Add Custom Ringtones to Your iPhone in iTunes 12.7

1 minute read
| Quick Tip

With iTunes 12.7, Apple was kind enough to finally start trimming the fat in the bloated software. Unfortunately, Cupertino decided to do that by giving the axe to our ability to manage apps and ringtones within iTunes. We’ve found out how to find File Sharing, as well as manually add apps and custom ringtones to your iPhone using iTunes 12.7. Let me show you how to add custom ringtones to your iPhone now that iTunes 12.7 has changed that.

Adding Custom Ringtones to your iPhone Using iTunes 12.7

Let’s look at adding custom ringtones to your iPhone using iTunes 12.7, and explore the new File Sharing option while we’re at it

It Isn’t All That Difficult to Add Custom Ringtones to Your iPhone

It may be confusing at first, since you can’t just visit the Tones section and manually synchronize or delete specific ringtones. However, it’s really pretty simple to add custom ringtones to your iPhone. All you have to do is drag and drop your files onto the On My Device section within iTunes’ view of your iPhone. The software does the rest of the work, copying the file to your device and making it available for you to use.

Unfortunately, we don’t know yet how to delete ringtones from the iPhone.I’ve attempted this in iMazing, and only succeeded in making the ringtone unavailable for use. It’s still on my device, but I have no way to use it. I’ve tried copying it back to my iPhone, and that just succeeded in putting multiple copies of the same unusable ringtone on the device. I’ll keep tinkering with it, though, and report back when I find out how to fully delete ringtones from an iPhone, since iTunes doesn’t allow that anymore.

11 Comments Add a comment

  1. Robert LeVitus

    The answer (thanks to Allison Sheridan on Facebook) to the “how to delete” thing is to enable the checkbox to Manually Manage Music and Videos in the Summary section of iTunes for your iDevice.

  2. Charlieo

    iPhone 6S Plus running iOS 11. When I was done upgrading, I tried to install 40 or so ring tones I had purchased from Apple over the years. Most re-downloaded without issue. But.. some did not… I assume because they are no longer in the “store”.

    I used your tutorial to copy the 15 tones that refused to download back to the phone (found them all in the tones folder in iTunes (even though I updated to latest version). I am using a PC and iTunes 12.7.0.166. Thecopy worked perfectly and all tones play on the PC.

    I then went into contacts on the phone and set these copied tones as ringers. They even played in the contact setup.

    Unfortunately, when the phone receives a call from one of these contacts that use the copied ringtones…. they simply don’t play and the default ringer is used. I have tried everything I can think of… but no luck. I even restored the phone …. same issue when I try to use the copied ringtones. I also create new contacts and they still wouldn’t play. I use the announce name feature too, but I can’t believe that is the problem.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Charlie

    • Jeff Butts

      Charlieo, I would say try disabling caller announce, and see if that changes anything. I can’t think of any other reason you’re running into problems, it works fine for me. I don’t use announce caller.

      • Charlieo

        I will give that a try. I must say however, since the earliest iOS updates, I have always found that custom ringtones get hosed in contacts during updates, minor and major. Mist of the time the just don’t get picked up and need to be manually added back. This time things are worse because of the change to iTunes.

        I’ll try it out now.

  3. jwitkin

    Same problem. I have a bunch of custom ringtones that I made a while back with the Ringtones app – they worked fine in iOS 10, After upgrade to 11, the custom ringtones assigned to specific contacts, and the default ringtone (also one of the customs) do not ring with incoming calls, though they are listed, I can assign them, and play them on the phone manually. I hoped that removing them and reinstalling them via the methods outlined above might fix, but no luck. Seriously annoying!! We can’t be the only ones with this problem.

    • Charlieo

      Yes, I agree. This is an iOS 11 issue. I did not create the ringtones that don’t work, I purchased them from the Apple tone store. I should have been able to re-download them, but because they are no longer in the store, I couldn’t. This was never an issue before iTunes 12.7.

      I am convinced that there is something about these ringtones that is confusing iOS 11. I suspect it will be fixed in a future update. Might also be hardware related … and the tones will work when I get my X, but I doubt it…. need to wait for 11.0.1 or something similar.

      The bottom line is that although the instructions to manually add tones back do in fact work, that doesn’t mean they will play as they should.

  4. jwitkin

    SOLVED – in my case, at least. I suspect there may be different issues affecting different people.
    The ringtones I was using I made several years ago, using the iPhone app “Ringtone”. I edited them from songs I had in my iTunes Library, burned from my own CDs, not purchased in iTunes store. Nonetheless, the resulting ringtones had copyright info related to the original source CDs in the metadata. This did not block the ringtones from working in iOS 10 and previous versions of iTunes, but it apparently does now. I played my old ringtones onto an mp3 recorder, and then re-converted them to .m4r files using an online converter – and they work as expected.
    With the iPhone connected to iTunes, look at “Tones” under “On My Device”, right-click a tone, select “Item Info”, then the “File” tab. If you see any copyright info listed, that is probably the problem.
    I can’t be sure that the re-conversion process didn’t do something else to the files that make them work – but they work. All is good! You can Google how to remove the old ringtone files from the iPhone and upload the new ones using iTunes 12.7. I Hope this helps some people. BTYW, I chatted with Apple Support this afternoon; they had heard of the issue, but did not have a solution.

  5. Charlieo

    Based on the fact that none of these ringtones are still in the store, I bet you are 100% RIGHT. …. they must have been pulled due to copyright issues. It’s just weird that the play on the phone when “tested”. Reminds me of HDCP …. playback problems.

    Can you detail what programs you used and exactly how to process the files to get them to work? I use a PC, but can grab an iMac if needed.

    Thanks!

    Charlie

  6. jwitkin

    Hi Charlie,

    I found the Ringtones folder within my iTunes folder (on my Mac but they should be in whichever computer you synced your phone with). I played the ringtone files on my mac (I used Quicktime player, but I guess you could use iTunes) while recording them with an mp3 recorder.
    Lots of ways to do that – there are apps that will capture sound played. You can connect a handheld mp3 recorder to the headphone jack, or even mic the computer speaker (less ideal, obviously). There are probably apps or programs that will directly convert m4r back to mp3 but I’m not sure if that would clean them enough to fix the problem.
    (I have a recording studio setup so I was able to run my laptop sound into my studio mixing board and use the board’s recording setup to record the sounds as a .wav file on a USB stick. I then converted .wav to .mp3.)

    Once I had a new mp3, I used the online free “ringtonemaker.com” to make new .m4r files and put them back onto the phone with iTunes 12.7 – they work. Links to do that:

    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/adding-custom-ringtones-to-your-iphone/
    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/delete-custom-ringtones/

    Two of my wife’s ringtones were actually purchased ringtones – for them, I had to log in to her Apple ID before I could play them with Quicktime Player and record them. Since we HAD purchased them, and my other ringtones had been made from CDs I owned, I don’t think I was violating any copyrights by cleaning them this way as long as I don’t distribute them anywhere else.

    As I said, I’m not really sure whether the copyright had anything to do with it – but I did have some other ringtones that I made the same way that worked as they were, and they did not show any copyright in the “Item Info – File” screen.

    Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions, and if you get them to work!

    Joe

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