Did you think ringtones were a thing of the past? Relegated to the butt of jokes told on TikTok by Gen-Z kids? Well, who’s really to say? After all, we all thought mullets and flares were a thing of the past, too, didn’t we? And look where we are now…
If you’re looking to find where your ringtones are stored on Android – whether to copy them elsewhere on your phone or use them off-phone for a creative project – then you’ve come to the right place. Only thing is… it’s not a simple process.
We can tell you how to find your ringtones so as to select one as default (that’s easy – see below for the tutorial). However, if you want to know where the ringtone files themselves are stored and how to find them, well, that’s a little more complex.
First thing’s first, ringtones are stored in this subfolder — system > media > audio > ringtones
Simple, right? Well, not so. In order to access the /system folder on an Android phone, first you must ‘root’ your phone, or otherwise be lucky enough to stumble across a file explorer app which somehow grants non-rooted Android users access to view the /system files.
We’ve explained ‘rooting’ your phone in more detail in the FAQs. Here, we’ll say this: it’s a complicated and potentially risky process which we cannot guide you through here. You should instead search for a reliable ‘rooting’ guide specific to your phone elsewhere on the internet.
Once you’ve rooted your phone, you can access Android ringtones by navigating to the system > media > audio > ringtones folder as described above.
If you’re unconcerned about rooting your phone, but still want to know how to hear your ringtone options and choose a different one as default, simply follow the below steps:
Table of Contents
How to find your ringtones and choose one as default
- On your Android device, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to pull up the app menu
- Scroll left-to-right until you locate the ‘Settings’ app (cog/gear icon)
- Tap on the ‘Settings’ app to open it
- Tap on ‘Sounds and vibration’ to open the settings section for ringtones
- Next, tap on ‘Ringtones’
- Finally, you’ll be presented with around 32 different ringtones, arranged alphabetically from A-Z
- To choose a new ringtone, simply tap on each one in turn to hear them play, and when you find one you like, tap on it to select it
- Exit out of the ‘Settings’ menu and app to apply your newly chosen default ringtone
And that’s all there is to finding and choosing your ringtones on Android devices. For any further information, or if you have more questions, please check out our FAQs below.
How do you root an Android phone?
‘Rooting’ an Android form has the same effect that ‘jailbreaking’ an iPhone does. It allows users access to the entire Android software (known as ‘root’ access), rather than just the surface User Interface layer. With root access, users can access files and programs which would have previously been blocked to them.
Furthermore, with root access, Android smartphone users can install different versions of the Android operating system and user interface. Rooting Androids was once really popular, as some of the older versions of Android phones were not to everyone’s liking. Today, however, its popularity has decreased for two reasons.
Firstly, the quality of Android interfaces is now much better than it once was, giving users less of a reason to go to the trouble of rooting their phone. Secondly, rooting has become increasingly different ever since Android 7.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to root an Android phone. And, as we’ve stated above in the main article, it is most likely imperative that you do root your phone if you are intent on locating the ringtones on your Android. Rooting, however, is a complicated process, and not one we’re qualified to walk you through.
If you’re looking to root your phone, we recommend you shop around for a set of instructions on the internet which you both understand, and which you can follow very carefully. A badly rooted Android phone can break in an instant.
Why would I want to access the ringtones on my Android smartphone?
There are any number of reasons as to why you might want to access the ringtones stored on Android devices. These days, though, ringtones have died in popularity. The natural impulse for most millennials, Gen-Z’ers, and younger folks in general, is to keep their phone on ‘Mute’ or ‘Silent’ modes, only vibrating to alert them to a call, message or notification.
The ‘pings’ and tones of old-school alert systems on Android phones have, in fact, become something of a meme, with TikToks on Boomer culture using the stock Android message alert sound as a trope. As such, it may well be for purposes of parody or creativity that you wish to access the ringtones storage on your Android phone.
And if not for parody, but for genuine curiosity, then you may look to know where ringtones are stored on Android so that you can copy and paste them elsewhere on your device, transfer them to your computer, add other music files to them for custom purposes, or save them so that you can use them elsewhere, such as on a new Android phone which doesn’t have the old ringtones you so liked.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to discover where ringtones are stored on your Android, we answer your question above in the main article, so go check it out!
How many ringtones are there on Android?
As default, Android phones provide their users with, on average, 32 different, distinct ringtones and ringtones patterns to choose from. You can find the whole range of ringtones available to you (just not the files themselves), by navigating to Settings > Sounds and vibration > Ringtones and tapping each one in turn to hear a sample clip of them.
To set a ringtone as your new default ringtone, simply select one you like from the list and tap the blank circle to the left of its name. Once the circle fills white, you can exit back out of the Settings menu and this new ringtone will have been set as your new default ringtone.
Of the 32 standard ringtones, there are many different types to choose from, with tones as eclectic as “Donkey” and “Coffee” to the much simpler “Basic Bell”, “Beep-Beep” and “Beep Once”.
Can I choose my own custom ringtone?
Absolutely! On Android, it’s super simple to select your own custom ringtone, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be able to access the root ringtone files under ‘/system’ in order to set your own ringtone.
Instead, all you need to do is to either download your preferred ringtone sound from the internet, or transfer it to your Android device from your or someone else’s device or computer. Having done so, simply navigate to the sound file via your Android phone’s folders.
Next, tap the ‘More’ option (three vertical dots) to the side of the file, or tap and hold it until a menu pops up. Then, following the instructions on screen, set this new tone as your default ringtone or message alert sound. Simple as that!