How to Set Any Song As An iPhone Ringtone Without iTunes

Apple has supplied unique and melodious ringtones to iPhone users. But users would always like to set their favorite songs as iPhone ringtones. Until now, users had to rely on Computer or iTunes to set a song as custom ringtone, and this was quite a breeze for users.

But now the process has become even more difficult for iPhone users. With technological advancement, the process should become easier. Well, Apple has its own technology and every user has to comply with it.

Before you read, please understand that the process is straightforward. However, GarageBand is a powerful software that is even used by professional music producers. It has many options. Just so that you can focus and easily create your ringtone, I have tried explaining a bit and taken baby steps. After you successfully create your tone, you will feel as if you have completed an exciting task!

How to Set any Song as a Custom iPhone Ringtone without iTunes

Step #1. First of all, be sure of the location where the music/song you want to create a ringtone of is. It can be in your Files app or downloaded in your music library.

Note: Protected songs (like from Apple Music) and songs not stored locally on your iPhone can not be used.

Step #2. Download and launch the free GarageBand app on your iPhone.

Open GarageBand app on iPhone


Step #3. Here you will see several instruments like Keyboard, Drums, AMP, etc. Tap on any instrument. I am using the Keyboard.

Tap on any instrument in iOS GarageBand app

Step #4. Tap on the red circular record button and play the instrument. Don’t worry about what you record. It will be deleted. Record anything. We are doing this just to get access to the full editor. After you are done playing, tap on the green triangle.

Tap on red circular record button and play instrument in iOS GarageBand App

Step #5. Tap on the button that looks like a brick wall. Now you are inside the full editor.

Tap on brick wall type icon in iOS Garageband App

Step #6. Tap on the tiny plus (+) icon in the top right. This button is to change the duration of your project. The default is 8 bars which equate to 16 seconds. Tap on it. Now switch on Automatic. Or you may use Manual to set the project duration.

Tap on Plus icon in iOS Garageband AppTap on 8 bars in iOS Garageband AppTurn ON Automatic Switch in iOS Garageband App

Step #7. Tap on the loop icon. Here you will see three subheadings – Apple Loops, Files, and Music. I have my music in the Music library so I will be using this. Tap on Music and select the Songs.

Tap on Loop icon in iOS Garageband AppSelect the Song you wish to Set a iPhone Ringtone

Step #8. Now, if you tap on the song, you can preview it. We will touch and hold for a few seconds to import the desired song into GarageBand.

Tap on song to preview it in iOS Garageband App

Step #9. Tap twice on the green audio bar and tap on Delete to remove the recorded audio which you recently created.

Tap on Delete to Remove Recorded Audio in iOS Garageband App

Step #10. Drag the long vertical bar at the point on the song you want your ringtone to start. You may use the play button to achieve the perfect starting point of your tone. Now, tap twice on the song. Now tap on Split → Drag the scissors down to cut/divide the song.

Edit the Song in iOS Garageband App to make it your iPhone rington

Step #11. Delete the unusable part of the song by tapping twice and then choosing delete.

Delete unusable part of song in iOS Garageband App

Now you can set the endpoint of ringtone too. But since ringtone can not exceed 30 seconds, we will leave it. Apple will automatically trim and set the duration as 30 seconds while exporting. If you wish to make the ringtone just 15 seconds or 20 seconds, you can follow Step #10 again and trim away the part of the song to achieve the desired end for your ringtone.

Step #12. Tap on the down arrow icon in the top left. Now tap on My Songs. Your song has been saved.

Tap on down arrow icon and tap on My Songs in iOS Garageband App

Step #13. Now tap and hold on the song that has just been saved as a project. Tap ShareRingtoneContinueSet a name if you wishExportOk.

Tap on My Song and Share and then Select Ringtone in iOS Garageband AppTap on Continue and Export the Song from iOS Garageband App

Step #14. Head over to Settings app → Sounds & HapticsRingtone. You will find the ringtone you just created on top of the list under RINGTONES. Tap on it to set it as your ringtone.

Set any Song As An iPhone Ringtone Without iTunes

Done! Wasn’t this exciting!

Wrapping up…

After I created my first ringtone using GarageBand, I felt as if I had conquered a victory! The whole process was so new and engaging.

You can create a few more ringtones and assign each for your family members, friends, and colleagues. Additionally, if you like you can also purchase tones from Apple.

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