How to Download Ringtones for a Cell Phone

By MattLax

Updated September 28, 2017

Downloading new ringtones for your cell phone is easy -- and often free, whether your cell phone carrier is Verizon, Sprint, Cingular, Nextel, T-Mobile, or another major company.

The Built-in Method

Determine if your wireless carrier provides you with a built-in method for downloading ringtones right from your phone. This is usually the most expensive method (around $2.50 per tone), but quite simple.

Press the "Web" or "Internet" button on your phone. Once it loads, go to the "Downloads" section. From there there should be a section for Ringtones.

Preview and download new tones for your phone from the ringtones section.

Free Ringtones

Access a computer with Internet.

Go to your favorite search engine and search for "free ringtones." You will get lots of results.

Choose a site that does not require registration. If you do have to register, make sure that any boxes that would sign you up for emails or additional services are NOT checked.

Find ringtones you like and have them sent to your phone. This will require entering your carrier and phone number if you haven't already. The new ringtones will be sent to your phone.

Setting Your New Ringtones

Decide if you want to set one ringtone as a universal ring, which will play every time you receive a call, or whether you want to set specific ringtones to correspond to specific entries in your phonebook. That way different ringtones will play when different people call you.

Set a universal ringtone in the settings section of your phone. If you cannot find how to do this, consult the manual for your phone. If you do not have the manual, you can probably find it online at either the manufacturer's site (Motorola, Nokia, etc.) or your carrier's site (Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Cingular, etc.)

Set a ring that is specific to a caller by first finding that person in your phonebook. Select the person for which you want the special ring. Select "Edit." Scroll down in the phonebook entry and select "Ring." Choose the ringtone you want to play when that person calls.


You may need to be in your home service area to receive these tones. If at any point you are having trouble, consult the documentation that came with your phone.