Picture of Install ringtones without a data plan
I was tired of the $180 per year fee for a data plan for each of my cell phones, so I canceled them. Then I found out I could make my own free .mp3 ringtones, upload them to the net, and download them to my phone. Then I learned about the fee$ for doing that without a data plan.

If you have a data plan, cell phone manufacturers are happy to provide instructions to download their ringtones ($2.50 each), and they sell you the data plan ($15.00 per month). If you try to download a ringtone without a data plan they charge you a connection fee plus a transfer fee for each kb of data moved. What they don't tell you is that you can 1) make your own ringtones, 2) load them on the phone with a USB cable, miniSD flash drive, or Bluetooth, and 3) assign them to your contacts or general callers. Some phone manufacturers and providers make this a trivial exercise. For Sprint users with a Samsung phone, this Instructable can save you some money.

There are two ways I know of to do this: a really complicated way and a really easy way. The really complicated way uses software designed to reprogram the commands in your phone. A mistake could make your phone useless. It is just like editing the registry on your computer. I could explain the hard way but my eyeballs start shooting blood just reading it. This Instructable is the easy way, but there are some compromises you will have to live with.

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VIRON8 years ago
My friends who are into ringtones simply use their RECORD function. It's obvious to anyone born in the 1900's. It used to be a red button on the left side of most media devices.
Good 4 you VIRON I have been using my record to make my own ring a ma-gigs
dchall8 (author)  VIRON8 years ago
You mean like this one??? heh, heh It's a joke son. I was born in the last century but not in the 1990s.
Fischer Price Recorder.jpg
VIRON dchall88 years ago
I didn't say 1990's. I was alive when men were on the moon. And my TRS-80 doesn't crash when I do digital sound work on it.
dchall8 (author)  VIRON8 years ago
Sorry my eyes were moving faster than I was reading. But seriously, I only discovered that I could make my own ringtones and do this recently. I'm a late adopter of cell phone technology having had one less than three years. I got a phone for my daughter two weeks ago. She wanted different ringtones (who has she been talking to?), so I had to read the manual. There is no record button on this phone. But from there sprang the interest in ringtones, the subsequent downloading charges, and the search for something less expensive.
VIRON dchall88 years ago
I like cheap 2 way radios, Engenius(tm) phones, and VOIP over wi-fi.
iambrad6 years ago
great guide! ended up figuring out how to do this before I saw guide, and it would have helped. now if only we could get text alerts without data connection.
there's also a really simple converter site at zamzar.com if you don't want to fool around with software :)
stephen26 years ago
awesome! worked like a charm (free super method) with the samsung Rant for sprint. no more stock ringtones!
odelayed6 years ago
i have an lg vantage and was able to get the file on the phone and be able to find it. but once i tried to assign it. it said it was an unsupported resolution. how can i fix that
I've got the Samsung T539 (Beat) and I use pretty much the same process, except having to use Super or Quick Time. I just edit the mp3 to be about 10-20 seconds, hook up my phone, transfer the file, and set it as my ringtone(as an mp3).
sunnah6 years ago
I have a Katana Eclipse X (6750) When changing the default ringer to the file I get error (WARNING! This file cannot be set." Every step form Quicktime Pro conversion worked. Now I have the file in my microSD card. Please help me get it to the ringer. Thanks.
i had a similar problem with blackberry i had a 7105t i had to download the MDS simulator that matched the desktop app then use the WAP sending thing to get it it was really time consuming
Antiundead7 years ago
Wow...you need an instructable for this? Just warez the software and upload the music file to your phone. Im assuming with the samsung it can read normal music files and set them as ringtones, right? RIGHT? If not...time to discover modern day technology.
Lego man7 years ago
Will this work with iphone ringtones because that is an mp3.
koax Lego man7 years ago
for an iphone (Edge and 3G) i'll suggest you to use iPhoneRingToneMaker (you can easely found a crack for it ) if you really dont found nothing pm me i,ll send you a link
gAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!! It didnt work for me!!!! (i used the super version...).. i have the LG Muziq phone and when ever i click the "make this my ringtone" it just says "undefined resolution".... can you help please because for ever and ever i wanted to use an mp3 for a ringer but i couldent make it work >:-(... HELP!
ok well now i got super to enable video, video size 220:176 that seems to be better (it doesnt show up as a question mark now) now all i need to do is get video onto the 3GPP2 (only 1 sec needed i think). but forsure thats all i need, now how can i add video to that file ?? :-\
imma try this on my Z310a! (SE)
i tried both the Somy ericsson filetypes, but it didnt work, then i noticed that the built in ringtones are .midi or MP3. i tried just using the Mp3 file, but it didnt let me, but i need a MID(i) convertor (MP3 to Mid(i)
No such thing as a MP3 to a midi converter. Midi is the actual notes that a computer emulates, while a MP3 is a recording of the song. Midi can not play words and usually sound weird compared to the song itself.
viper987 years ago
Wonderful instructions. I am trying to do this for a Sanyo Katana DLX. When I go to set the new .3g2 file in step 8, the phone simply says "can't use this file" no explanation. Have you or any of your readers run across this issue? Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.
dchall8 (author)  viper987 years ago
I'm guessing that your phone does not use .3g2 files. Some phones use mp3 and some use midi files. 1. Try not renaming the file and just using it as a .mp3 file 2. Try renaming it as a .mid fie.
navarre7897 years ago
every time i try to do something like this. when i try to set the video as a ringer. it always tells me "media file saving has failed" ive actualy had it work once. when i first got my phone a made a zelda movie and used super to convert it and it saved perfecly. but i cant seem to get it to work again >.< any solutions?
Yup, you need to rename your file with NO SPACES in the filename.
dchall8 (author) 7 years ago
I have an important update for this Instructable. The problem of not having the name of the ringtone has been solved - not by me. I am going to write it up, giving credit where credit is due, and republish this Instructable. I would not hold my breath waiting, though. I've known about the improvement for at least a month now.
Or, after you assign it to a phone #, delete the ringtone file from your memory card, and then copy over another ringtone for another friend or family member. Sound silly? Try it. Also, if you get tired of converting your mp3's to 3g2's, just try renaming them to 3g2 instead. The phone will behave exactly the same.

I wrote an article about this several months ago, and have since moved it, along with a video showing this whole process, into my blog.

Thanks for the teaser! Not really a big deal though because you can just play them before you assign. I guess if you had like 50 ringtones on your card, things could get ugly though :)
dchall8 (author)  pray for mojo7 years ago
When you start making separate ringtones for each of your friends and family, you need to know which one is which or it isn't any fun anymore. For those of you who want to try to make a named ringtone, 1. get Photo Story 3 from Microsoft, 2. bring in any one photo (preferably a tiny one), 3. type the name of your ringtone using the text tool in Photo Story 3, 4. set the image to stay "on" exactly as many seconds as your ringtone plays, 5. import your mp3 ringtone, and save as a wmv file. Make sure the image and tone are the same length. Change the photo to adjust. 6. Finally use Super to convert.
Thank you so much for this great tutorial. One very important pitfall that you fail to mention is this: you MUST switch BOTH the caller ID ringer AND the non-caller ID ringer to the video ringer. If you do not, you will lose your ringtone when the phone is power cycled.
dchall8 (author)  pray for mojo7 years ago
That's not a pitfall, that's a feature :-) I have never heard of that. Did it happen to you? Besides I wasn't messing with the caller ID and non-caller ID ringers. I was assigning ringers to my family and friends.
I never even thought to try setting individual ringers, I was setting the default ringtones for all calls in the main settings. If you do this, there are two defaults, one with caller ID and one without. If you only set one of these the phone doesn't save it. It took me forever to figure out why it wasn't saving!
dchall8 (author)  pray for mojo7 years ago
Funny how we only see things one way sometimes. And then we wonder why everyone doesn't see it our way. Thanks for sharing this. I would never have thought of it.
DocShay8 years ago
Thank you very much for this article. I just got a M500 the other day and spent hours online trying to figure out how to do this, from changing mp3 extentions to all sorts of weird things. Finaly I came across this and it worked flawlessly and was very easy to understand. Cheers, and again - thank you.
PetervG8 years ago
Damn, I don't have a cable so I can't do it. I have a Samsung SGH-c327
Please let me know if you have a way that does not include a data plan or mircoSD. My "free" Sprint phone does not use microSD.
dchall8 (author)  somethingsaurus8 years ago
Do you still need to upload ringtones to your phone? If your phone will record "melodies" in the MIDI format, and you have a USB cable, and you can use Bitpim, then I might be able to help you.
My phone actually is on it's last legs. I do not have a data cable for it but will try to get one with a mini-b USB connection for my next one as I have several cords. I actually had to hot wire my phone to get it to work and will be making an instructable on that soon.
dchall8 (author)  somethingsaurus8 years ago
Hot wiring sounds fun. I just got a Fusic (LG LX550) phone as a free upgrade. Bitpim does not work fully, or much of even partially. It works enough to get .mp3 music on and off as ringtones with real names. The Fusic is being replaced by the Musik so the Fusic is free as long as supplies last. I also have GPS on it, so that's cool. Free GPS with maps, location, and speed on a phone is fodder for another Instructable. A free phone and free GPS is quite nice. The Fusic also can take a 2 gig microSD flash memory card for massive amounts of music and/or ringtones. The reason I got the Fusic is that it will transmit your music in stereo over an FM signal. That means I can be out in the middle of Texas, which is where I work, and listen to my music on my car radio. When the phone rings, it interrupts the music and plays a ringer. That's all I need - well, along with GPS. Check your provider's website to see if you are elegible for a free upgrade and which phones are part of the deal. Then go to the Bitpim website to see if they are supported. Also check with the Howardforums for more about any potential phone you get.
I am with Sprint in the US so I will check on the phones I can get. I am a month away from my free upgrade on my Sanyo VI-2300 and I learned that USB is close to 5 volts. If I can charge my PDA on USB then I can do the same with my phone. My work around even charged the battery! I will let you know when I get around to posting it.
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