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How to personalise your iPhone’s ringtones and vibration alerts

Stop your iPhone sounding like everyone else’s with custom sounds in iOS 7

By default, every iPhone uses the same ringtones for every function. Sitting on a train or a bus you may have heard a ringtone and seen three or four people check their Apple devices. And if you’ve never looked at your own Sounds settings for iOS then you might be one of those people, but it doesn’t have to be this way.


There are hundreds of options for your ringtones, whether you want to make different types of notifications sound unique, set dedicated tones for specific friends and family members, or get a completely random sound to be used for your phone, it’s just a few taps away. We’ll even show you how to create custom vibration patterns for specific people so you can tell who’s ringing from touch alone.

Step-by-step: Choose custom alert tones


1 Sounds

First, open the Settings app and navigate to the Sounds section. Here, you can control the vibration options for your iPhone, change the volume and turn on or off keyboard taps.

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2 Notification specific

Scroll down and you’ll see that you can customise sounds for individual notification types. Tap on a type of notification to see the list of all sounds available to use.

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3 Choose a sound

iOS 7 saw a whole selection of new tones introduced, which are listed here, but you can still access the old-school sounds from the bottom of the list. Tap one to choose it.

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4 Buy tones

If you’re not happy with any of the built-in tones, tap the Store button at the top-right to be taken to the Tones Store. There are thousands available, from Daft Punk to R2-D2.

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5 Pick a contact

To apply a specific tone to a contact, open Contacts, choose a person you know and tap Edit. Then scroll down until you see the Ringtone and Text Tone options.

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6 Alert or ring?

There are two types of tone available, so you can either set both the ringtone and text tone to be the same for a single contact, or choose different tones from the two lists.

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In-depth: Custom vibrate patterns

Click to see the image full-size.