How to set a custom ringtone on the Lumia 800

Dec 3rd, 201136 Comments

So you got yourself the Lumia 800, you’ve switched it on and have configured everything and then it strikes you, the ringtones are not you, you want something funkier, more your style. So you do what anyone would do, go to your music list pick out a song, give a long tap and wait for the options to appear.

Nothing happens, instead of showing ‘set as a ringtone’ you see ‘pin to start’ , wait that’s not what you wanted! so what did you get wrong? Nothing. Windows Phone 7 allows you to set custom ringtones, just not in that manner. You need the help of a few things to make that phone ring to your tune!

So quickly get your notepad out on your tablet, phone, PC or a real one in your hand! I’m going to tell you the ingredients to make your ringtone and set it too.

Before we proceed, you are going to need the Lumia 800. This tutorial works for all Windows Phone 7 devices running the Mango flavour. All right let’s begin.

  1. A Windows Phone 7 device (Lumia 800)
  2. A PC with Zune installed on it
  3. A music editing software (Audacity or anything similar will work just perfectly)
  4. Data Cable

Quite a handful ain’t it? Alright now here’s what you need to be doing.

First things first, your selection should not cross an MB (yes, a whole megabyte) and should cross 39 seconds as well. I don’t know why, but anything more than the two will not show up where we want it to.

First we pick your song or piece of music that you want to set as a ringtone. You need to cut that portion of the audio file that you want used as a ringtone. Remember, less than 1MB in size and not more than 39 seconds in listening time. Save it as an MP3 file to be on the safe side.

Once you’ve got it cut, you need to go to Zune connect your phone via the data cable, Zune and your phone automatically pair up and you can start syncing. At this point you need to go to the music tab and search for the file you had in mind to set as you ringtone.

After finding it, we need to do a bit of editing of the file, Zune is a great software for that. Get the title right and make sure the genre is set to ‘Ringtone’.

All you have to do now is send this file to your phone via Zune (that’s why you needed the phone and the data cable). Voila your ringtone is ready to be set!

Now disconnect your phone and quickly go into settings and tap the ‘Ringtones+Sounds’ option, scroll on the top and you’ll find the ringtone you wanted to set on your phone!

I know it’s a bit complicated and lengthy. There’s nothing that can be done to make it simpler (for now). The plus side to this entire exercise is that the ringtone will not show up in your music list!

About author:

Aditya Singhvi is the Editor in Chief and the man behind World of Phones. He loves mobile phones and can never get enough of them. He’s known for using too many phones and numbers at the same time. He is absolutely content with having more than 2 cell phones with him.

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  • Tshokolo

    Hey Bro,
    Tnx a lot. Your solution to my ringtone works like a charm.

    You are a STAR!

  • Teodor Emi

    Do not buy Nokia Lumia 800 is a garbage of phone!!!

  • Sanoroth

    Worked, thank you :)

  • Chongkai

    How about message tones???

  • Rowancat

    I tried it, this worked.  Thankyou so much!  I was getting soooo tired of having the same ringtones!

  • Guest

    what about the Alert tone?

  • nicole

    thank you,it worked!!

  • dim

    nice guide for editing ringtones.thanx 4 posting

  • Riothamus

    Nice Idea but Custom doesnt come up as an option on Ringtones,only Windows or Nokia….the Custom option isnt there even though they have downloaded through Zune onto the Music>Ringtones file (but not Ringtones and Sounds)

  • Mubinur

    Wow it is working. Thanks. Would you pls help me how to set skype on lumia 800.  Thanks again Aditya  ..  Its me

    • Aditya Singhvi

      Skype is available now publicly from the Windows MarketPlace… you shouldn’t have any issues downloading it now.

  • Elina

    Thanks for the info. I tried to get a song as my ringtone and wondered what went wrong. But now I have my own special ringtone.

  • David A G

    Having had some bother with this I realised that I hadn’t changed the file name (I already had the song on my phone). You MUST change the name of the file to something new. Also  you must add the genre to the standard list, not just change it on the metadata info. Hope that helps. I would also like to add an alert? Anyone done this? 

  • Asd

    Just download a free app from the WP Market Place to do this. For example Ringtone Factory.

  • Mark

    Thanks for this, will try it later when I get home and have Zune.  Is there a way to add alarm tones? Thanks

  • Rsrana_100

    I m not getting the step “Get the title right and make sure the genre is set to ‘Ringtone’.

  • adityasinghvi

    what do you mean it does not recognize?

  • Gazhaz_36

    My phone does not recognise any of the music set on my computer, so as for being able to transfer it over is impossible. This is the worst phone I have ever had and I am considering exchanging it!! It is too difficult to work on whereas the Iphone is very simplistic in its use.

  • Puzhanthi

    Thanks … Its working for me :) :)

    Important item is need to set the genre to ‘Ringtone’.

  • Shnumber7

    Do you know how to do custom text message tones?

    • adityasinghvi

      There’s no way to change it as of now.. Sorry!

  • Nusrat ali

    thanks….it worked!!

  • Keke

    I had problems too with creating a ringtone. The solution was to use right program for example Audacity. Wrong program just chopped the file and left the original info of the lenght in the file. Atleast in winamp my chopped 39s long mp3 file showed to be the original lenght alltought it played only the 39s.

  • Powrigan

    Thanks, worked a treat.

  • marshei

    I’ve tried this several times following your instructions to the letter, but there is absolutely nothing there.
    Please help.

    • adityasinghvi

      let’s do a quick troubleshoot, because the steps mentioned by me worked for me.

      1. Is the clip that you want to use under 1MB and not exceeding 39 seconds?
      2. Is the clip in mp3 format?
      3. Is Zune recognizing the clip?
      4. Have you edited it and set the Genre as ‘Ringtone’? This can be done by selecting any genre, then selecting like you would select text and typing ‘Ringtone’. [This simply creates a new Genre and does not delete any existing Genres]
      5. Have you synced the clip to your phone?

      If you answer to each has been yes, then you have followed the instructions properly. Now go to to the Settings tab on your phone where you can set the ringtone for your device. Scroll to the top and you will find your ringtone(s) listed.

      Do remember, this works only on Mango devices.

      • marshei

        Thankyou for your reply.
        The answer is yes to each question but when I go to Settings and scroll to the top there is no “Custom” and no ringtone. Everything is just as before.

        • adityasinghvi

          Well now, that’s absolutely new for me too. Can you try to sync that file again. Edit and call it something different and sync it.

          If it’s still not possible, then may be you should check with Nokia or whose ever Windows phone you are using. I was able to replicate it again without any problems.

          MS folks also actually have the same steps listed as mine –

      • Kostas

        First of all,i am trying 3 hours now but i find it…..Guys just use Audacity to cut your ringtone and no other program…..And then follow adityasinghvi’s steps and you will be ok!!

    • adityasinghvi

      Also do see if the clip that you are using has its timer starting off from zero and going to 39 seconds.

      The clip I used was a 128kbps clip and it worked for me, perhaps that’s an additional bit of info that may be of use to you.

  • J Jones329

    i am trying this but i cant seem to get the mp3 track to show as ringtone genre i only get classical jazz or electronic? the track is 34 seconds long and 938kb

    • adityasinghvi

      In the Genre, you won’t find Ringtone, However, you can select anyone and edit it by typing ‘Ringtone’ and saving it. That should get you sorted! :)

      The genre will not change to Ringtone for all your music, it will only add a new genre called ‘Ringtone’.

      • Shane winterbourne

        Hi there, do you know what settings should be used to import other tones for email and messaging?


        • adityasinghvi

          I’m afraid I don’t think I’ve seen anyone using custom tones for those bits. You could probably try taking the same steps for making a custom ringtone and naming the genre to ‘Sounds’ and see if it works?

          Also remember to keep the tone under 10 seconds to be on the safe side… Hope it works…

          • Mash2708

            Hi – do you know if you can change the Standard Messaging Tones and Alert tones as well. Have managed the ring tones,(thanks to your instuction) but want to do the same for Messaging as they a poor tones – thanks

          • adityasinghvi

            There is no way to change those, I’m afraid

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