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How to set a ringtone on your iPhone using GarageBand and iTunes

When Android users buy an iPhone, they sometimes find themselves facing certain limitations not present on Google’s mobile operating system (OS). One of these obstacles is setting a custom ringtone on iOS. Setting a ringtone is very straightforward on Android as long as you have access to an MP3 file. But on iPhones, there’s no direct way to set your favorite soundtrack as a ringtone without jumping through ten different hoops. The easiest way out still involves using iTunes, while the computer-less way to do it requires GarageBand on your iPhone and good comprehension skills to follow the instructions. Here’s how to set a ringtone on your iPhone using GarageBand and iTunes.


Navigate this article:

  • How to set a custom ringtone on your iPhone
  • How to change the ringtone on your iPhone

    For Everyone

    Your iPhone comes set to the default ringtone out of the box. But because so many people use iPhones without bothering to change their ringtones, you end up reacting any time someone’s phones ring. It’s a good auditory signal to have a different ringtone, making it easier to figure out when it isyour phone which is ringing, and also if you just dislike the default ringtone. These are the steps involved to change the ringtone on your iPhone for every incoming call:

    How to set a ringtone on your iPhone using GarageBand and iTunes

    And that’s it! This changes your default ringtone.

    For select contacts

    This is an underused feature on smartphones. On practically all modern smartphones, including iPhones, you can select specific contacts to play a different ringtone when they call. This is really useful for differentiating calls from your partner, your boss, or for someone who you are listed as an emergency contact but who do not very frequently call you. Hearing a different ringtone makes it easier to recognize just who is calling without needing to look at the phone. Here are the steps involved in setting a different ringtone for specific individual contacts:

    And that’s it. You do have to change ringtones for every such contact that you want an individual ringtone for.

    How to set a custom ringtone on your iPhone

    The steps above are for choosing from the handful of ringtones that Apple has preloaded onto every iPhone. What if you want to set your own audio tunes as a ringtone? Here are the steps!

    Using GarageBand

    GarageBand is an app that comes preinstalled on new iPhones, iPads, and Macs. If you’ve already deleted it, you can download it from the App Store for free, so this part remains accessible.

    Using iTunes

    If the audio file is on your Mac or Windows PC, you could respectively use Finder or iTunes to transfer it. If you have the former, though, it would be easier and faster to use AirDrop instead. Once the audio track is in your iPhone’sFiles app, you just follow the steps above to set it as a ringtone through GarageBand. Alternatively, you can follow the steps below:

    Setting custom ringtones on iOS isn’t as simple or straightforward as doing so on Android. If you miss the easily-accessible customizations, it’s never too late to sell your iPhone and buy an Android phone instead.

    Do you set custom ringtones, or do you just use the built-in ones? Let us know in the comments section below.

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    XDA » Tutorials » How to set a ringtone on your iPhone using GarageBand and iTunes

    About author

    Mahmoud Itani

    Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.

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