How to make your own iPhone ringtone for free

Apple cut the bloat out of iTunes in version 12.7, removing the App Store and various other things including Tones, which was where you could you easily see all your ringtones.

However, you can still sync your new ringtones to your iPhone in the latest version of iTunes.

To do it, connect your phone to your computer with its USB cable. If using Windows 10, tap ‘Trust this computer’ when it pops up on your iPhone screen. You may need to unplug and re-plug the USB cable if this message doesn’t show up, unless you’ve done this step previously. Enter your phone’s passcode as part of the ‘trusting’ process and wait until your phone icon appears in iTunes. Sometimes this can take a couple of minutes.

You might see a message in iTunes asking ‘Do you want to allow this computer to access information on “Xxxx’s iPhone”?’ so click the Continue button to allow this access.

Look for your phone in the left-hand column under Devices. Click on it and the list should expand so you can see a Tones section. Click on that and you’ll see any custom tones appear on the right (if you don’t have any, that list will be blank).

Switch to your File Explorer Window – or Finder on a Mac – where your ringtone should still be highlighted (or refer to the Find the File step earlier). If it’s not selected, click on it to do so.

Press Ctrl+C on your keyboard or Command+C on a Mac to copy the file. 

Go back to iTunes, click on Tones if this section isn’t already selected and hit Ctrl+V (Command+V on Mac) to paste the tone.

What should happen is that the tone will appear in the list of tones and automatically sync to your iPhone in a few seconds.

Note: you can no longer drag and drop tones from an Explorer window to iTunes.

Mac users: Sometimes ringtones simply won’t show up in the Tones section. There are two things to try here:

1- Delete the ringtone ‘song’ entry in your iTunes Music library (don’t delete the actual file on your hard drive – choose to keep it when prompted). Then double-click on the .m4r file in Finder and it should show up in Tones.

2- If that doesn’t work, try moving the .m4r file outside of your iTunes folder on your hard drive (such as to the desktop). Then double-click on it. 

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