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Since the launch of Windows Phone 7 it was very hard to get your custom ringtones on your Windows Phone. You either had to use an app to find the one you wanted and liked or you had to make one yourself with all those nitty and gritty requirements and use somehow your desktop Zune application to get it on your device. However with Windows Phone 8 you can easily get your favorite ringtone on your device. Let explain this to you.

In Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5, media transfer between a phone and a computer is performed with Zune software. In Windows Phone 8, media transfer between a phone and a computer is performed through a standard Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) session. This transfer occurs by using a USB cable or by using Windows Phone sync client. For more information about how to sync your phone with a computer.

When you connect the phone to a computer, the available folders appear. To move content to the phone, just drag the content to the appropriate folder.

 Note You must drag the content from the computer to the phone. You cannot drag content from the SD card on the phone.

October 14, 2013 UPDATE: Now with GDR 3 or update 3 for Windows Phone 8 you can use these files as well for your reminders, text, calendar and email notifications. See here how to get the Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 (update 3).

October 31, 2013: Just found out that there is a free app with some extra ringtones but it also allows you to record your own ringtones.


To use a music track as a ringtone, drag it to the Ringtones folder. Make sure that the track meets the following requirements:

  • The track is in MP3, M4R or WMA format
  • The track is less than 30 MB
  • The track is not protected with digital rights management (DRM)
  • There is no longer any limit on track length

To apply a ringtone, tap Settings, and then tap Ringtones + Sounds.

If a custom ringtone does not appear, on of the following problems could be the case:

  • The Custom section of the ringtone picker appears only after at least one valid ringtone is added.
  • Verify that the format, size, and length of the ringtone meet the requirements for custom ringtones.
  • Make sure that the custom ringtone is being copied from the computer to the correct folder on the phone. It cannot be copied from the SD card on the phone.
  • Try a different method to copy the ringtone. For example, if the customer is using Windows Explorer, have them try the sync client and vice versa.

Can you use an entire song as a ringtone?
Yes, as long as the song does not use digital rights management (DRM). In addition, you must make sure that the song is in MP3, M4R or WMA format, and is less than 30 MB. There is no longer a limit on ringtone duration.

Check out all the new features of Windows Phone 8 here.


This is quite helpful content! Thank you!

Yeah, thank you so much. I got it.

Just what I was looking for. Thank you!

What about for SMS (Text) message alerts? How do you change them?

Alf Henriksen

yeah what about sms tones ? how to change that ?

gurpreet walia

i am not getting custom option in ringtones on my lumia720…….please help me out….

Other requisite I found:

To appear the section Custom ringtones, at least one of them must have it’s field Title

can i customize ringtone for message alerts in lumia 620

Thank you, still usefull article 🙂 So stupid that files need to be copied from computer to phone. First I was disappointed when copied files from SD to ringtones and see that no custom songs available.
Best regards

I just figured out that ringtones in Windows 10 for mobile need to have a TITLE in the ID3 tag, or else it will not show in the list of ringtones. Right click, properties and add a title if you cannot see it in your ringtone list on the phone.

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