Settings + personalization

Ringtones, sounds, and volume

Ringtones and sounds can help you decide when to pay attention to your Windows Phone—and when to ignore it—by identifying who is trying to get ahold of you. You can assign unique ringtones to the people who matter most to you and different sounds to different kinds of alerts.

But if you're in a place where your beeping, jangling phone could be an embarrassment or an offense, your nifty ringtones may suddenly become less important than the volume buttons. They make it easy to turn the sound up and down for calls or music, and to quickly turn off your ringer.

You can also add or create new ringtones from MP3s or other audio files, then use them as custom sounds for alarms, new text messages or instant messages, new voicemail, new email, reminders, and notifications. To learn more, see Add ringtones to my phone and Set alarms on my phone.


This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

To set custom ringtones or text tones for a contact

  1. On Start Start button, tap People People Tile, and then swipe over to Contacts.

  2. Tap the contact you want to change.

  3. Tap Edit Edit icon, then do one or both of the following:

    • Tap Ringtone, and then tap the ringtone you want to assign.
    • Tap Text tone, and then tap the alert or custom sound you want to assign for text messages.


To use custom ringtones for text messages, your phone needs to have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information about updating your phone.

To change any other ringtone or alert

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ringtones + sounds.

  2. Tap the type of ringtone or alert you want to change, and then choose the sound you want to use.

To change your phone's vibrate settings

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ringtones + sounds.

  2. Turn Vibrate on Toggle On icon or off Toggle Off icon.

To turn the ringer on or off using the volume buttons

Press and hold the Volume down Volume down button button until you see Vibrate appear at the top of the screen. To turn on the ringer, press and hold the Volume up Volume up button button until you see Ringer + Notifications.


You can also silence the ringer by pressing the power (Power button ) or volume (Volume up button, Volume down button ) buttons during an incoming call.

To adjust volume settings on your screen

Press the Volume up Volume up button or Volume down Volume down button button, and then tap Open volume bar Volume bar open icon to expand your phone's volume options.

Volume bar on Windows Phone 8.1
The volume bar provides quick access to your volume settings from almost anywhere on your phone

Depending on what you're doing, you'll see one or more of the following:

  • In-call In-call icon
  • Ringer + Notifications (Tap Vibrate icon, Silent ringer icon, or Vibrate icon to mute or unmute.)
  • Media + Apps (Tap Media mute or Media unmute iconto mute or unmute.)
  • Headphones (Tap Headphones icon to mute or unmute.)
  • Bluetooth (Tap Bluetooth icon to mute or unmute.)

Use the volume slider(s) to adjust the volume accordingly. Below the sliders, you can also toggle your phone's vibrate settings by tapping Vibrate on Vibrate icon or Vibrate offVibrate icon. To close the volume bar, tap Close volume bar Volume bar close icon.


You can also adjust your phone's volume settings in the lock screen. To learn more, see Locked phone: things it can still do.

Related topic

Add ringtones to my phone

Tell us what you think