How to set custom ringtones and notifications for a contact on the BlackBerry Q10

By Adam Zeis on 29 Apr 2013 02:11 pm EDT

With BlackBerry OS 10.1 on the BlackBerry Q10 you have the option to set custom ringtones and notifications for specific contacts. While BlackBerry 10 let you choose a ringtone and message tone, OS 10.1 also adds BBM to the mix. 

This feature is useful if you want to assign a different tone to your friend, spouse, boss or whoever fits the bill so you always know who's calling.

Also available now are custom vibration sequences so you can set the vibration anywhere from one to five times for a specific alert.

To set a custom tone for a contact, open the Contacts app then tap to choose a contact.

Scroll down and tap Ring Tone and Notifications

On the next screen you'll see options for Phone Ring Tone, Message Ring Tone and BBM Notification Tone. For each of these you can choose a tone, vibrate sequence and set the LED to on of off.

Once you're done, tap back to save and you're done! Now the selected contacts has custom notifications tones set. Bravo!

For more BlackBerry Q10 help check out all of our BlackBerry 10 Help Guides.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to set custom ringtones and notifications for a contact on the BlackBerry Q10


First (lol)

That aside, very useful to know. I've had a number of clients come to me asking the same question...and even more perplexed that they only had a few different ring tones to select out of the box.

Posted via CB10

I'm surprised this wasn't in the initial release. But I guess you gotta ship sometime, and better to ship mostly complete than hold up for things like this. The wait wasn't so long (especially for people like me that have been waiting on the Q10).

If you watch the Q10 teardown video, it looks like that bottom piece is easily removable, so you can probably buy blank ones online and switch em out.

I saw someone suggest that rubbing alcohol and a q-tip will get rid of it for you. Much simpler than disassembling your phone.

That's great but I need custom led's without an active frame. Hopefully 10.2 or whatever the following update is.

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

Yeah Kevin how come all the q10s I see are from at&t are they launching soon for the US?

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

Can you select the duration of the vibrate function (short-medium-long) or just the number of vibrations? I miss that feature!

Posted via CB10

Please define ringtone for "Messages". Is it emails or text? On the Z10 Messages meant emails, not text messages, which is hideous.

Posted via CB10

I have a Z10, and would LOVE it if a software release would include the ability to customize TEXT messages for individual contacts... Has anyone heard of BB working on something like this?

I have verizon and i have the same issue. I have only used blackberrys and loved them because my contcts txts messages can be different ring tones. Now we cant do this with these new bbs. Was my fav feature.

Question : can you set custom notifications to message type instead of to a contact?
For example. I would like Any BBM message to vibrate and ring quickly (and be unique compared to email or texts)

Anyone know for sure?

Posted via CB10

Sure, just like before you can set all your notifications individualy for SMS, BBM, email, phone, Facebook etc.

Why not sms come on my dumb phone from 6 years ago had this option. Epic fail! Don't get me wrong I love my Z10, but really....

Posted via CB10

I still miss being able to create custom profiles for notifications that you can easily switch between. I don't understand why BlackBerry didn't keep this feature for BB10. Hopefully it will come later.

It's good that they have this, but it's still not as powerful as custom profiles. For example, all my legacy phones had custom notifications for family.

I am no developer, but I simply cannot imagine that it would be such a hardship to implement individual contact's SMS ringtones. I simply don't understand why it has been missing in the OS so far.
I would almost say that MOST people care more about individual SMS notifications than welcome the emails.
This is standard even on a bunch of so called dumb phones. I mean I got DLNA and other fancy stuff on my Z10, but not that?

Very good news.
By the way, does anybody know why the picture looks distorted? I have a Z10. Thanks.

Post via CB Z10

You can already set custom ring tones and notifications in BB10. It's not new to 10.1 or the Q10, I've been doing it on my Z10.

I can select custom ringtones and notifications for different contacts but BBQ10 won't use them. And yes, I did save selections. It just uses the default. What other step(s) have I forgotten to do to make it use the custom selections?

Yes, My Palm Treo had SMS and MMS Ringtone setting. I see that MY Q10 has a Text Ringtone setting. But when i selected it the Phone ignores it and uses the Default.

Hi all - ignore my previous post - I'm an idiot - didn't see the faint scroll bar next to my choices of ringtones!

Problem: re Q10 and assigning Custom Ringtone to Contact.
I have added ringtones to my new Q10 after purchasing the inexpensive software at Blackberry World to enable me to create a custom ringtone. That's all worked out fine.

These custom ringtones I now have in my Q10: I can play them if I launch the music player.
I can see the files in File Manager and play them, if I want to "Browse Music" and assign one of these ringtones to all phone calls, which I don't want to do..

I simply want to assign a specific ringtone to certain family members. This was an absolute breeze with my two previous Blackberry Bolds.

Notwithstanding the explanation given in Adam's article, I have not found this to be a straightforward task.

When I go to alter the phone ring tone for a specific contact, it is set on "Default" and my only options really are "Active" or "Off".
What am I missing?

Help, please.

William L. Neville

You should be able to scroll down a bit further in those options under "Active" and "Off". The last option in the list is "Browse music", which lets you look through your device and SD card for saved ringtones.
I managed to import most of the old ringtones from my previous two generations of BlackBerry, but most of the originals (remember when we had lots of them to choose from?) are midi files (*.mid) that the Q10 says it can't read. Converting them to mp3 will be another project.
At least we can now read PDFs amirite? :-/

I just got the latest OS update on my Q10 and it still doesn't allow custom notification for text messages. Peeved.

Hey men thanks for the tip great help I'm loving more my Q10.this is really a great phone it's funtastic! I'm really really enjoying every moment using this Q10 animal.thank you blackberry thank you!

Hey - I have recently moved back to BB from iPhone and got a Q10. I am trying to allocate a specific music ringtone to each of my family members. I have managed to download the files using You Tube to MP3 converter - I can assign specific songs to each of my family contacts - choose contact - edit - ringtone and notifications - choose phone ring tone wanted - save. But when they call me, it's the default ringtone that plays.
Can you please help ?

I wish the crackberry articles were written after thorough testing features first. As proven in this particular case configuration settings are available in Q10 but not applicable

I feel as though I'm being really stupid here. All I want to do is use a ringtone (that works for me) for *all* contacts and I can't work out how this is done! I don't want to have to go through each contact and change it for each one. This is bizarre!!