Can You Download Ringtones Without Internet on Your Phone?

By Andrew Mikael

Cell phones without data plans can still download new ringtones.
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Although most phones come with several built-in options for ringtones, downloading new ringtones is a great way to customize the phone or just provide the device with more aesthetic sounds. An over-the-air Internet connection lets you download ringtones, but phones without an Internet connection can still receive new ringtones and other notification sounds via a computer transfer, multimedia message or temporary network connection.

Transfer From a Computer

Many phones come with a USB connection cable for transferring data from a computer system, allowing you to download ringtones on an Internet-capable computer instead. If the phone appears as a removable hard drive, simply drag compatible audio files to the phone's memory to store them for use as ringtones. You may need to place the files in a specific folder, such as the Ringtones folder on the root directory of Android devices. Ensure the file format is compatible with the phone before making the transfer. Most phones work with common audio formats, such as AAC, MP3 and WMA.

SMS Ringtones

If you can't access the Internet but have a service subscription including SMS messages, some ringtone providers can send new ringtones to your phone using text messaging. Websites such as Bongotones, Phonezoo and Tones7 all offer SMS ringtone packaging. Depending on your phone's SMS service, using this method may incur additional cost for receiving a multimedia message. Some similar services only send links to ringtones via text and still require an Internet connection to access the full file.

Local Network Connections

Some phones without over-the-air Internet access can still connect to the Internet temporarily using built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth features. Connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, or share a computer's Internet connection with the phone to download ringtones and access other online services. These connections do not incur additional charges or service rates since they use existing Internet connections.

Record Ringtones on the Phone

Many mobile phones have recording software for storing sounds on the device, and some recording programs create files usable as ringtones. Look for a recording program in your phone's "Utilities" menu, or install one from the iOS App Store or Android Market. Use this method to record a piece of overheard music or to set voice messages as ringtones.