How to Create Free iPhone Ringtones Using iTunes on Windows

Making ringtones on your iPhone ended up being easier than I thought it would be. At first I was a little frustrated finding out that you couldn’t simply convert sections of mp3′s from the iPhone into the ringtones that you wanted. Not only that but Apple computer users have the ability to create ringtones using Garage Band however that application can not be installed on Windows which leaves PC users a bit out in the cold. Anyhow after poking around I figured out how to convert mp3 files using iTunes, export them out of iTunes, rename them, and then import them back into iTunes to sync with your iPhone. You can cut any section out of any mp3 that is not copyright protected and make it a ringtone on your iPhone from your Windows PC.

Follow These Directions to Create Free iPhone Ringtones:

  1. Open iTunes: First off launch iTunes from your Windows PC.
  2. Load MP3 Into iTunes: If the mp3 is not already in your iTunes library you need to add it now. You can add a song to iTunes by clicking on File in the top navigation and selecting “Add File to Library” from the drop down as shown in the below image.

    iTunes: Add File to Library

    After clicking on “Add File to Library” a window will pop up for you to browse to the location of the mp3 you will be adding into iTunes. Browse to the file and select it to add the mp3 file to iTunes.

  3. Open MP3 Info: Now we need to select the portion of the song or mp3 file that will be used for the ringtone. Click on Music under Library in the left column of iTunes which will display all of your music. Locate the mp3 you want to convert to a ringtone in the list and right click on the file to open a menu as shown below.

    iTunes: mp3: Get Info

    Select the top option which is “Get Info” from the pop up menu. This will display a box similar to the below which allows you to modify certain properties relating to the mp3 file in iTunes.

    iTunes: mp3 Get Info Summary

    more text

  4. Modify MP3 Time Options: Now click on the Options tab where the Start Time and Stop Time can be modified as shown below.

    iTunes: mp3 Time Options

    Notice in the example the mp3 file I have opened is only 2.34 seconds long anyway so I will not be modifying it. If you need to pick a specific section of a song simply listen to it in iTunes and watch the time counter to block out the section you want to make into a ringtone. Once modified click OK to save the new time options.

  5. Convert mp3 to AAC: Now right click on the same mp3 file again within iTunes but this time select “Create AAC Version” to convert the file to m4 as shown below.

    Convert mp3 to ACC Version in iTunes

    The new file will appear right above or right below the current file if you are sorting by name within iTunes. To be safe sort by name now if you haven’t been already, select both files in the iTunes Music list,  and then drag both files onto the desktop. You will notice one will be the original mp3 file and the other will be a m4a file.

  6. Rename M4A File: Now right click on the newly created m4a file you have placed on the desktop which will display a menu as shown below.

    Rename m4a File to m4r

    Select Rename from the menu that appeared from right clicking on the file and change the file name from title.m4a to title.m4r. You only need to modify the ending of m4a to m4r.

    If you do not see file extensions on the files that means that you have known file types hidden. These can be turned back on by opening any folder. Once opened click on Tools in the top navigation and then select “Folder Options” from the drop down. From the configuration window that appears select the View tab and scroll d own a but until you locate the “Hide File Extensions for Known File Types” option and make sure it is unchecked as shown below.

    Folder Options: Hide Extensions for Known File Types

    Click the “Apply to All Folders” button at the top after this is unchecked. Next click the Apply button at the bottom of the window followed by the OK button to finish saving these options. Now you can modify the file extension for the m4a file and make it m4r.

  7. Import Into iTunes: Now import this new m4r file into iTunes as described in step one. It will now display under your Ringtones tab when your iPhone is connected to this computer.
  8. Sync iTunes: Now connect your iPhone to this computer and make sure that Ringtones are set to sync. Once verified click the Sync button and your ringtone will be moved to your iPhone.
  9. Apply Ringtone: Now apply the ringtone on your iPhone by opening the Settings application and selecting the Sounds setting which will display a window similar to the below.

    iPhone Sounds Settings: Custom Ringtone

    Scroll to the top if you are not already there and your custom ringtones will display. Select the new ringtone and test it out!

That’s it. You now know the process to create free ringtones on your iPhone. Please note that if the mp3 title has spaces in it then the iPhone will not display it under custom ringtones and in fact it just won’t display it anywhere since its an m4r file. So if you need to modify the title use the method in step 3 before you convert the file to also rename it which can be done from the Info tab under Get Info.

**NOTE** If your ringtone is not syncing properly from iTunes to your iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, or iPhone 3GS then click here to view a likely solution to the problem.


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