How to set individual ringtones for contacts on iPhone, Android or Windows Phone

10 July 2014

For the vast majority of people, we would categorise our contacts in two major buckets: people we talk to all the time, and the people we keep in our address book just in case. Setting a custom ringtone for significant others is the best way to identify an important call or message, even when your phone is in your purse or pants.

The process of doing this is a pretty straight-forward across all three major platforms, but it is a laborious, manual process.


  1. Go to the Contacts app (which may be hidden in an automatically created folder) and select on a person’s name.
  2. In their contact details, press Edit in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down until you see Ringtone and Vibration. Tap on either option to select which sound plays and the pattern of vibration for when this contact calls.
  4. Below this, you can repeat the process for messages, by select Text Tone and Vibration.

Note: once you have set up a custom tone or vibration you can adjust it directly from the contact's page


This process varies slightly depending on the phone’s manufacturer and the software installed. Samsung's Contact app pictured above.

  1. Go to the People app (also may be labelled Contacts) and select a contact
  2. In contact details, hit the Menu button (three vertical dots in the top-right corner) and choose Edit (this step may be unnecessary on your phone)
  3. Scroll down until you see Ringtone. Tap it and select a tone to play when they call.
Google Hangouts
  1. Select the name of a contact or choose an active Hangout (can be a group)
  2. Go to the Menu (three vertical dots) and choose ‘People & options’
  3. Change the message and video calling tone for that person or group

Windows Phone

  1. Go to People Hub
  2. Select your contact from the list
  3. Enter edit mode by pressing on the pencil-shaped icon on the task bar at the bottom of the screen
  4. In here you can set up custom sounds for the Ringtone and Text tone, plus you can personalise notifications for any active email accounts



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