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Mango: How to Make Custom Ringtones For Your Windows Phone

October 1, 2011 31 Comments

One of the biggest asked for features for Mango was Custom Ringtones. I am telling everyone that Mango does have custom ringtones but no one will believe me. Why? Because Microsoft has done a very nice job of making it difficult to figure out exactly how to go about it. Once you do know however, it is a very simple thing to do.

Get Your Ringtone Ready
The first step of course is obtaining the ringtone you want to use. When Microsoft announced custom ringtones for Windows Phone, the only had 4 rules you had to follow.

  • 39 seconds or shorter
  • smaller than 1 megabyte (MB)
  • saved in MP3 or WMA format
  • not copy-protected (i.e. DRM free)

It’s up to you how you obtain this though. You can look through the Internet for some already made ringtones that already have the requirements or you can look no further than your amazing Zune pass. You are probably thinking right now – “but but it says it has to be DRM free!” Yes, but this is the perfect opportunity to use those 10 free song credits to purchase songs that are already in MP3 format and all they need now is a little snipping.

In order to get your full song ready to become a ringtone you have to make it fit the profile given by Microsoft which is located above. The Internet has many free tools to help you to accomplish this. I suggest “free MP3 cutter” which you can easily get at cnet’s download.com.

Free MP3 cutter is a pretty simple program to use, just choose the MP3 that you would like to dissect and click where you want your ringtone to begin and where you want it to end, then save in your preferred folder.


Make sure to your Zune software locates your new ringtone
This step is pretty easy, just make sure that where you saved your file was already in a directory where Zune scans for new content or create your own custom connection to where you want to store your ringtones.


Label it as a ringtone within the Zune software
You know it’s a ringtone but Zune doesn’t. You are going to have to edit your ringtone within the Zune software. To do this, find your ringtone in the Zune, right click and choose edit. There you can change any of the information of your ringtone. In order for your Windows Phone to categorize your ringtone properly you MUST change the genre to RINGTONE.

Sync to your Windows Phone
You’re all done. All you have to do is sync that baby into your phone. Your ringtone will be located under settings>ringtones and sounds. There, you will notice a new category labelled custom, that is where your ringtone should be.

Select that sucker and enjoy!






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  • Jerbs

    If you’re stuck on the Genre part, you can manually type in “Ringtone” (in the genre dropdown box) to create the genre – if it doesn’t already exist as a genre type.

    • Arafat

      Umm it didnt work for me I was able to cut it an everything but when I sync it and check the ringtones on my phone its not present

  • BlakeIY

    nothing shows up in the albums and i have all the folders right

    • http://wp7connect.com Hyde13

      Try restarting Zune…  and please double check your folders… 

    • Anonymous

      Another thing you have to remember is that it absolutely will not show up if your ringtone is over 1MB. You should check the size of the file if you can’t find any other issues.

  • Sheepdog108

    So, there’s finally a way to use custom ringtones… what about text, email and voice alert tones?
    Otherwise I’m greatly enjoying the new Mango features and am highly anticipating the Xbox Companion app.

    As far as converting and syncing ringtones onto my [HTC HD7] WP7, here’s the issues I ran into and didn’t notice at first:
    1. The file size was still over 1MB. Most phones ring around 22 to 25 seconds, so it doesn’t need to be longer than that, really. Just shorten it (and make sure it’s a .mp3 so the file size will drop below 1MB (.wma is sometimes loss-less and HUGE in file size).
    2. I didn’t properly change the genre/album/album artist. The easiest way to organize it quickly into Zune is to highlight all the files in Windows Explorer (not internet!), right click > properties > details and change Album Artist to Ringtones, Album to Ringtones and delete anything in genre and change that to RINGTONE. Then open Zune (this part is what I missed! Important!) Make sure you actually edit that SAME INFORMATION in the Zune software. Even though it was the exact same thing, my phone didn’t recognize it until I did this step.
    3. Don’t forget about DRM issues! It must be DRM free. If you’re not familiar with that look into the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management
    Make sure ALL your bases are covered before you give up. I will say it took me two hours before I figured out the final issue, being that I actually had to edit that information in the Zune software itself.

    • http://wp7connect.com Hyde13

      Glad you were able to figure it all out.
      Chaning that information in Zune is really important.

  • Eboniir

    thnxx sooooo much <3 soo happy

    • http://wp7connect.com Hyde13

      Glad you got it working  : )

  • Stephenirregular

    cant get this to work. the file is 600KB, everything is set to ringtone. the song is only 28 seconds. its WP7 (i double checked to make sure i wasnt crazy) the file is mp3.  and yet, my phone has decided not to think of it as a ringtone. what????? i feel like maybe it never downloaded mango, but whenever i check for updates, its says there are none. any help here… please?

  • MtL_Poppy

    I followed the steps to make sure my sound met the four requirements for a ringtone but cannot get it to work but did not know about (had not read it anywhere first) to change the genre to ringtone in Win Explorer *first*. Once I did that, it was like magic and everything worked. One comment I would like to make is that the *only* field you have to change in Explorer is the Genre field. Thanks to both you *and* Sheepdog108 for your help.  🙂

  • Dtracq

    I cant access the ‘Edit” option for the albums. A little help please

    • http://wp7connect.com Hyde13

      Make sure you are accessing the songs from your colection in Zune. What options are available to you when you right click on the song?

  • Lizshine

    i followed these instructions and it worked!  thanks so much, i was very frustrated on how to get a custom ringtone 🙂

  • Colinbonfield

    Can you do this for text alerts??

  • ImAndrewLMFAO

    yea it will not work for me. and i have an updated phone. nothing shows up for me. i have the dell venue pro. and i cant figure it out.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, works great!

  • jeddles

    it wont work for me i have an lg optimus7 with the wp7.5 os

    • http://wp7connect.com Hyde13

      make sure that your ringtone follows the 4 rules…. 39 sec or shorter, etc.

  • Blackfalcon009

    thank u !!!

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  • Jimosnik

    I finally found it thanks

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  • BobCosby

    After over a year of being stuck with the defaults I can finally add my own ringtones (should have been able to from the start but that’s another discussion). Thanks a lot for the help!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.nyantekyi Eric Nyantekyi

    hey everyone one thing all of these forums forget to tell you about making the ringtone is to make sure the mp3s are compressed to 128 kbps or lower

    • http://twitter.com/hello_kibu Ashley Estrada

      Hey, thanks! I spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out what I did wrong; turns out it was a 192kbps file.

  • Arifa

    Thanks so much. It worked.

  • Steven

    thanQ so much 😉

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