How To Use iTunes to Make Your Own Free Ringtones and Alert Tones

Posted in How To, iOS on 13/10/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


Now that Apple allows custom text and alert tones in iOS, you can now make your own custom text and alert tones for free! Italian Apple site Melaspazio provides some handy instructions for how it’s done.

The process tor making custom text and alert tones is exactly the same as creating custom ring tones, and iOS now includes the ability to select full-length ringtones as text message alerts. In order to make your own custom alert tone, just create a ringtone between 2-5 seconds in length, then select it as your text message alert within

There are a number of ways to create free ringtones, such as by using GarageBand for Mac, or even easier, by using Ringer, a $3.99 app (Mac App Store Link) from the Mac App Store which can create ringtones in a specific length from any audio file in your iTunes library.

Simonblog provides another easy way to create your own free ringtones, as described below:

  • Select a song in iTunes, right-click it and select “Get Info”
  • Click the Options tab and use the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” to control the exact length of the sound file you want. Close the Get Info window.
  • Right-click the song and select “Create AAC Version”
  • Right-click the newly created song and select “Show In Finder”
  • Change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r
  • Head back to iTunes and right-click the newly created song. Select “Delete” and then click “Remove” to remove the song from the iTunes Library — but then select “Keep File” so the actual ringtone doesn’t get deleted.
  • Finally, head back to the Finder and double-click the .m4r file. It will automatically add itself to iTunes as a Ringtone, ready to be synced with your iPhone.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.