    I created a ringtone and it works great on my iPhone, however I want to put it on my dad’s iPhone, however he does not have iTunes and does everything via iCloud. Any idea how I can get this file into his phone without jailbreaking his phone? I tried emailing it to him, but it won’t recognize/play the file.

    Thanks In Advance,


    • Jamie

      Im on windows 7, whenever i go to the folder all it says is in this case… 16 far away 1 …. i dont know how to change the extention cause its nowhere to be found. i see it in properties but cant change it. i rename it and it looks like 16 far away 1.m4r.m4a sameone explain.

  • sravya

    there’s show in windows explorer option instead of show in finder

  • Ean

    so i did this step by step, exactly followed your instruction, after i played the file, i sync my iphone 4s, after that i was trying to change my ringtone in my iphone setting–> sounds–> ringtone, but i dont see my file there~ what’s wrong?

    • lee

      Ean …i did the same thing, then i realize that itunes 10.5.3 did not have ringtone folder and i think we must find out how to create ringtone folder in itunes first before we can use it as ringtone.

      haizzz…sad sad

  • Esdp

    Thanks mate, works like a charm.

  • Richard

    I have created ringtones and I can see them in iTunes on my iPhone under Tones, however when i go into settings on my iPhone i can only see the standard tones not my m4r files. can anyone help me with this final step?

    • Ean

      i tried it dont work on my iphone, so i download an app called “HD Creator”, with that i could cut whatever i want from my playlist to be my ringtone, they have a simple video teach you how to do it, easier and quicker~

    • Leelou

      I had same problem. Changed song from 30sec to 28sec and it worked perfectly

  • Carle

    AWESOME!! Thank you so much for this.

  • Katie


    Go to Control Panel
    In Search Bar Type “Folder Options”
    Click “Change search options for files and folders”
    A box will pop up
    Click on the View Tab
    Uncheck the box that says “Hide extensions for known file types”
    Click Apply

    Now when you look at your files it should show the “.m4a” at the end of your file so you can edit it and play it.

    Hope this works for you–it did for me!

    • thanks! worked perfectly! cheers:)

  • Mickeyy

    Everything Worked Accept When The Last Step. When I Double Clicked The .m4r File It Just Started Playing. . .It Didnt Create A Ringtone File.
    P.S : My iTunes 10 Doesnt Even Have A Ringtone File Under Library

  • andres

    My ringtones are in the correct m4r. ext. and the aac version is deleted. When I try to drag the file to my iphone it simply will not sync.

    • Ean

      when u sync, follow the instruction and finally change it to m4r, play the m4r file, then make sure you go to your iphone in itunes, click [Tones] , select [sync tones] with [all tones] then sync.

  • iman

    i performed all steps and i connected my iphone to the itunes, but nothing happened. how can i let it sync the ringtones? i’m using an iphone4s. is this the reason why it is not syncing

    • iman

      got it done. thanks

  • Star

    hi simon my itunes dont have a ringtone tab what do i do?

  • crissy

    i am wondering where they will show up-my itunes shows no section for ringtones 🙁

  • Alice

    How do you get to be a text tone it just goes under alert tone

  • Kyra

    I went through all the steps on getting a ringtone and then when i move it to my desktop it doesnt have “.m4a” it just has the name of the song. so i tried to rename it with “.m4r” at the end of the song. can someone PLEASE help me?

    • Leelou

      Take a look at response from Katie above on Feb 5 – that will solve your problem

  • Maureen

    Thank you!!! Perfect instructions…worked great the very first time. I LOVE it!!!

  • tracey

    I got stuck at point 7 where you need to change the file type. I’m using Windows 7 and it just won’t let me.

    Please could somebody help as i’ve had this ringtone for years and have just moved from Android to iPhone and would love to keep it.

    • iman

      on your windows explorer click on “organize” and open “folder and search options”, click on the view tab and unclick “hide extensions for known file types”. once you do that the extension will appear next to your filename and you can manually change it.

  • Mark

    Took a bit of trial and error as it was the first time I had tried to make a ringtone however it worked like a charm. THANKS!!
    One suggestion (in case it wasnt mentioned – i didnt read ALL the replies) is that once the process is complete and you have your ringtone, go back to the GET INFO option of the original song and deselect the START and STOP times so that when you listen to the song in the future, it plays in it entirety from start to finish.

  • Hey Simon, after I created my ringtone and sync with my iPhone, it appears but not as a ringtone, but a short song. I have an iPhone 4s. Do You know how to find it in my ringtones folder?

  • Hey Simon, can You help me with this? after I created my ringtone and sync with my iPhone, it appears but not as a ringtone, but a short song. I have an iPhone 4s. Do You know how to find it in my ringtones folder?

    • Ashley

      I’m having this issue too! 🙁

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  • Great stuff, happy 🙂

  • Steve

    Thanks for publishing instructions. Easy to follow for a novice and new iphone user

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  • Jasmeen17

    I’m trying to make ringtones on itunes but instead of ringtones, it says tones. Are ringtones and tones the same thing? How can i sync ringtones to tones….i tried but nothing happens. Its an iphone 4 by the way. Please help me guys, i’m really confused. Thank you!!!!!!!

    • Yes, they are the same thing. Apple has renamed “ringtones” to “tones” when it released the latest version of iTunes.

      • Jasmeen17

        I’m still trying to put ringtones but i dont understand how i’m supposed to change the file to mr4 or smthing? How do i do tht..? Do i just rename it or wht.?

  • Gaurav

    Thnx \Buddy Its really helpful n its working grtly

  • biggz

    i’m not seeing ‘ringtones’ under Library on iTunes? why is that?

    • Probably you haven’t enabled the ringtone option. You can refer to this post for resolution.

  • Penny

    I have windows but whenever i go to “show in windows explorer” it puts the song in my folders as a MPEG 4 not m4a. And i tried to change that to m4r but it still wouldnt work. what am i doing wrong??

  • Amy Walsh

    thanks so much for helping!
    would never have figured this one out alone.

  • danyyboy

    i jus tried this and it works great for the pc.

    *some problems i ran into that might help*
    when renaming the file to “m4r”. if you cant rename the file manualy, click “organize” in the top left-hand corner, then click “folder search options”. Go to the “view” tab and check the box marked “hide extentions for known file types”. it will enable you to change the file type and it smooth sailing from there.

    Thanks for the tutorial dude. great help

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  • Tammi

    I am at step 7, viewing this in Windows. I just cannot figure out how to change the extension. This is making me feel quite stupid.
    HELP please.

  • Masterchef!

    Awesome Simon! You are a genius. i want to have your babies!

  • jetlag4321

    Everything worked until you open the m4r format. iTunes plays it, but it isn’t in the playlist.

  • Damn! thanks a lot buddy!!

  • Amber

    I have the new iPhone 4s. I’m not sure if you covered this in the previous discussions, however. I have done everything instructed, the ringtone I made shows up in the ringtone file, however it wont allow me to use it. There is a small “sync” icon on the left of the file, but the whole selection is greyed out and will not allow me to do anything with it. Help, what do I do?

    • Char

      same thing happened to me, I even changed it to 28 seconds like some people said and the same thing happened. Did you ever find a solution?

    • Char

      same thing happened to me. I even changed it to 28 seconds like some people said. Did you find a solution?

  • Amy

    Thank you!! I just came back to iPhone and this was exactly what I needed–including the conversion to ACC preference.

  • Matthew

    Ok my problem is that in step 9 it says to keep file when prompted but i do not get prompted anymore. i may have clicked the do not show me this again in the past. so how do i get this back so that i can keep the file? because now when i delete the file and or song i have to redownload it all over again as its not keeping my file.

    then on step 10 what does it mean go back to finder? also i do not have a folder on the left hand side that has ringtones on it? please help i really need this ring tone right meow!!!

  • roland

    hi pls help me….. i did it to the last step,,, but i dont find ringtones folder in my itunes library and could not add the .m4r ringtone to it even aftr synch..In the tenth step when i doubleclicked it was added to music folder in the library. pls reply to my mail id..

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  • Marc

    I had to change my import settings to AAC but after that it worked great!

  • Genius! That was bugging me! After years with the same ringtone, I couldn’t get it on the iPhone when I upgraded. Never could recognize a new ring. . .

  • Bev

    Thank you so much!!! I just updated iTunes last night, and freaked when I couldn’t find the option to make ringtones. Thanks for very clear, very simple instructions! YAY!!!!

  • Kimmybee

    You are awesome! Thanks so much!! ^^v

  • Laura

    Thanks! It worked perfectly!

  • Luvfrns

    i have converted the file to .m4r but my problem is that there so no ringtunes option in my itunes. I am using itunes 10.6 on windows 7 starter. plz help me i am lost.

  • Marsha

    Great Instructions Simon….Thank You! Now that my custom ringtones are under the tones folder in itune I have only 1 showing up. So every time I add a new song only that new song show up on my iphone 4S. Can you help. Thanks a Bunch

  • Ramas

    Thanks all for the tips! I found it very useful. All works.
    I didn’t read all posts but in case nobody mentioned this. The name of the ringtone cannot have any “spaces”.

  • Brian

    Thanks, buddy. Nice info.

  • Jantzen Russell

    Thanks for the tutorial. But I think we need an updated version. This certainly didn’t work for many users! 🙂

  • Matt

    Works Great, Thanks for the process!

  • Sora

    I have this problem. Whenever I right-clicked to delete the AAC format, the com didn’t gave me an option as to whether move to the recycle bin or keep the file. It’ll just delete the song immediately. (Help me on this?) And even though I have the ringtone in my iTunes (it’s exactly 28 secs), when I’d sync it, it didn’t show up on my iPhone. So I’m wondering is it due to deleting the AAC file that causes the failure?

  • apepp

    This worked for me, but now the song I used to create the ringtone starts playing at the chosen point for the ringtone instead of the original start of the song. Help!

    • @apepp, you can uncheck the “start time” and “end time” option for your original song. You may refer to step 3 for details.

      • apepp

        Easy fix. Thank you!

    • Beauty

      edit-pref- at sources make sure tones is checked

  • Hi there! Awesome tutorial! I translated to portuguese (Brazil) and created a video based on it, both published on my blog, with all due credits given 😉

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  • Yes Sir


  • paul

    i cant seem to find the right option for converting the song from m4a to m4r…any help ?????

  • paul

    i cant the option that converts the song from m4a to m4r..any helpppp????

  • Michael

    Be nice to have better info for non mac user. I did everything like it said an renamed it an all. An all it did was add it as a song not ringtone. Need help here.

  • Michael

    Be nice to have better info for non mac user. I have a PC an I did everything like it said an renamed it an all. An all it did was add it as a song not ringtone. Need help here.

  • Michael

    Be nice to get better info for the non mac user. I have a PC an did everything like it said. Tryed to rename it an that did work. An when I tryed to add it,all it did was turn it into another song.. Need help here. I love my phone an all but the ringtones suck.

  • Michael

    No idea why people have so much trouble… the instructions were very clear… some things need some common sense… which seems like some people have none… of course you have to change the options in iTunes to sync the ringtones… DUH! AND of course you have to go back later and change the timing of your song back after you are done… DUH!

    And of course it works easier with a Mac… DUH! That is why we have Mac’s, everything is easier!

    Very clear & easy to follow instructions! Thanks you for the post! Sorry for all the stupidness

  • vlad

    Thank you much, I had a new ringtone in my iPod Touch 4 in less than 1 minute.

  • Lizzy

    worked perfectly for me. thanks!

  • Hilal

    i created an M4r extension file and the duration is 30 seconds. i am using windows 7 and i don’t know how to keep this file as my default ringtone. please advise how to transfer to the folder by return?

  • rsib

    THANK YOU! I’m an idiot when it comes to itunes, iphone, etc. and with your blog (and the help from a few comments) I was able to make my own ringtones. GREAT blog! 🙂

    • Thanks! Glad to hear your feedback.

      • Dennis

        Stuck at first step! I am unable to check and fill in start time and end time???

  • Sharon

    for those that can’t seem to change m4a to m4r

    for vista ,

    click computer , on top click “organize” ,
    then click “folder and search options”,
    and then click “view” ,
    then uncheck “hide extensions for known file types” .

  • Tamara

    Don’t forget to go back to the original song, right click, select “Get Info” and uncheck start and stop time under the Options tab and select “Ok”. If not, whenever you try to play the song, it’ll only play the 30 secs of ringtone you created.

  • Elle

    Just upload your audio file to http://Ringer.org and cut it yourself there.

  • UN


    After I convert the file into AAC, it saves the AAC file on the computer, without adding it to the iTunes library. i change the extension to m4r, but when i play the file it does not appear in Ringtones, and I can’t drag it there. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!


    • Nag

      I followed the instructions & absolutely working fine with me, in your case once you play m4r file, then it automatically resides at tones section which locates on the left hand side menu.

  • niken

    hi there… mine when i sync it..it say the sont did not copied because its too long..i follo every step precisely

  • John

    When I press delete I do not get the option to keep file. Not sure what to do next. Thanks

    • michael

      dont worry about it continue anyway. mine doesnt give me the option either but it still works

  • suvash

    excellent article ….its working fine on my iphone

  • I’ve tried this 3 different times now. THREE! lol

    I’ve done this before, but I’m stuck at the last step – it won’t let me transfer to my phone because it says the file is too long (I did from 30 sec to 60 sec

    HELP! 🙂

  • Erica

    This was all fine for me till I got to the double clicking on the m4r file part and realized there’s no Ringtone tab in my iTunes. Reason for this? :/

  • Erica

    Actually I got Tones to show up, but when I delete the song it doesn’t have the option to Keep File, only delete or cancel. So I think it’s just being erased and won’t sync to tones.

    • jenny

      same with me!
      i dont know what to do..

  • babykitten

    After following the instructions and getting further help from the comments I finally was able to do it. Thank you!!!

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  • jenny

    hi i have the iphone 4s

    and im trying to make ringtones, i get up all the way to step 9 but at 10 nothing happens.
    the the ringtone i make won’t add into my ringtone/tomes file and i cant drag and drop it in there

  • MikeyP


  • KEN

    I create the file, rename it to m4r. It syncs to my iPhone 4s to the music directory, not the ringtone directory. It does not show up in my ringtones to select. Any suggestions. I am running iTunes 10, Windows 7, iPhone 4s.

    • MikeyP

      Super easy way to fix any problems you may encounter, this is also what i did.

      google Format Factory, it is a free program, check reviews on CNet download.com

      once you have that installed, simply just select Audio from the menu on the left and select “all to M4R” after that add your mp3 or whatever format it is in and hit ok. once back on the main screen hit “Start” will take a second or two.

      When done, locate the file and simply drag and drop it into your iTunes Tones/Ringtones section and simply sink it with your phone.

  • kb

    Hey, there. Thanks for the instructions. Got it to work in under 5 minutes. Easy as pie.

    And people: READ the comments before posting. There are the same 3 questions getting asked over and over and over again!

  • thnaks man its works

  • Anna

    hye guys,
    I’ve done until #3 but whenever i tried to convert, the selection of ‘Create ACC Version’ not appeared. mine showed only ‘convert ID3 tags’. already changed the settings of AAC encoder.
    so confused. which part did i missed?
    anyone there to help?

    may PM me at [email protected]

  • Chasity

    Ok i got a ringtone to my desktop but when i put in in my itunes library it doesn’t go to the tones tab it just goes to the music tab. How do I get it to go to the tones tab?

    • Erin

      I am having the exact same issue… I have no ringtone option in my itunes and everytime I sync when the song is in the tones folder it won’t work…

      Someone please help!

  • Colyn Ooi

    Simon, thanks for your sharing ;), but i have a problem about step#10, do you know that what’s my problem?

  • mick


  • Marek Lutz

    Thanks, very helpful and simple 😉

  • Lexy

    I can’t find the ringtone in my settings under ringtones. It isn’t there but I got ever step down.

  • Nanci

    Thanks Simon, but this doesn’t work with iTunes 10 IOS version. I tried numerous times, following your instructions to the letter as well as taking everyone’s suggestions. is there a way with the updated iTUNES to make this work? HELP!!

  • BLD

    Thanks! Great tutorial, very clear. Worked great!

  • Pete

    All steps seem to work and I get the tone showing on my Iphone but when I select it as a ringtone on my phone it doesnt work, no sound at all. Tried shortening the clip to 28 seconds and that doesnt work either. Any suggestions ? Thanks

  • Dominique

    it shows up under the tones tab on itunes but not under tones on my phone….it comes up as a song on my phone…help

    • pr

      The same thing happened for me to. I kept trying to double click the song and it loaded onto my iphone like 5 times…AS A SONG!!!!!!!!!

  • Katie

    Stellar. Thank you.

  • Rach

    Thank you! Your step by step plan for creating a ringtone was very user friendly and explanatory. I’m glad that there’s somebody out there who understands things…..

  • Aya

    Great tutorial! It worked like a charm for some of my mp3’s, but somehow when I try and use the ‘create AAC-version’ it doesn’t create a 30 second file, but the same length as the original. Any thoughts?

  • David

    Worked perfectly the first time! Thanks very much!

  • Fran

    Followed the easy instructions exactly, and it worked like a charm! Perfect! thanks.

  • m.

    success! thank you for your concise and easy-to-follow instructions.

  • Eric

    I had done this before on my last computer and it worked, but my new computer is giving me fits. I made the AAC version and then showed it in my windows explorer, but I am not given the option to change the view. My computer defaults and already has a variety of options for view, so I never get the option to select option and click “hide known extensions”. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hey, folks. I had a devil of a time creating a custom ringtone. No, my problems weren’t the usual — can’t see file extensions, couldn’t convert to AAC.. “Tones” was visible in the sidebar. No, I did all that, still, no dice.

    Here’s what was wrong & how I fixed it. iTunes likes to keep things organized, and will often automatically rename files to conform to the pattern “Track Number – Title.” I had to delete the track number and rename the song title, removing all the spaces. Still, no luck.

    So /then/ I went back into Windows Explorer (I know, I know) and converted the file name to all lower case. Voila!

    Hope this helps, folks.


  • Vic

    Thanks works like a charm!

  • amizzy

    oh gosh, it works! thanks so so much.
    although i’m having slight difficulty when i need to change the file to .m4r, those comments helped :))
    gona make more tones now.

  • Matt

    Seriously dude you are a life saver. I have tried doing this for ages on iTunes 10 with no success. Not sure what step I was missing but your guide worked perfect

    • Glad to hear that! It’s great to see this guide helps so many people creating free ringtone.

      • phil671

        I have tried a dozen different methods. I cannot get my ringtone which is less than 30 sec. ends in .m4r into my tones folder. ( I do not have a ringtones folder or tab.) I have tried on both my mac and a dell computer. Drag and drop doesn’t work, double clicking on the file in finder doesn’t work. I see that I could download an app and then pay for ringtones that I create (very like apple…pay 700+ for an Iphone and then get nickeled to death) but I am don’t want to pay for an app that I am afraid won’t work on my phone anyway…. please help if anyone has a solution.

      • Hsu

        Dear Simon,

        Thank you for your post.
        But i have one problem.
        In step 10 , i find .m4r file and open.
        It goes to music. not go to ringtone.
        How can i do?
        Please advise.

  • Martin

    Thank you, for post!!!

  • Maxine

    I have a weird problem. I have no ring tones tab on iTunes/ I’ve done some playing around with preferences and I now have a tones tab. The tone I want is now in there but its not turning up on the iPhone itself.. Help?

    • alecia

      make sure when you go to sync your iphone you go to the “tones” button and click “sync all tones”

  • I had to modify a few different things to get it to work but in the end it all works perfectly fine.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write a guide 🙂

  • Jayant Kakkar

    i successfully created the ringtone..but on sync itunes with my iphone it is not appearing in my iphone… wat should i do???

  • Michael Der Manouel

    Everything works, but when I sync my phone, the new ringtone will not appear in sounds.

  • Hayley

    This worked well for me!!! Thanks so much!!! The only thing i had trouble with was renaming from m4a to m4r but I finally figured it out I have a Mac and after reading a lot of people’s comments on this problem I tried everything and still couldnt get it to work but finally I right clicked on the m4a icon and then went to get info and where it said name and extension, there was no button or any option to change the name so i typed it in myself and followed the rest of the steps and it worked! Hope this helps anyone who had the same problem!

  • Ashley

    I was able to edit the song I wanted and I have it transferred to my phone in my music library, now I’m not exactly sure how to make it a ringtone. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • neha

    amazing…worked like a charm! thank you so much :)))

  • Jacques Jansen

    You’re a genius this method is simple and straight foward pal.
    What else do you know haha !!!

  • Liz

    Totally works… but only lets you have 6 songs! I had 22 ringtones, but system will only sync 6!

  • jim

    I know i’ve complaint that your method is complicated. but it’s the only one that works. Thanks man! Awesome. You’d think that someone with more skills than i would have come up with an automator workflow for this. None of the apps for sale and/or free download on the web work. So, again, thanks!


  • Jim

    I know that i’ve complained in the past that your method was complicated. However, it’s the only one that works. Thanks, Man! You’d think someone with more skills than me would create an automator workflow for this, but no… None of the apps for sale and / or free download that are on the web work. So, again, thanks.

    and thank you Apple for yet another fail. This shouldn’t be such an issue. Neither should it be an issue to turn off email, text, or other notifications WHILE YOU’RE ON A CALL!

    Just another example of why the iPhone is a toy. Not a business solution.

    Anyway, thanks again!


  • Lindsey

    Someone please help! So I downloaded the original song, and then when I made the ringtone of it, the FULL song disappeared. So now when I listen to my music on my Iphone all it has is the 30 second one when it says its like 3 mins long but it only plays my version that I made a ringtone. Someone help me, cause I don’t want to buy the song all over again.!! I need a response ASAP

  • Did it !!!
    best tip I got all day

  • Brilliant Tip! Took a little bit of working out – couldn’t find the converted ringtones at first, after I’d double-clicked them in the (Windows) Explorer folder to get them back into iTunes, then realized they show up in the “Tones” library, but are NOT listed the Music Library – now I’ve got a whole bunch of very specific tones that I’ve allocated to groups of people and other things such as incoming texts. Just what I’ve always wanted! A very happy bunny here 🙂

  • Ben

    I followed all the procedures and i have the ringtone in the ‘tones’ section on itunes but when i sync my iPhone and look at my ringtones it’s not there. any help?

  • Ally

    When i delete the new song, there is no option that appears that say remove. All it does is deletes it. What should i do?

  • bradlyn17

    thanks all your seriously the best

  • Julie

    Hi, So I did everything as was instructed, but after I sync’d my phone. Where do I find the ringtone at?!? I checked my music and ringtones area and dont see it. Please help me. Thank you

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  • Alex

    Seems a bit long winded, I use http://www.ringtonesforiphone.com, pretty good selection there and loads less hassle..

  • yazzie

    i couldnt get it to work Dx

  • Liezl

    Hi there
    I have created the songs but it says sync is not possible. Hi have imported the songs on my Mac via CD’s

  • koe

    when i completed the steps then tried to reopen the file it opened in itunes under music and not ringtones

  • kelly

    i did all the above but when i created acc file instead of saying 30 seconds it said 0.00

  • Frank

    I have followed every step but it will not add it to my tones library

  • Sarah

    This awesome! It worked! you’re the best!

  • mugen

    i dont quit understand how to change the file from .m4a to .m4r!! can someone pls help? iam with windows

  • Caron

    Amazing — this worked! I’ve been scratching my head and trolling the Apple Support communities with no working answers for weeks. This DID IT. Not only did it download my ringtone, but it forced the “Tones” tab to appear on my homepage. Before, it wouldn’t show up despite proper settings in preferences. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Chris Jackso

    This is so good damn frustrating! Why the F*#k to Apple make it so F*#king hard to make a god damn ring tone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Faaaaaaaaaaarrrrkkkkkking ar3ehole caaaartnnns!!!!!!

  • stephen

    hi, when i am in itunes and i right clic on a tone…i go to get info…..then in the options box it does not allow me to check or tick a box…..please help because i need to make sure my ringtone on my iphone plays all the way through..please help i’m so frustrated with this?

  • Eric

    I did all that and it worked.
    But how to I proceed to make it my ringtone.
    I went into settings and ringtones on my iphone and cant find it, I even went into Buy More Tones and into my Tones list in iTunes and it is not there. Please Help

  • Ben

    can i do this with a voice memo

  • Monisha

    Hi, after doing the procedure which you have mentioned here, when i click the ‘ show in windows explorer’ option, it shows me a winamp file, and not an .m4a file. Can you please explain what should I do now.

  • Dayna

    In 10.6 version I had an issue whereby after I created the ACC version. It wasn’t showing in the playlist. I thought I was stymied until I did a search for my original name.. found 10 copies of the smaller file. I right clicked and selected open with > Itunes. It played. while it was playing I went back to itunes and selected add to playlist… it complained it was adding duplicates so I added it to another playlist and it worked.
    so I continued with the instructions from that point and it worked.

    I don’t seem to have a delete option though.


  • Babybadger

    Follow the above procedure but if it won’t rename the file, and you are using a PC(any version) to rename , find C:\windows\system\32 \cmd.exe and put shortcut on desktop. Then rightclick on the icon and run as ‘ADMINISTRATOR’ when changing the filename.
    E.G If the filename is C:\BS.M4A you need to type the following at the C: prompt :


    Note the space between the first file name and second file name, if it works it will just revert to the C: prompt with no errors.

  • Loren

    This didn’t work for me. I am using a Windows 7 computer and Iphone4S. SO that may be the problem. I changed the suffix name of a 27 second file to M4R after making it an ACC file. Synced the phone nothing new is in the list of ring tones.

  • anothernoob

    wow thanks work great as said. ^_^

  • Dark Horse

    BRILLIANT! Work just as you documented!

  • Mahpiualuta

    Thanks a lot, work very well…Glad cause I wont need to dirty my desktop with third party apps to do this…

  • phil


    I have followed your instructions and although I cannot right click. (I have a macbook) I found my way through the comments to get to step 10. I have both double clicked from finder and have moved the file to the desktop and double clicked. I have synced my Iphone several times.. no luck. The file doesn’t show up in Itunes when I seach Itunes, but when I search finder it shows up in in music. I do not know how to manually put it in the ringtone file. Is there a way to do it. The ringtones I am creating cannot be purchased so creating my own is my only option. Thanks for your help.

  • this obvious DOESN’T WORK

  • agg

    I haven’t got the “ringtone” on the left side of iTunes. What did I do not do right?? Help me please..

  • Ami

    It Worked, thank you for the simple clear explanation! 😀

  • Bob

    Brenda, Goto settings on your iPhone, then sounds, and select (check) the ringtone sound you want! 🙂

  • Tried about 6 times, just didn’t work for me at all

  • Bob

    Hi Simon,
    I’m also a Apple user (to the core). Thanks for your good instructions on creating Ring Tones. I followed them and had no trouble what-so-ever. But I did know the import settings had to be set to AAC Encoder.

  • Caron

    Although I successfully was able to do this on my first ring tone, I cannot on the second. **(With the second ringtone, it won’t.

    THE PROBLEM: When I get to the point where I delete the original file from iTunes, it does not give me the option to “Keep File”. I think this is the reason why it does not work.

    Help – what am I doing wrong?

    • Caron

      Okay – never mind, figured it out! I basically started over. I think I had been working with the original file rather than the new one that is created when I made the AAC version. Works!

  • Mackenzie

    I am having trouble saving the ringtone. I can save it on my computer but it will not automatically be converted into a ringtone. And I do not have the option to change the file to m4r.

  • Mizuki

    ok so I tried doing this hella times already but i still dont get on how to put the ringtone on the itunes ringtone file :(.. i tried to drag it copy paste it clicked it twice but it wont work..please help me.. i dont get it 🙁

  • Scott

    So well explained and simple to execute.


  • JJ

    Hi – Thanks for making such a great instruction manual. I’m on itunes 10.6.3 and am not finding a “create ACC Version” only a ‘create mp3 Version” – so I wasn’t able to get the ringtone in. Any suggestions? Itunes help doesn’t say anything.


  • Collin

    I didn’t see that I need to click keep file so I clicked move to trash. When I realized I had need to click the other one I tried to start over but after clicking ok in step three iTunes would no longer make another 30-second file. How do I get it to make another file?

  • Brooke

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!

    Your directions are so easy to follow, now I have awesome ringtones 😀

  • Grateful

    THANK YOU!! you are all so helpful and smart!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • windows directions are 99% right 😉 some users don’t have the ‘tones’ library viewable (i know i didn’t) so i had to toggle that one first, and had to change the encoder to aac from mp3 as well. then it worked fine.

    • Timbo

      The Simonblog ‘instructions’ are very clear. Unfortunately all that has resulted is that in classic ‘the deaf leading the blind’ expert tech help mode, I have created an AAC 30 sec version of a song I own, WOW!, have managed to delete the original, gone, disappeared, and still no 30 sec version will drag or appear into Tones. I would consider that an impressive two steps back, no steps forward routine, myself! But it was quite entertaining wasting half an hour or so I suppose

  • Amit

    Thank you so much for your great help…. i wan not thinking thant i can change the rington but you have given the right instructuion to change the ringtone…. thank you soooo much for helping…

    you are amazing

  • larry

    Hey mate good work on the instructions, really helpful. I have successfully created and imported the .m4r file, and then synced my iphone.

    How do I then make this a ringtone? I can’t find tones or the file on my iphone despite it being present in the Tones tab in my apple itunes. If I go to the settings>sounds>tones on my iphone it isn’t there either.


    • abudoggie

      I can’t make it retain the time that I enter – not 30 seconds or 29 seconds. As soon as I hit “ok,” it plays the tone and reverts back to the original timing. Is this a setting issue in my iTunes version (v.10)?

  • Roseanna

    I did as mentioned by you, and still my ringtone shows in the music folder in itunes after Syns i cannot see the ringrtone in my iphone.
    can you tell me what to do now please iam really fedup

  • tbong

    not possible for windows computer. maybe for mac only.. i can rename the file created to acc but can not change the extension file to .m4r, and also, i can not find the ringtone folder under the library.

    • Taylor

      its listed “tones” and to make it a m4r just click get info and change the format

    • Onemom

      Ok… I thought I had the same problem, but *just* discovered why. I’m a PC user, and it gave me a warning saying that changing to m4r might make it unusable. I accepted anyhow, deleted the file from iTunes, then clicked on the one in WE. Nothing showed up in my library like I was used to, and was SO confused. I figured that the warning was coming true. People kept referring to a “Tones” section- I’d never seen or used it before! (Seriously… what Tones section!) On the top left area of the page, you might see the “Music” drop down with the music notes icon, and if you click on that, you’ll now see a “Tones” option with a bell icon. (I sorely wish someone had spelled it out for me- this version if iTunes has given me SO much grief already and wasted hours upon hours of my time.) I clicked on that and saw about 20 versions of the ringtone that I was trying to create… that’s how many times I kept trying, wondering why it wasn’t showing up in my library like usual. Sure enough, right-clicking and selecting “Get Info” indeed showed me that it was an m4r! While I don’t like this new way of placing the ringtones away from the full library, (hiding is more like it!) I am happy to say that it did in fact work, time and again. I just didn’t realize it right away… I hope you’ve already figured this all out, but I hope it helps someone like me who didn’t know all the quirks of the new update.

  • Taylor

    since the ios6 update it wont let me make any more! the delete option is gone and even when you go to drag it to tones it selects the whole section not just “tones” and i have made a lottttt of ringtones this way HELPPPP

  • lisa

    well I don’t need to say it but here i go Thank you .

  • lisa

    well you don’t need to here is again but here I go Thank You !!

  • Den


  • I renamed the song from .m4a to .m4r, but it seems the file style is still .m4a style, so how should I do to change it from .m4a to .m4r?

    • Wildrosewolf

      Go to, “Tools” -> “Folder Options” -> “View” -> uncheck, “Hide
      extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”. Change THAT “.m4a” to “.m4r”.

      What you did was renamed the file. Not the extension. 😛

  • Linda

    Many thanks, Simon. Your post was clear and easy to follow. This worked perfectly for me!

  • Grant

    Hi. When I click open in Windows Explorer, it opens my documents and shows me the song name there, with no m4a or m4r? I also have no Ringtone playlist in my library, should that appear when I’ve created it?

    • Wildrosewolf

      As soon as you open “My Documents” go to, “Tools” -> “Folder Options” -> “View” -> uncheck, “Hide extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”. You should now see “.m4a”.

      Continue with the rest of the instructions from there. 🙂

  • Camilo

    I am not surprised Apple took the easy option out, that way they make extra sales out of ignorant people.

    I just cross my fingers so that whenever big corporations think people are stupid, there will always be smart people like you to find workarounds.

    I know have gangnam style ringtone on my iphone 🙂 and your website will be on my favorites tab from now on 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • grant

    Thanks for the post. Is there any way of upping the bit rate, mine worked fine but the quality is really bad (only 148 kbps)

  • Florin

    work’s ,tank you so much!

  • cara

    what if the ringtones tab isnt there on itunes?

    • Wildrosewolf

      That means you went wrong somewhere.

  • mansionat

    why nothing happened when i rename it into .m4r?

    • Wildrosewolf

      Because you didn’t hit enter as stated.

  • Ron

    Thank you for this! And for all those using Windows 7 having problems, you have to go to your folder options to change the way your folder extensions are shown.

    Control Panel > Go to ‘View By’ in the top right corner and click ‘Large Icons’ > Click on ‘Folder Options’ then the ‘View’ tab > Uncheck ‘Hide extensions for know file types’.

    Then follow the instructions from this webpage.

  • Nhan Le

    Thank you sooooooo much! it works!!!!!!!!!! ^_^

  • mariham

    i cant find “ring tone” under topic library ??

  • clare

    Thank you so much! works a treat on my mac. I had previously used a different method to do this on itunes 9 which wasn’t working anymore (despite my many attempts with me thinking I was doing something wrong) – so I’m very pleased to have an updated method for itunes 10. This method seems even easier than the one before too so once again a huge THANK YOU!!!

  • Faye

    Thanks so much for that…. I was wondering if there is a way!!! 🙂

  • meredith

    you’re awesome. thanks

  • thank you so much! I have been looking for a way to do this for months!
    very helpful ^^

  • PlagueJester

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for windows. Renaming it to .m4r does nothing, and iTunes still brings it in as an .m4a file anyway. So you can remove the step about what do in case of Windows, as this process doesn’t work there.

    Do you know any methods that do work in Windows? This new version of iTunes trashed my iPhone, made me remove everything from it (including previously made ringtones) and reinstall everything (taking the new iTunes from a completely blank library, to readding all of the music and other such things I had before).

    • Sabrina

      It does work with Windows. I have windows and just did the whole process. If you read all the responses, the answer for your problem is in the first few. You have to make sure you are changing the extension of the file, rather than just adding .m4r to the name of the file. To do that, go to the Control Panel and unclick the “Hide extensions for known file types”. Mine is listed under Folder Options and then View. This will show the file extension after the file name that can be easily changed to .m4r. Chances are yours says “Title of Song.m4r.m4a” because you weren’t actually changing the file extension. Instead you were adding it to the end of the file name. If you delete everything after the first dot and make sure it says “Title of Song.m4r”, you should be all set with that part.

      There was only one part that didn’t work (for me) exactly as the instructions above indicated. That was step 10. I double-clicked on the file, but it did not automatically populate in my Tones section of iTunes. Instead I dragged it into this section and also into the Tones section of my iPhone when it was plugged up.

      I already have two ringtones under a contact, so I know this works. Thanks!

      • yoboy!

        Thanks Sabrina, you’re a star u helped solve a problem I had

  • I have an iphone 4s. I get as far as creating the m4a file in Windows but when I double-click it takes me to an ad on the web. I purchased this song on itunes, created a 40 second version. Also, there are no ringtones in my devices when I connect my iphone. I did download an m4a converter on the web, but it gave me Babylon (ugk). Please help. Thank you.

    • Wildrosewolf

      “Ensure the length is not longer than 30 seconds.”

      And the format has to be changed from “.m4a” to “.m4r”. :/

  • steph

    After I have renamed it deleted it and bought it back it doesnt make a new ringtone album under library its just there in my music library next the the original? 🙁

  • Sara

    Thank you! After having trouble getting the ringtones to appear in the sidebar, I realized I had to remove the original files as well as the duplicated :30 shorter version files from my iTunes library – therein lied the solution! Thanks so much! I really hope the next iTunes upgrade doesn’t remove this option.

  • Sahar

    Amazing dear! Your answer and the discussion helped me alot. I created the ringtones from my favorite instrumental sucessfully!

  • Robert

    Thanks for the informations it was really helpful

  • Liz

    I am having a big problem. Everything Im doing is right. Ive done this a few times. But just this time when i change the .m4a to .m4r or whatever it wont actually change into a ringtone. I can not put it in my phone as one, just as a song which i dont want. I want it a ring tone.. help!!!

  • sajid

    Thanks paul… works like Charm.. 🙂

  • Hearytygkh

    i dont have a ringtone library…

  • haro

    This really worked! awesome 🙂

    • gynt

      when i delete a song itunes don`t ask me to keep file.. just delete file. what i need to do?

      • Wildrosewolf

        If you’re a windows user, that’s normal. Nothing to panic. Continue following the instructions above.

        Go back to your explorer and double click the “.m4r” file..

  • Megan

    My computer is windows. So, after I deleted the song in itunes and went to go double click on the song in the windows explorer, the song did not appear in itunes again. what should i do. please help me.

    • Wildrosewolf

      Look for a new option on iTunes library, “Tone”. Your song will show up there. Plug your iPhone and drag and drop it. From iTunes library “Tone” to your iPhone “Tone”.

  • laurie

    when i get to step 4 i get this : “You have not selected any songs to add to your library.” But I have. So I keep going in circles

    • Wildrosewolf

      Just… Drag and drop your song…

  • Gloria

    I have the ringtone and it’s in my phone but won’t show up in Ringtones when I want to chose to use for incoming calls.

  • Dee

    After struggling for the whole 6 hours i finally got it. thank you very much iFamily for the info

  • Eryn

    I saved the file with the .m4r and double clicked it, but its not showing up in my ringtones, it only shows up in my music.

    • Wildrosewolf

      It does work! Please note that when you double click the .m4r file, a new option, “Tone” will show up on iTunes side bar. Just plug your iPhone and transfer the .m4r file from iTunes “Tone” to iPhone “Tone”. 😀

      Next thing check your setting, and it’ll be there in your phone! 😀 😀

      • caroline

        I have the same problem. And I’ve done what you said.. It does’nt work 🙁

        • Wildrosewolf

          Hm? Are you sure that the file you converted is 30 seconds or lesser? Double check your steps, you might’ve went wrong somewhere. :S

          Wait, did you RE-NAME the file from .m4a to .m4r or changed the extension? I’ve a feeling that you re-named the file instead of changing the extension. :/

          • caroline

            It did not work yesterday, but I synced again today and now it worked 🙂

            • Wildrosewolf

              Awesome! 😀 Glad I could help! 🙂

          • Nihal Magdy

            how can i change the song extentions ?

            • Wildrosewolf

              Create “AAC Version” through itunes and go to your .m4a location and go to, “Organize” -> “Folder & Search Options” -> “View” -> uncheck, “Hide extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”. You’ll see .m4a next to your file name. Change that to .m4r and hit “OK”.

  • Marty Prater

    I found some ringtones getting lost when “synced” to Iphone, even though they show up in the iTunes Tones library, resulting in a statement that “xxx ringtone was not transferred. It could not be found.” or something similar. This is apparently due to an .m4a file having been placed in other than the ‘iphone/media/tones’ folder, causing iTunes to become confused when subsequent ringtones are generated. I believe I found the fix to be this: When locating the .m4a file, if it is in other than the ‘iphone/media/tones’ folder (‘unknown album’ and ‘unknown’ folders under media are frequent culprits), move that file to the ‘tones’ folder before converting and playing the ringtone .m4r file.

  • Sujata

    I dont see ringtones menu item in my itunes ….
    i have just downloaded latest version of itunes … i think its 10 …

    what i do now ? how do i get the ringtone in itunes which i have created as per the instructions u have mentioned.

    • Wildrosewolf

      Follow the instructions stated. As soon as you rename the file from “.m4a” to “.m4r”, you should see a new option, “Tone” on the iTunes sidebar. That’s where the ringtone will go to when you double click it after renaming.

      As soon as you plug your iPhone, it’ll get synced with iTunes. “Tone” option, would pop up below your iPhone. Just Drag and drop. It’ll go to your ringtone on your iPhone.

  • Yvonne

    Hi. I did all this and it was sent to “tones” library, however, when I go to ringtones on my iphone 4, it doesn’t show there but it does show up in music?

    • Wildrosewolf

      Did you drag and drop the file into your “Music” instead of “Tone”? :/ If so, Plug your iPhone back and drag the music file into “Tone” from “Music”.

  • Georgia Vlachopoulou

    hi there,
    accidentally i clicked to send the song to the trash can the first time i did it and after that this question won’t appear again so i don’t have the option to keep the file,it goes directly to the trash can. What can i do ?

  • duke

    Perfect! Many thanks!!

  • Afi

    And I lost at the part where you have to rename the file. I renamed them but they dont change to ringtone file 🙁

    • Wildrosewolf

      How can you be lost?! Its pretty straight forward! :S

      Make sure you CHANGED the EXTENSTION of the file. Not add an extension while renaming it. :/ Cause if you do so, it won’t work.

      • RJ

        How do you change the extension in Windows explorer?

        • Wildrosewolf

          Open your .m4a location and go to, “Organize” -> “Folder & Search Options” -> “View” -> uncheck, “Hide extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”.
          You’ll see .m4a next to your file name. Change that to .m4r and hit -> “OK”.

  • Erin

    Was following the directions but ran into a problem when I chose to create AAC version…an error message came up and said protected files cannot be converted…what does that mean and how can I remedy? I bought this ringtone already many years ago and itunes just can’t find it anymore so I’m trying to redo it! Help!

  • Captain Nichols

    It works. You rock, thank you so much!

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  • jerome

    yo… thnks a lot your awsome..!

  • Christo

    Thanks so much, works perfectly!

  • Dobry Bart

    It works! Thanks from Poland:)

  • Wildrosewolf

    It works! Thanks very much!! 😀

  • ringtonehelp

    I only have a “Tones” option in my iTunes and on my phone (3gs). When i click “sync tones” and choose “selected tones” and then sync, nothing happens. The song goes into my music folder on my phone but not into my ringtones

  • If you are having trouble getting the mp4 ringtone onto your phone- go into ITunes, select your phone, from “cross the top” menu (ie, summary, info, apps, TONES, music) select “tones,” and then make sure you have “All tones” toggled. Sync, and you should be good. I have an iPhone 5, and it was more difficult this time to add a ringtone than it was with my 4.

  • Maryanneexo

    how do you change it to .m4r? I’m on windows

    • Wildrosewolf

      Open your .m4a location and go to, “Tools” -> “Folder Options” -> “View” -> uncheck, “Hide extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”. You’ll see .m4a next to your file name. Change that to .m4r and hit “OK”.

      • iceeyedgirl

        And if dont have tools? 😀

        • Wildrosewolf

          You don’t have tools? You sure about that? 😛 Open the .m4a location and press “alt” button and see the magic. 😛

  • Raj

    Thanks for the steps.

    Works great, as usual because its apple we’ll have to take such a long route to just make our own ringtone.

    Thanks again.

  • Nicole

    THANK YOU! Nice and easy too.

  • vim

    finally i follow all the steps but it does not show the format of the file while choosing show in “window explorer” ..i am using window8

    • Wildrosewolf

      Open the .m4a location (Show in windows explorer, in your terms) and press “alt” button. Followed by “Tools” -> “Folder Options” -> “View” tab -> check “Show hidden files, folders & drives” -> Finally hit “ok”. You should now see the file format. 🙂

  • Bjorniz

    Cudos! works perfectly 😀 just remember to check in explorer that you change the actual file itself and not the name 🙂

    • mia

      how do you change the actual file itself?

  • JW

    I successfully made the ringtone but I don’t know how to get the original back. It’s still only 30 seconds. I’ve changed the time to the song length but it doesn’t stick. How do I get it back?
    Thanks for your help.

  • Arthur

    what the hell, you just broke one of my favourite songs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Frankie

    I am trying to follow the steps, but HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE EXTENTION?! I’ve even looked through the previous comments, I’ve tried the ‘Tools’ thing and unchecked ‘hide known file extentions’ or whatever it was but I still don’t understand how I’m meant to change it, all I can seem to do is rename it (I’m on windows 7)

  • Frankie

    Nevermind, found it… >__>

  • Haley Jordan

    You CLEARLY said to “Rename the file extension from ?.m4a? to ?.m4r?.” !!! I need help!!!

    • Wildrosewolf

      Where did you go lost? The extension re-naming part? Are you a Windows or Mac user?

  • Clarissa

    When I right click to remove the song it doesn’t show the ” delete ” option !! Why ?

    • Wildrosewolf

      Have you re-named the file extension from .m4a to .m4r?

      If you have done that and your “delete” option doesn’t show up on iTunes, you could simply single click on the file and press “delete” from your keyboard itself. 🙂

  • Diana Tămaş

    this is awesome, just thank you for ‘teaching’ us how to do this. I’m so happy now. xD

  • Sav

    I can see it in my tones on my computer. I highlighted the song and pushed sync. Now where are they on my iphone5?

    • Wildrosewolf

      Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtone (text tone or whatever tone). That’s where they should be.

  • phillymktgwiz

    I’ve been trying to do this for weeks and have followed so many instructions. I couldn’t see the filename extension either and finally your clear instructions got me through! You’re amazing, thank you!

  • leon

    how do u change the extension n not the file on windows???

    • Wildrosewolf

      Open your .m4a location and go to, “Organize” -> “Folder & Search Options” ->
      “View” -> uncheck, “Hide extensions for known file types” -> “Ok”.
      You’ll see .m4a next to your file name. Change that to .m4r and hit

  • Dr. MerLock

    `Thank you so much! Now my ringtone is the TARDIS! This is so awesome!

  • Amanda DuBose

    some songs do not even give you access to the time adjustment to even begin the process. it seems like it is any with the cloud icon after it. any fixes?

  • michele

    Fabulously simple directions. No menu came up that had keep file as option, only delete or not. So I have the file, but can’t use it as ringtone. Using 10.8.4 if that matters. Thanks.

  • Brandon

    on windows i dont know how to change the mp4 thing to mpr ?

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  • Немања

    I dont have this options (”Create AAC Version”) in newest version of iTunes. Maybe, it is like that, because my iphone is JB…Can somebody help me?! 🙂

  • Rahul

    worked beautifully..thanks

  • Bro

    I read a great number of the problems here and I only had the problem of trying to have I Tunes find the file. Finally, I saw the work “Sync” on someones discussion and I “Sync’d” my phone and magic occurred. The file was there and I could use it. Thanks everyone.

  • Sherine

    Thank you so much , worked just fine 🙂

  • iddy

    i ended on step 6, because i don’t see “show in finder” in computer so what can i do?

  • faye

    i dont have the ‘ringtone’ option on my itunes! HELP!!

  • John

    Also remember to have your tones library sync with your iphone or it won’t show up on your iphone

  • d

    followed all the steps but in my library listing ringtones done appear or tones??? HELP!!

  • Gauri Bhatia

    I have done everything you said, but when I try to open the new m4r file or drag and drop it to iTunes, nothing happens. At all.

  • Tony the gecko

    It wont let me change the extension im not sure what to do

  • Tony the gecko

    Nevermind i figured it oht from ur explenation on the ither comments, thanks!

  • Kate

    The “ringtone” tab does not seem to show. What do I do? I did everything right (i think) but its not showing.

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  • Est

    Took a bit of playing around with but finally got it to work – thanks! Took a while to change the file type in Windows but did it by clicking on ‘Organise’, ‘File and Search Options’ and then ‘View’. The checkbox for Hide extensions for known file types’ was right there and from there it worked like a dream (except iTunes had delected Sync Tones!!!).

  • michelle

    I followed the steps, and made a ringtone, but it cut off a bit short. So I’ve gone back to make another, adding a few more seconds and when I click on create AAC version, I get an error message that says “None of the selected files were converted because they could not be found”. The full song is in my itunes folder and I can listen to the whole song. But the files seem to be gone for creating another ringtone. I re read the delete directions and followed them, but did they delete something I need? Are we only able to create one ringtone?

    • Michelle

      Ok, I figured what I did and fixed it. the files are there now. My new question. I’ve made a 2nd ringtone from my song and this one goes a bit too long. Is there a way to edit the ringtone itself by a second or two? Or do I have to try again? I am listening and writing the time down, but it is not as exact as I thought. I am sure that this is a newbie ringtone maker issue, and I’ll get better as this is kind of fun 😉 but I’d sure love to know how to better ‘mix’ this. Any suggestions?

  • Ellena

    my didn’t have .m4a so what do I do?

  • David

    How Stupid is this… Apple is supposed to be the innovator in all things music and images… My blackberry which just died after 4 years allowed me to choose it from the music player without any of this AAC / copy / delete rubbish

  • Raja

    I too have faced the same problem. After creating .m4r file , the file is not listed in tones in itunes library. Click on any existing tone in tones folder in itunes and then select ‘show in finder’ option . It shows one folder “Automatically add to itunes” . Now copy that m4r file to this and check in itunes , it will be listed and it works for me .

  • Brooke Anderson

    it downloads to my phone and I find it. but when I click on it, it doesn’t have any sound. ive tried it multiple times and turned my volume up and everything. some others work but just not this one song.

  • Joe

    Just works… My wife’s android does anyway, no wizardry required to select a song as a ringtone

  • Flamanda

    Its saying that the tone couldn’t sync because my iPhone can’t play it! WHAT?!



  • Kevin Nicht

    What an ungodly pain in the lower regions of my body. Even Blackberry lets you assign a complete song as a ringtone!

  • chalo

    Thanks worked great

  • ChelseaMarie0319

    It doesn’t give me the option to keep the file after I delete it in iTunes…what do I do?

  • Anna

    Does this work with updated versions of iTunes? I used your instructions (great and easy to follow btw) a while ago to make some ringtones. I tried it today and now when I try to sync my iPhone, it says it won’t sync it because the duration is too long. my tone is 24 seconds, my past ones are all 30 seconds. do you know what the deal is?

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  • hrthrb

    I followed the steps and got a song in the song list and not a tone. I have iTunes 11.1.5. I’ve used a ringtone app to try to make one and that failed to show up on my iphone 5S, too. Is there something else that has to happen with with setup?

  • kath

    show in finder doesn’t come up on mine

  • Edi Matzel

    Amazing, while iTunes rips people off for $1.29 now, we get to make our own. Thank you so much!!!

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  • Rushwell

    I don’t see create AAC version on my computer

  • Nixie Knox

    I have the latest version of the macbook pro, I followed the instructions. The recording is .29 seconds but it does not recognize it as a Tone, I cannot drag it to Tones and there is no right click option in Finder or iTunes for me to convert it to Tones so I can’t get it on my phone. The only options are to make it music, a voice memo, audio book, podcast or iTunes U. Very frustrated

  • judy

    Ok a little blonde here…. How do I get the start and stop time set when I can’t use the backspace key to put in the time? The curser is there but nothing changes. Help