New phone?

Ringtones, sounds, and volume

Ringtones and sounds can help you decide when to pay attention to your Windows Phone 8—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 silence your phone. In Settings, you can choose whether the volume buttons can set your phone to vibrate or be totally silent.

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, and reminders. To learn more, see Add ringtones to my phone and Set alarms on my phone.

To set custom ringtones for a contact

  1. On Start Start button, tap People People Tile, and then flick to All.

  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 ringtone 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 ringer or vibrate settings

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

  2. Turn on or turn off Ringer On icon or Vibrate On icon in any combination.

To silence or turn on the ringer using the volume buttons

  1. Press up or down on the Volume buttons to make the volume bar appear.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Tap Ring Ring icon or Ring + Vibrate Ring icon to silence the ringer.
    • Tap Vibrate Vibrate icon or Silent Silence icon to turn on the ringer.


    You can also silence the ringer by pressing the Power Power icon button during an incoming call.

Tell us what you think