You probably know by now that iTunes 12.7 brings some notable changes like the removal of the App Store from iTunes, requiring users to manage and install iOS apps directly on an iPhone or iPad without iTunes on a computer. Similarly, the ringtone and Tones section has also changed in the latest iTunes releases, which some users may find confusing when they go to adjust ringtones on their devices.
The good news is you can still copy and transfer ringtones over to an iPhone or iPad with iTunes 12.7, and as you’ll see it’s actually quite simple as you will see.
You’ll need the latest version of iTunes as well as ringtone files in .m4r format to accomplish this task. Note that even if you have installed iTunes 12.7 you will find the ringtone files are still stored locally on the computer as m4r files, much like .ipa files are, so if you had some custom ringtones before you can likely still find them locally.
How to Copy Tones and Ringtones to iPhone and iPad in iTunes 12.7+
- Open iTunes on the computer if you have not done so already
- Be sure the iPhone is connected to the computer (via wi-fi or USB) and identified in iTunes, then select the device in iTunes*
- From the Finder on the Mac, locate the .m4r ringtone file you want to copy to the iPhone or iPad
- Drag and drop the ringtone .m4r file into the “On My Device” section of iTunes to copy the ringtone or tone file over to the iOS device
- A new “Tones” section will appear if it’s not already visible showing the ringtones on the device, repeat with other tones and ringtones in m4r format as desired
* Remember, selecting an iPhone or iPad in iTunes is done by clicking the little device icon in the top bar of iTunes now.
As you can see, copying ringtones to an iOS device with iTunes is still quite easy.
And yes you can still make your own in iTunes the same way as always and copy those over.
Another option that doesn’t use iTunes at all is to create ringtones on the iPhone or iPad directly in Garageband, which can be done entirely on the iOS device and never requires any kind of syncing or copying since the ringtone .m4r files are created and then kept on the device itself.
Of course if this is too much of a bother, you can undertake a cumbersome task to downgrade iTunes 12.7 back to 12.6, though be aware that by downgrading you are likely avoiding the inevitable future of iTunes as well as iOS device compatibility.