How to Make Your Own Ringtones From an MP3

This tutorial will walk you every step of the way through creating ringtones from one of your MP3 files, using the free and open-source software Audacity. Audacity is an Audio Editing tool available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

  1. Get started by downloading and installing Audacity. In this tutorial I’ll be using Audacity for Windows, version 2.4.2, but if you’re using a version that’s a bit older or newer – or you’re on a Mac, I’m sure you’ll be able to follow along with no problems.
  2. Launch Audacity once the installation has completed. Open the MP3 you want to make a ringtone from by hitting CTRL + O on your keyboard or by selecting File and then Open… from the list of options. Once the MP3 has opened up in Audacity you’ll see a screen similar to the one below.
  3. Audacity with an MP3 opened
    click to enlarge

  4. Click the “magnifying glass” button to turn on the Zoom Tool
  5. the Zoom Tool button in Audacity

  6. With the Zoom Tool selected, click on the blue wavy line (the MP3 track). This will ‘stretch’ it out, making it much easier to select an exact spot within the track.
  7. the Zoom Tool button in Audacity

  8. Now click the Selection Tool, which is the button right above the magnifying glass and looks like an upper-case i ( I ).
  9. The Selection Tool is used by clicking inside of a track at the point you want to start your ringtone, holding down the mouse button (or trackpad) and then dragging it to the point where you want the ringtone to end. I suggest choosing a 10-20 second section of the song. Click the Play button (the one that looks like a green triangle) to play through the MP3 and make note of the starting and ending points for the clip you want to turn into a ringtone. After you have highlighted part of the track, clicking the Play button will play only that selection of the track. Use this to tweak exactly where to start and stop.
  10. To save your selection as a ringtone, select File, then Export and then Export Selected Audio…
  11. Now you’ll need to choose where you want to save the file. Then give it a name and select MP3 Files from the Save as type: list. You can also change the Bit Rate and/or Quality, but the defaults are perfectly fine. Click Save to continue.
  12. You’ll also be prompted to edit the Metadata Tags. This is completely optional and you can just click OK – or you can clean the metadata first by clicking the Clear button.
  13. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to export the file. Open a File Explorer window and check it out (play it) to make sure it sounds exactly the way you want.
  14. If the ringtone turns out to be to soft or to loud, open it up in Audacity and select Amplify… from the Effect menu. Set it to a positive number to make it louder and a negative number to make it quieter. If the OK button can’t be clicked, place check the box next to Allow clipping and then you should be able to make the change.
  15. Copy the file to your phone using a MicroSD card, USB, or via Bluetooth. The file is probably even small enough that you can email it to yourself and download it on your phone that way.
  16. Now you know how to make ringtones from an MP3!

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Ringtones From an MP3”

  1. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

  2. yea i was wondering if the ringtone is sent as a text to your phone or if u have to have internet on it can someone help me?

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