Posted by: buzina | January 24, 2012

Trick the iPhone into a longer ringtone – no jailbreak needed –

iTunes icon

Image via Wikipedia

A little unusual post today, but I figured out how to make iTunes accept a longer ringtone – it is iTunes that limits the ringtone length, not the iPhone itself. And the best thing, you need no extra software and no jailbreak.

So how to do it? A few steps:

  1. Create a short ringtone for your iPhone
    1. Make a snippet of one of your favorite mp3 files or use the iTunes Information “Option” settings to Start/Stop quickly
    2. Use iTunes to convert the mp3 to AAC. You might have to set the CD import settings to the AAC codec, if you have set the Start/Stop time this will only convert the snippet
    3. Rename the file extension from .m4a to .m4r (ringtone)
    4. Drag & Drop the file onto your iTunes library
    5. Now you have a ringtone
  2. Sync ringtones to your iPhone – I set it to sync all of them
  3. Now you have the short ringtone on your iPhone
  4. Make an AAC version of the longer file, either resetting the Start/Stop time or using a different mp3 file.
  5. Replace the existing (short version) of your ringtone with the new longer one. It might be needed to have the exact same tag information (I have not tested that)
  6. Disable the sync in iTunes and apply
    • The ringtones will be removed from your iPhone
  7. Re-enable the sync and apply
    • iTunes will now gladly sync your new extra long ringtone to your iPhone

I have a full length song on it right now, so I don’t know what the upper limit is. Enjoy!



  1. Great tip! Thanks…

  2. Got the “Too Long” message on new 4s

    • mallar mallar :*

  3. I just have a question on that – how (where) do I replace the short version?

    • Hi,

      Just replace the file on your PC and re-sync.

  4. Hmm it doesnt work here ..

    • I haven’t tried for a while, maybe some iOS update killed it?

  5. thank you, worked fine on my iPhone 4 iOS 6.0. Itunes says that tone lenght is 0:30, but when I play it on phone, the whole song is being played, nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks! Works perfectly on my iPhone 4 iOS 5.1.1 (iTunes 11)

  7. Great .. You r genius ๐Ÿ˜€
    It does work perfectly ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. dont understand the replace process and the disable the sync? should we also rename the longer acc to m4r? i replaced the short one and then disabled the sync but it didnt remove the tone from my phone?

  9. Worked perfectly.. Thank you so much…. ๐Ÿ™‚ For those of us having questions on where to replace the file.. Replace the file from where you dragged the .m4r into the iTunes before.. Don’t drag the file again into iTunes after creating the long version…

  10. BTW, this worked with iPhone4, ios 6.0 and iTunes 10.0 …

  11. Hi there… Can you possibly made this guide with pictures ? thanks

  12. Thanks a lot!!! itunes gave me the alert that the ringtone is too long but it was sync-ed in anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Awesome! Thank you! It took a few tries to get it right but I finally got it working. I’m on a Mac, so I thought I would clarify the instructions for point 5 and 6 for other Mac users.

    5. Replace the Ringtone File – as said in another comment, dragging the longer file back into iTunes won’t work. Instead, go to the Tones section of your iTunes library and right click on the ringtone you want to replace. Choose “Show in Finder”. You’ll see your Tones folder, with the short version of your ringtone.

    The short ringtone file might not have the same name you assigned to it when you created it. Make note of the file name, and go back to your longer AAC file (I kept mine on my desktop). Rename the longer file to exactly match the shorter one in your Tones folder, including the .m4r extension. Now, drag the longer file from your desktop (or wherever you had it) into the Tones folder in the Finder. You’ll get a ‘do you want to replace the existing file’ message. Choose ‘replace’.

    6. Unsync and Sync – Go to your iTunes iPhone Tones section and un-check the Sync section. You’ll get a message that un-syncing will remove your files. Click OK. Then, I clicked Apply at the bottom of the window. Now, re-check the Sync option, and click Apply again.

    Now, the short file on your phone should be replaced with the longer one.

    • Thanks Kat! This worked for me… but I think we need to make sure that we haven’t already set that as ringtone in the phone.. I had to spend lot of time investigating how to get it right…

      • That’s the only way I could get it to work on a PC as well. Thanks OP and Kat!!

  14. Works on iPhone 4S iOS 6.1.3
    Thanks a lot man!

  15. Works on latest update (iOS 6.1.3) on 4s and 4! Those who have a problem, try quitting iTunes before copying the long version to the tones folder in Finder.

  16. Having a lot of trouble here. Running Windows 7, and I’ve tried everything but I keep getting the notification that the ringtone is too long. Can anyone help?

  17. Could you please do a pic explanation or a YouTube video. Some of us, I mean I am not computer literate like most of the people. Thanks I really want this.

  18. you are a genius… excellent work

  19. I have a 4 sec mp3 that I would like to use as a ringtone. It appears that it is too short. I cannot figure out how to loop it so it’s long enough. Kind of the opposite of what is talked about here. Any ideas?

  20. Is there any way that anyone could post a video up about this? I’ve tried it about a dozen times, and nothing seems to be working. I keep getting the pop-up that the newer (longer) ringtone is too long to be used as a ringtone. I use a PC.

  21. Thanks! Works on iPhone 5 with iOS7.
    So, here are details once again, for “less literate” folks. Assumption is that you have mp3 in iTunes. Click means “Right Click”. iPhone is connected to iTunes.

    0. Go to “Music” on iTunes (not on iPhone, so press “Done” if iTunes says Your iPhone)
    1. Short version of mp3
    a) Click on “Get Info->Options” on desired song
    b) Stop time = 0:30, OK
    c) Click Create AAC version
    d) Click Delete on new AAC version, and Keep File
    e) Click “Show in Finder” (or explorer) on original mp3, should show 2 files
    f) Rename m4a into m4r
    g) Drag file to iTunes (it should be visible in “Tones” section now, disappeared from Finder)
    2. Choose iPhone, tab Tones
    3. Sync Tones enabled
    4. Select tone
    5. Apply Sync to iPhone
    6. Press “Done” to return to iTunes
    7. Go to “Music” on iTunes
    8. Long version of mp3
    a) Click on “Get Info->Options” on desired song
    b) Uncheck Stop time, OK
    c) Click Create AAC version
    d) Click Delete on new AAC version, and Keep File
    e) Click “Show in Finder” (or explorer) on original mp3, should show 2 files
    f) Rename m4a into m4r
    g) DO NOT DRAG IT TO iTunes
    9. Go to “Tones” on iTunes
    10. Click “Show in Finder” (or Explorer) on desired tone. It will show short version of m4r file in Finder (or Explorer)
    11. Copy long version over that short version IN FINDER (or Explorer)
    12. Choose iPhone, tab Tones
    13. Uncheck Sync Tones, OK, Apply changes to iPhone
    14. Check Sync Tones, OK, Apply changes to iPhone
    15. Enjoy

  22. […] […]

  23. Just a little info for some of you saying you get a message saying the new ringtone is too long, go ahead and sync anyways, my shorter ringtone was still replaced with the longer version even though it gave me that error message.

  24. Works for ios7.1.2 and OS-X 10.9.4 running iTunes v11.3 (54)

  25. Great! Many Thanks! Worked perfectly on my iPhone 4s iOS 7.1.2 with iTunes

  26. Perfect

  27. Guys, want to confirm that iostriz’s method for us dummies also works on IOS 8.0.2 with iTunes running on a Macbook Pro running OS-X 10.10

  28. This thing still works! Just did it with iPhone 6!

  29. Awesome.. working in ios 8.1, iphone 6..!!!! Love u man..!!!!

  30. Perfect… i love you dude. I can’t even express my level of gratitude and happiness. You’re awesome

  31. This is gold, this is! Worked for me on the first try! Using iOS 8.3

  32. Doesn’t work on IOS8.3 on an iPhone5s ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  33. This method worked instead:

    On Mac (OSXv10.10.3) & iOSv8.3 you can do this:

    Create two folders, one for short and one for long
    Create two .mr4 (.m4a, renamed) ringtones, one to each folder
    Short one must be LESS than 40 seconds
    Give both files same name
    Open iTunes and drag the short tone to tone library
    Close iTunes
    Open /Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Tones
    Rename the ringtone from eg. tone.m4r to tone.m4r_short
    Copypaste long version to Tones folder mentioned in 6, and make sure it has same name as short one had
    Open iTunes, the Ringtones (or Tones) sections shows, that your tone’s length is same as the short one’s but content is from the long one.
    Connect your iDevice, select Tones, select tones to sync, and click sync

  34. Original method worked perfectly on iTunes 12.0.1 & 5S with iOS 8.4. Thank you!

  35. iOS 9.1 sais when reenabling tones sync: “iTunes Sync 1 item could not be synced. See iTunes for more information”

  36. […] Trick the iPhone into a longer ringtone โ€“ no jailbreak … โ€“ Jan 24, 2012  · Trick the iPhone into a longer ringtone โ€“ no jailbreak needed … Sync ringtones to your iPhone … ringtone to your iPhone; I have a full length song on … […]

  37. …and it is no longer possible with iOS 10.11 and latest iTunes version 12.5.4. I am so much frustrated since repairmen who replaced Power button in my iPhone reset all settings making my beloved long ringtones never be able again. Apple, die you greedy bitch!

  38. It works like charm, in 2017.
    iTunes (should update it later)
    iPhone 4S, iOS 9.3.5

    Read the instructions clearly ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Your home is valueble for me. Thanks!โ€ฆ

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