Tutorial: Use audio files as ringtones, alarms or notification sounds (Windows)

So, you’ve got an awesome song you want as a ringtone, or a cool little sound effect to use as an SMS notification. The only question is, how do you get all that audio goodness onto your device? We’ll take a quick look at how to do that here.

The process is relatively simple. The first step is to get your phone hooked up to your computer, and to mount the SD card. When you plug in your phone via USB, pull down the top notification menu, and choose the option to mount the SD card. After a few seconds, you should get a message that your SD card is mounted and ready for file transfers.

At this point, open up “My Computer” on your PC, and choose the last removable disk. This should be your SD card in your phone. If you can’t figure out which device is your phone, unmount your SD card via the pull down menu on your phone, unplug your device, and see which removable device disappears inside your “My Computer” folder. When you plug the phone in again, the one that then appears is the phone.

Once you get inside your SD card, you’ll need to create some folders. Simply go into the removable device, and create these files:

  1. On the root of the card, create a folder called “media” (no quotes)
  2. Inside media, create a folder called “audio” (no quotes)

After that, you’ll need to create folders depending on how you want to use your sounds:

  • To use any of these sounds as alarms, inside audio, create a folder called “alarms” (no quotes)
  • To use any of these sounds as notifications, inside audio, create a folder called “notifications” (no quotes)
  • To use any of these sounds as ringtones, inside audio, create a folder called “ringtones” (no quotes)

That’s it! Simply unmount your SD card and reboot the phone. Once it starts back up, just go to Settings > Sounds and Notifications, and your files should show up, depending on where you put them.

So go crazy! How do you think my HTC Hero gives Captain Picard’s doorbell every time I get a text message?

Be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments!

» See more articles by Dustin Karnes


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  • Thomas

    In your step by step instructions why did you not simply use bold formatting for the names of folders one has to create? The way you did it with putting them inside quotation marks followed by “(no quotes)” is bound to confuse some readers. I bet quite a few will create folders named like

    “notifications” (no quotes)

    and then come back here to complain that it doesn’t work. ;)

    • Parry

      Don’t think most android users are that daft.

  • rj

    used another persons method and it worked just as well but great guide.

  • norvin

    it doesn’t work on LG GT540…
    i was really hoping it would work.
    really wanted to personalized my sms alert tones.
    is there any other way?

  • norvin

    good news!!! figured out the easiest & safest way to personalized the ringtones & most importantly the message alert tone for LG GT540 android.
    first, you have to download an apps for ringtones.
    select your preferred song, download, then set it as ringtone, alarm or notification.
    that’s it!!!
    you got your own personalized ringtone or sms alert tone as well….

    have fun!!!!!

  • MNSk8r

    How about just adding the App “Rings Extended” to your Android phone. Then you can easily pick any audio files and use them as ringtones, alarms or notification sounds on your phone.

  • Alan

    Why install an unneeded app at all?

    Just learn how the device allows things to be done naturally and forget this artificial reliance on unnecessary junk. The Galaxy S follows the conventions mentioned in this article very closely, as do other Android-based devices.

    If you want to edit and export sound files on the desktop, or on your laptop/notebook/netbook, download Audacity ( http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ ); which has versions for Linux, windoze and mac.

  • Lauren

    What happens when you have music files downloaded, and they work on your music player, but when you try to set a song as a ringtone it says “unable to attach: Maximum size of file of 300 KB?” Can I resize the files? I’m using the Samsung Infuse 4G

  • Fatburger3

    Thanks, I just needed to know the name of the folder under audio, you didn’t have to treat us like a stupid iPhone user.

  • happycamper

    Thankkk Youuu !

  • Joe

    worked great tnx

  • J Dierick

    It must be said: You are a hero! :D

  • Lukeido

    it dint work

    • jeprox105

      just download 91panda home it works for my lg gt-540

  • Lukeido

    Never mind

  • HaggisKiwi

    They don’t make it blatantly simple do they? Thanks for the great instruction