How to Make a Ringtone with GarageBand

Making a ringtone with GarageBand is pretty straightforward and can be accomplished quickly and easily on an iPhone or Mac. You can trim a recorded song to ringtone length or use preexisting loops within the app itself.

I’ve been writing and recording music for years, and I have a lot of experience dealing with GarageBand and other audio recording apps and software. I’ve made numerous ringtones with GarageBand over the years and know the process to make this happen. 

This post will provide you with the steps to make a ringtone with GarageBand. I’ll walk you through how to do this on an iPhone, as well as how you can take a song from your Mac and turn it into a ringtone. 

Let’s dive in. 

How to Make a Ringtone with GarageBand on iPhone

The process for making a ringtone with GarageBand on an iPhone is pretty straightforward. But before we get started with the steps, you need to have the GarageBand app installed on your iPhone. 

It is included when you purchase the phone, but double-check it hasn’t been deleted before continuing to the information below. If you can’t find it, go ahead and download it again from the app store. 

Follow these steps to make a ringtone with GarageBand on your iPhone: 

1. Launch GarageBand on your iPhone. 

2. Start a new project by clicking on any software instrument you want from the available choices. 

3. Hit the Record button (the red circle) and record a few measures of music. 

4. Tap the project icon, which is just to the left of the mixer icon, as seen in the screenshot below.  

(Screenshot taken from my iPhone)

5. The project view screen will appear. From here, tap on the Loop icon just to the left of the settings icon on the right side of the screen. 

(Screenshot taken from my iPhone)

6. The Loops icon will take you to a window where you can access Apple Loops that come with GarageBand and other songs you have on your iPhone. Locate the file, loop, or song you want to turn into a ringtone. 

Select the song or file you want to use and press it until it appears in the project window. Note that you need to hold the selection down longer than a simple tap for this to work. 

7. Once the song appears in GarageBand, you need to trim it to 40 seconds or less for it to be the proper size for a ringtone. Click on the track and move the sliders to trim it to that length or less. 

You can also select the exact part of the song you want to use for your ringtone here. Hit the Play button to hear the song and adjust things to your liking. 

8. Now press the Download Arrow icon on the top left of the screen. This icon looks like an upside-down triangle. Tap on My Songs when that appears. 

9. This project will now automatically save as My Song or My Song #2 (or whatever number the project is on your iPhone. 

10. When you see it save as a project within GarageBand, press and hold its icon to bring up more options. 

11. Click on Share. 

12. Select the Ringtone icon from the Share Song window that appears. You might get a popup window saying that your ringtone will be trimmed to 30 seconds or less if it is too long. Either adjust it in GarageBand or click Continue to do it automatically. 

13. Give your ringtone a name in the next window and tap Export.

14. Another window will appear, and you’ll have the option to set the ringtone you just made as a Standard Ringtone, Standard Text Tone, or Assign to contact. Choose one of these options or tap Done to deal with it later.  

How to Make a Ringtone with GarageBand on Mac

If you want to make a Ringtone with GarageBand on Mac, you’ll need to transfer the song, sample, or tone to your phone once it is created. This isn’t complicated, but it does add another step to the process. 

1. Use GarageBand on your Mac, or any other music creation app or software, to make your ringtone. 

2. Once the song is completed, you need to download it onto your iPhone. You can do this by using AirDrop, sending via messages, or emailing. 

3. Once the song is on your iPhone, follow the same steps listed above to turn it into a ringtone with GarageBand on your phone. 

Note that you need to export a GarageBand song into an audio file for GarageBand on iOS to recognize it. You also might be unable to transfer all types of songs if they are copyright protected. 

How to Make a Ringtone with GarageBand from a Video

To make a ringtone with GarageBand from a video, you’ll need access to the audio file of the song or sample in that video. Once you have the file, you can go through the same steps mentioned above to turn it into a ringtone. 

If you don’t have access to the audio file, you could try making a sound recording with your iPhone while the video is playing on your computer. You can then turn that sound recording into a ringtone. 

Many people are trying to turn songs they hear from other sources (such as TikTok, YouTube, or other platforms) into a ringtone. The key to doing this is to have access to the song’s audio file. If you don’t have that, you probably can’t turn it into a ringtone.  

You can make any audio file a ringtone if you have it on your iPhone. But separating the audio file from a video is the trickier part that isn’t always possible – at least not in a simple way that we’ll mention here. 


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to how to make a ringtone with GarageBand. 

How do you make a GarageBand sound your ringtone? 

You can use any preexisting sound or loop within the app and turn it into a ringtone by the same process mentioned for creating ringtones in this post. You need to open the file in GarageBand and trim it to ringtone length.  

How do I put a ringtone on my iPhone from GarageBand without a computer?

If you don’t have a computer, you just need to make sure you have the song, recording, or sound on your phone to turn it into a ringtone on GarageBand. The process to do this is pretty simple through the app, but the file needs to be downloaded onto your iPhone.  

How do I make custom ringtones for my iPhone?

To make custom ringtones for your iPhone, you’ll need GarageBand or some other music-making app installed on your phone. You can import any song you made, or even a random noise, into GarageBand and create a ringtone from there. 

Final Thoughts

Making a ringtone with GarageBand is pretty easy to do. If you follow the steps outlined here, you can turn just about any audio file you have access to into a customized ringtone on your iPhone. Just remember, it’s not always as easy to get an audio file from a video. 

Do you like to use customized ringtones that you make yourself in GarageBand or another music creation app? Or do you like to set up your favorite songs as ringtones? Let me know in the comments below!

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