How to Set Contact Ringtones on Android

We recently detailed how to make custom ringtones to use on Android smartphones and tablets, and as a follow up to that below we’ll be explaining how to set these ringtones for specific contacts. Rather than have one ringtone for all incoming calls, you can set unique ringtones or music to each user to personalize your device and better organize your contacts.

Thankfully with Android creating new ringtones and adding custom ringtones for your notifications is rather easy, but with different manufacturers, versions of Android, and manufacturer skins, the process isn’t the same across all devices.

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We’ve recently been getting questions about adding custom ringtones for each individual contact, or specific friends and family on your device. Below we’ll quickly explain just how easy this is to do. Our images below are from stock Android 5.0 Lollipop, so the instructions may differ slightly on other devices, like a Samsung Galaxy S5, or HTC One M8.


First off you’ll want to add certain songs or MP3’s to your device you’d like to use, and the tutorial at the top of the page will teach you how to create ringtones from your own music collection. Once you’ve done this, the new ringtones will be in the location already thanks to the apps from the tutorial, and then just to head into any contact you’d like to customize, and set a custom ringtone to make things more personal.

This actually wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be, as each manufacturer does it slightly different. With Samsung devices just go into your contacts, select any contact and hit “edit” and you can add a custom personal ringtone to any contact in a matter of seconds. With stock Android however, this was more hidden that we expected.


With Android 4.4 and Android 5.0 Lollipop the contacts application is slightly different from most. Adding a unique ringtone to individual contacts isn’t very visible at first glance. When you head in to edit a contact the option isn’t shown, but it’s listed in an additional menu.

Tap the “Phone” or dialer app to get into your contacts, scroll to the contact of your choice, and tap the picture (or long press to edit) to open the contact. Rather than tapping to call, open the contact. At the top of the contact pop-up are thee icons. A star to favorite the contact, a “pen” which is the edit button we’ll be using today, and 3 dots for additional menu options.

Head into your contact, hit the pen-shaped icon to “edit” and here is where you can see and change the contact photo, add a new number, email address and more, and of course set a custom ringtone. Once you’re on the contact edit screen tap the three dots at the top right of the page, and select “Set ringtone” as shown below.


This will take you to the regular ringtone selection list of all the pre-installed ringtones, as well as any additional ringtones you may have created yourself, or downloaded from apps like Zedge.

Simply select the song or sound you’d like, and hit ok. That’s it, you’re all done. You’ve now successfully added a unique song or ringtone to your contact. This should only play when that contact calls, and your regular settings > sounds & notifications > and phone ringtone selection will play as usual for all other contacts.

This is a nice way to make your device more personal, or to know exactly who’s calling and if certain incoming calls are worth getting up for or not. Give it a try today, and feel free to check out Zedge for tons of unique ringtones.