How to Change a Song to a Ringtone for iPhone
By David Wayne
Updated September 28, 2017
Any song in your iTunes library will work as a ringtone for your iPhone. Whether you downloaded the song from iTunes or imported it from a CD, iTunes can convert the song or clip you choose and sync it with your iPhone ringtone library. Adding ringtones to your iPhone lets you express your creativity while hearing your favorite songs every time your phone rings. ITunes allows you to extract a clip from your song so you don’t have to hear it from the beginning, unless that’s the part that works best as a ringtone.
Launch iTunes. Double-click a song in your library to start playing the song. Write down the start and end points of the clip you want to extract as a ringtone. The counter is at the top of the screen near the volume control.
Right-click the song and choose “Get Info.” Click “Options.” Type the start time of your clip in the “Start Time” box, using a colon to separate minutes and seconds. If the clip starts in the first minute of the song, type a zero followed by a colon and the second count.
Type the end time of your clip in the “Stop Time” box, ensuring that the clip runs 40 seconds or less. Click “OK” to close the dialogue box.
Right-click your song and choose “Convert selection to AAC.” ITunes will make a copy of your song clip next to the original track in your iTunes library.
Click the ringtone clip to select it, and press “Backspace” on your keyboard to delete the file. Click “Keep Files” when iTunes asks if you want to delete the file from your hard drive.
Click “Start” and go to “My Documents.” Double-click “My Music” and then “iTunes Music.” Find the folder containing the original song you used as a ringtone. The folder will be titled with the album or artist name.
Click the ringtone file twice slowly to enable a file name change. Click to the right of the M4A file extension to move the cursor there. Press “Backspace” on your keyboard to delete the letter “A.”
Type “R” at the end of the file extension to change it to “M4R.” Click “OK” when your computer asks if you want to change the file extension of the file. Double-click the file to add it to your iTunes library.
Connect your iPhone to a USB port on your computer. Click the name of your iPhone in the “Devices” section of the “Source” list on the left side of the iTunes window.
Click the “Ringtones” tab at the top of the screen and check the box next to “Sync Ringtones.”
Listen for the loudest part of your song to use as a ringtone clip. The chorus is usually louder than the rest of the song.
David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.