How to change the ringtone on your Android smartphone

Changing the ringtone might be one of the first things one does on a new Android smartphone. Nobody likes having a default ringtone that can be easily confused with someone else’s, and you can even take things one step further and assign different ringtones to specific contacts. This tutorial illustrates how to change the default ringtone for your Android smartphone and choose a special tune for certain people:

NOTE: For this tutorial, we used an ASUS ZenFone Max Pro device running Android 9 Pie. The procedures are similar on all Android-powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you have a smartphone from Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, or some other manufacturer. If you do not know your Android version, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet.

How to change the default ringtone on your Android smartphone

To change the default ringtone on your Android smartphone, first access the Settings app and tap on Sound. On some Android smartphones, this option is named “Sounds & vibration.

Access Sound

In the Sound settings screen, tap on Phone ringtone. The name of the current default ringtone – in our case, Festival – is displayed next to the option.

TIP: From the Sound settings screen, you can also change the “Default notification sound” and, if you tap on Advanced, the “Default alarm sound. No matter which sound alert you are trying to change, the process is the same from this point on.

Tap on Phone ringtone

The Phone ringtone screen displays a list of all the ringtones currently available on your Android smartphone. Tap on any of the entries to select a ringtone and listen to a preview of it. When you are done choosing your favorite, make sure it’s selected, and then tap on OK.

Choose your favorite and press OK

Your ringtone is saved, and you should hear it the next time you get a call.

How to change the ringtone for a specific contact

The process is different if you want to assign a ringtone to a specific contact. To begin, access the All Apps screen by either swiping up on the Home screen or pressing the All apps button, which is available on most Android smartphones.

Swipe up from the Home screen to open All Apps

In the All Apps screen, find the Contacts app and tap on it.

TIP: You can also access your contacts by opening the Phone app and tapping on the Contacts tab.

Access Contacts

This opens your contacts list. Find the contact to which you want to assign a specific ringtone and tap on it.

Select a contact to assign a new ringtone

In the next screen, you can see more details about the contact you selected. Tap on the More options button, which looks like three vertical dots.

Access More options

This opens a menu, where you can find the option to Set ringtone. Tap on it.

IMPORTANT: On some Android devices, you need to edit the contact and/or scroll down the list of actions below the contact’s details in order to find the Ringtone option.

Press Set ringtone

You can now see a list of all the available ringtones on your Android smartphone, and selecting any of them lets you listen to a preview of it. When you’ve made up your mind, select that ringtone and tap OK to assign it to the contact.

Choose a ringtone and press OK

TIP: If you decide you no longer want a distinct ringtone for that specific contact, follow the steps in this section and select Default ringtone from the list.

Your changes are saved, and you should hear the assigned ringtone the next time your contact calls your smartphone.

Do you use specific ringtones for contacts?

We think customizing our Android smartphones can be a lot of fun, and if you feel the same way, you could try changing your wallpaper next. However, assigning different ringtones to contacts who call us often is more important in our book, because it has a direct impact on the speed and energy used when searching for and answering our smartphone. What about you? Do you take the time to select a different ringtone for some special people, or do you just use the default one? Let us know in a comment below.