Downloading Free Ringtones

Category: Mobile

I've been chasing down offers for free ringtones, but most of them look like scams. I was able to download one ringtone, but I can't figure out how to get it on my phone. Help...

How To Download Ringtones to Your Cell Phone

Everyone wants a "distinctive" ringtone for their cell phone so they know a call is for them and not someone else in the room. Personally, I want a ringtone that says, "Bob Rankin, you have a call," but most people want something a bit jazzier. There are lots of free ringtones online, but you have to read the fine print to avoid being scammed.

Some free ringtone sites want you to click a checkbox to agree to being sent text messages containing ads; many even check the box for you, and hide it far under the big "download ringtone now" button. Read the fine print before you download any ringtone.

Use mobile anti-malware software on your phone to avoid downloading malware (viruses or spyware) disguised as ringtone files. You never really know what that "download" button is going to send you.
Free Ringtone Downloads

Your mobile phone service provider probably makes it very easy to download ringtones from its inventory; often it's just a one-button click to retrieve and install a carrier-provided ringtone. But they also charge up to $3 a pop for snatches of popular songs. Know what your carrier charges for ringtones and don't rely on it for very many ringtones.

Where to Find Free Ringtones

Finding free ringtones online is as easy as Googling "free ringtones." Just go to one of these sites and select a ringtone you want. Avoid sites that require registration, if possible. If you must register with a valid email address use a throwaway address that you don't mind getting spam at. Some have reams of small print that lock you into a monthly ringtone subscription. Uncheck any boxes that commit you to anything. Then you're ready to download a ringtone and install it on your phone.

Some sites offer "keypress ringtones" for mobile phones. If you click to download a ringtone and see a long string of characters like "18**#1#11#1969**#008188*16 ..." that's a keypress ringtone that you can program directly into your phone. Your phone must have a composer or melody editing function to be able to do keypress tones. The nice thing about this type of ringtone is that you don't have to download anything that might potentially contain malware.

One site that offers free ringtones is Cool Free Ringtones. You can download free polyphonic ringtones and keypress ringtones here, but be careful where you click. There are a lot of clever ads for PAID ringtones and ringtone subscription services as well. Did I mention that you have to read the fine print to avoid being scammed?

In some cases, you enter your cell phone number and the ringtone is sent to the phone directly. There you can save it in a ringtone library and install it as your default ringtone according to your phone's instructions. But now the marketers have your cell phone number, so you may want to try it another way.

Download the ringtone file to your computer, if possible. Usually these are MP3 or MIDI files that you can play on your computer to make sure it's what you really want. Then use software that connects your cell phone to your computer for synchronization of contacts and other files. If your phone didn't come with a CD that includes a way to transfer files to and from the phone, look for that software on the manufacturer's website.

Microsoft Windows Sync Center is the latest synchronization software built into Windows 7. You can automatically transfer files between phone and a sync folder on your PC. You can also drag and drop files between your computer-based sync folder and folders on your Windows phone. Then install ringtones per your phone's instructions.

If you have an Android powered mobile phone, you will need some free synchronization software such as Handset Manager for Android Phones. This free program lets you back up, synchronize, and edit files and folders on your Android phone from a Windows PC. DoubleTwist is a sync utility for Android phones that works with Mac as well as Windows PCs. It will sync with iTunes and Amazon music downloads, as well as ringtones in almost any audio file format.

Do you have a favorite site for ringtone downloads? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Downloading Free Ringtones"

Posted by:

John Mood
11 Nov 2010

I enjoy a site called Mobile 17, it's at and it let's you create your own ringtones and sends them to your phone in a format the phone can recognize.

You can get the ringtones free, or if you want quicker service you can make donations to the site to support it. It's much quicker when you donate, but if you are on a tight budget and can wait, you still get good service. It's one of the best sites for ringtones. It's got no scams and is really well done.

I've done several, and they work very nicely.

Posted by:

kearney bothwell
11 Nov 2010

I use a program called iToner ($15 from Ambrosia software -- both Mac and Windows versions available) which lets you create ringtones from any item in your iTunes library and install it on your iPhone using drag and drop. Also comes with 40 included ringtones.

Posted by:

11 Nov 2010

Another good free ringtone site is They have thousands of ringtones searchable by artist and/or title, although you may not be able to get the exact clip of the song you want. There are no ads and no paid ringtone links.

And no, I am not affiliated Tonzr, just a satisfied user for several years.

Posted by:

11 Nov 2010

I like to make my OWN ringtones on with songs I own on my iTunes. I use the Sound Recorder program in the Windows Accessories folder, and use it to record the snippet of the song I want to use for a ringtone.

To start, I play the song in iTunes, decide what portion I want to use, then cue it up and hit "record" on Sound Recorder when I get to it (and "stop record" when it's done). You can only get about 40 seconds, so choose wisely. Check your recording when you're done, to make sure it's what you want.

Then you go to where you will upload the snippet you've recorded. Follow the instructions to trim it to what you want, and add fade-in or fade-out, and it will turn it into a ringtone and send a text to your phone with a link to download it. I've used it lots of times and have never gotten any spam or problems with it. Easier than you think, and I LOVE it!

Posted by:

12 Nov 2010

I have used a free ringtone site with no hidden fees or surprises!

Posted by:

Umesh Ankola
12 Nov 2010

how can i unlock my beetel fixed wireless phone(FB200D)with airlte connection.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2010

I saw on another site a cool way to make my own ring tones from my own CD collection. I use Audacity (free) with the .mp3 export option (free download). Transfer a song to your computer from the CD, edit it in Audacity, export it as .mp3 or .wav (whatever your phone needs), and send it to the phone. Just Google "make ringtones with audacity".

Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
03 Jan 2013

Mobile 9 is also a good website for ringtones for Android phones. This site also has some beautiful wallpapers, themes and it's free.

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