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How to set ringtone on iPhone without iTunes - 2 easy options

Get favorite songs and want to make ringtones for iPhone to replace the preset tone? Here is how to set a song as ringtone in iPhone without computer and iTunes.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Jun 20, 2023 7:46 PM

How to set a song as a ringtone on iPhone for free:

  • Since iOS 14, you can take Apple's GarageBand to make a song as your custom iPhone ringtone without using iTunes.
  • All you need is import your song into GarageBand and create a loop, export it as a ringtone on iPhone, and then change the default tone via Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone.
  • You can also use a third-party program, Appgeeker iPhone Data Transfer, to set any song as an iPhone ringtone within 4 simple clicks. The program can also transfer your media files, including music, from computer to iPhone without iTunes, and vice versa.

Creating a custom ringtone on iPhone is easy through GarageBand — you no longer have to rely on iTunes to do this task now.

In the past, if you want or need to set a song as a ringtone on your iPhone to replace the built-in sounds, you have to open iTunes on your computer to create an AAC file and then add the ringtone file to your iPhone. But now there are more options available for you to set custom ringtone on iPhone without iTunes or your computer.

Apple offers an iOS app - GarageBand, which provides access to a ringtone maker that you can create a custom 30-second ringtone for your iPhone or iPad.

If you're new to GarageBand app, here is how to access it and take through the necessary steps you need to make and set ringtone in an iPhone without iTunes.

Table of Contents

How to set custom iPhone ringtone without iTunes using GarageBand

Before you use GarageBand to set a song as your ringtone on iPhone, there is basic preparation work to do first.

Tips to prepare for iPhone ringtone making

  • Make sure you have the original track to be set as a ringtone already saved in the Files app, or downloaded on your iPhone Music Library. Any copy protected songs from Apple Music, Spotify or any other streaming service can't be available for use.
  • Apple's GarageBand app is already installed on the iPhone. If not, you may go to App Store to download it free.
  • iPhone can set a custom ringtone up to 30 seconds. You may need to prepare an original song longer than 30 seconds for making your own custom trim in GarageBand.

Find a favorite song or video on the web and want to download it locally? You may use Appgeeker Screen Recorder to record the music and then use its handy built-in editor to cut or trim your recording to just keep the part you need.

Also See: How to Screen Record on Mac with Audio

How to make a custom iPhone ringtone with GarageBand, no iTunes involved

Note: While creating and exporting a song as a ringtone in GarageBand on the iPhone, the ringtone will be trimmed automatically to fit the 30-second time limit.

1.  Open GarageBand on your iPhone. If you simply can't find the app on all your Home Screen pages, you may enter the name in App Library to launch it.

2. Swipe left until you see the "Audio Recorder" option, tap "Voice" on the lower left corner.

Use "AUDIO RECORDER" in GarageBand to make your custom ringtone.

3. Tap on "View" (the third icon) in the upper left corner to enter the editing page.

Tap on the "View" icon.

4. Tap the gray Loop icon in the upper right hand corner. It looks like a coil.

Select the Loop sign.

5. Look for the song you wish to set as custom ringtone from the three tabs: Apple Loops, Files, and Music.

Select one of your songs from Apple Loops, Files or Music.

6. Hold the track for a few seconds to import into the workspace. You may also tap "Browse items from the Files app" on the lower left of the page to add your song.

7. Tap the "+" icon in the upper right of the screen and change the length of your song from 8 to 30, followed by blue "Done."

Set your ringtone length up to 30 seconds.

8. On the editing screen, drag the long vertical bar to the point where your custom ringtone starts.

9. Double-tap the song and select "Split" from the pop-up editing toolbar.

10. Go ahead and drag the Scissor icon down to cut the song at your desired point.

11. Double-tap the unwanted portion of the song and then tap "Delete" to remove it.

12. Tap the down arrow in the upper left hand corner and select "My Songs."

Tap "My Songs" after your custom ringtone is made already.

13. Hold down the song and select "Share."

Select "Share" from a selection of options.

14. Select "Ringtone" in Share Song page, and then "Export."

Tap "Ringtone" while exporting.

15. Wait for it to export your ringtone to iPhone. When you see Ringtone Export Successful message, tap "Use sound as…" to set it as ringtone for your iPhone directly, or OK to save the ringtone on your device and set it later in Settings app.

Choose how you want the ringtone to be.

How to set custom ringtone on iPhone without iTunes

After you have successfully created a ringtone with GarageBand, follow the steps below to learn how to change ringtone on an iPhone to use the custom one.

1. Open Settings app.

2. Select Sounds & Haptics.

3. Tap Ringtone.

4. Tap your tone created previously from the top of the list.

5. You have yourself a custom ringtone!

How to make a song your iPhone ringtone with Appgeeker iPhone Data Transfer

If you don't like the way of creating a 30-second custom ringtone with GarageBand, or don't want to rely on iTunes to make a song your ringtone on iPhone and switch it as well, you have other options to accomplish the task, and one of them is Appgeeker iPhone Data Transfer.

The program is a one-stop solution for data manage and transfer. It comes with a simple ringtone maker that lets you set your custom ringtone within 4 simple clicks, no matter the source sound is from a favorite band, your child's voice, a movie track, or a music file.

In addition to setting a song as ringtone on iPhone without iTunes, the iPhone Data Transfer program can also transfer your media files (incl. photos, movies, and music) among computer, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes without any restrictions.

Download Now!

for macOS | for Windows

Key Features

  • Create ringtones for iPhone instantly without iTunes
  • Adjust volume, preview the tone, fade the marks (in or out)
  • Be able to transfer songs from Mac to iPhone without Finder
  • Enable you to import sound track from your phone, PC or Mac for making iPhone ringtone
  • Trim the song manually by setting the start time and ending time, or using a slider.

Now, let's see how to make a song your ringtone without iTunes via Appgeeker

Step 1. After launching the software, connect your iPhone to the computer, and click on the green "Ringtone Maker" shortcut icon at the bottom of the program.

Step 2. Add your track to the program via the "Add file from device" button, or hit "Add file from PC" if your song that you want to use to create a ringtone is stored on your computer.

Step 3. Once imported, you're getting into ringtone making window.

Here, you'll want to drag the slider to select the start and end points of the ringtone, or manually enter the accurate time in the corresponding fields. Note that Apple limits your ringtone to 30 seconds, so you should have the length of your custom ringtone controlled within the period.

Tip: you may press the Play button to run through the track to define the perfect starting and ending point of your song.

Next, you consider ticking the Fade In and Fade Out boxes to smooth the transitions.

Go ahead and select a path where you want to save the ringtone on your computer. If you want to add the custom ringtone you made to your iPhone directly, ensure you check the box next to "Add to Device."

Step 4. Click on the "Generate" button to begin creating the iPhone ringtone.

If you have the "Add the device" box ticked and the iPhone connected, the newly created ringtone will be automatically put onto your iPhone. All things left to do is go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone, and change your ringtone on your iPhone.

Also see: How to Fix iPhone Unavailable Message

How can you set a song as a ringtone on iPhone with iTunes

The two methods outlined above explains how to use GarageBand and Appgeeker to make your own ringtone on iPhone without iTunes. But if you prefer the old way of doing things, you may still set a song as your ringtone with iTunes on your computer.

To custom iPhone ringtone on computer with iTunes:

1. Open iTunes on your PC desktop. You'll want to download it from Microsoft Store or Apple's site if you don't have it already on your Windows computer.

2. Locate the song you want to make ringtone for iPhone in iTunes Library.

3. Right-click on the song and select "Song Info," then go to the "Options" tab.

4. Check the boxes next to "Start" and "Stop."

5. Set the time duration up to 30 seconds. A custom ringtone for iPhone will be limited to 30 seconds, so when making your time selection, be sure it is less than that.

6. Click "OK" to confirm your length selection of your song.

7. Go to "File," and select Convert > Create AAC Version. It will immediately convert the 30-second song.

8. Right-click on the ringtone you just create and select "Show in Windows Explore." from context menu.

9. Change the song extension from M4A to M4R. M4R is the standard format used for Apple ringtone.

10. Plug your iPhone into your computer. Your iPhone should appear in the left sidebar of the iTunes Window.

11. Drag and drop the M4R ringtone file to the "Tones" under "Devices" section. It will be seen under the ringtones section in your iPhone.

12. Open your iPhone, go to Settings, choose Sounds & Haptics, and then Ringtone.

13. Select your new ringtone from the list.

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