set custom ringtone on android - logo

How to set custom ringtone on Android device without using any ringtone app

set custom ringtone on android - logo

Note : This article is useful for users who have vanilla (Android installed without any customization) Android versions on your devices. Nexus devices are the best examples.

Customizing your ringtone is one the most basic requirements of a mobile device. Vanilla android versions sadly do not let you select any customized songs from the sound settings. You have to use an external app for this purpose.

But as I found out recently, such apps do have a flaw as well. I was using Ring Extended for playing my favorite songs as ringtones on my Nexus 4. But yesterday I selected “set default tones always” check box by mistake. And to my huge disappointment (yes, songs do play a huge role for me!), I was not allowed to select any of my songs anymore!

The pop-up window that ring extended used to show simply disappeared. Also, the “hey that should be easy!” thoughts changed to “Holy shit this is ridiculous!” as  I searched for a solution to this app. It seems there is no way you can get the window opened again once you have selected the dreaded “Always” button for default tones.

This sure seems hilarious when you are not at the receiving end!

Thus, I instead went for an alternative method, which does not involve installing any ringtone app. So here goes:

Steps to set custom ringtone on Android

1. Install file manager on your device. This is a kind of file explorer app – similar to windows explorer on your PC. You can choose a file manager app of your choice as well.

2. Open the file manager app.

3. Look for a folder named “media” – name is case-insensitive (it can be Media/MEDIA/media) – in the folder list. Probability is high that you might not find such a folder. Here are the steps for creating a new folder:

  • Tap on the bottom right menu button.

set custom ringtone on android - folder1

  • Tap on “Folder”.

set custom ringtone on android - folder2

  • Type in “media” and tap “OK”.

set custom ringtone on android - folder3

  • You can see the new folder in the file list now.

set custom ringtone on android - folder4

4. Similarly, create another folder named “Audio” – again case – insensitive – inside the “Media” folder.

5. You can create folders named “Ringtones” (for custom ringtones) and Alarms (for sound files you want to use for alarms).

6. You are all set now. Last thing to do is copy your favourite music/sound file and paste it in “Ringtones” folder you created in the above steps.

set custom ringtone on android - ringtone folder

7. After you have pasted the file, go to Settings –> Sound –> Phone ringtone.

8. You can see the new music file present in the list, all ready to be selected as your ringtone!

set custom ringtone on android - ringtone list


Have you experienced any problems with your ringtone app? Do let us know any alternate methods you used to solve them!

Image Credit : mobilemarketingwatch

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