How to use custom ringtones and alerts on BlackBerry 10

BB10 Ringtones
By Adam Zeis on 27 Feb 2013 11:06 am EST

BlackBerry has always been about customization - from themes to wallpapers to ringtones, the ability to personalize your device has always been there. While BlackBerry 10 doesn't allow for themes, you can still add custom wallpaper and ringtones to make the device your own.

BlackBerry 10 isn't sport very many ringtones out of the box. The options are limited and, if you use a lot of apps like I do, you will quickly run out of tones for each one. For that reason I've loaded up a bunch of custom ringtones on my device so I have plenty to choose from. The process is super easy and only takes a few minutes, and it gives you endless options for ringtones on your BlackBerry 10 device. Keep reading to see how it's done!

There are various ways to get ringtones on your device. You can enable WiFi sync and transfer them from your computer, put them Dropbox or Box and access them on your device, or my personal favorite - drop them onto my SD card using USB Mass Storage (which we'll do here).

First off, you need to round up the ringtones you want to use. There is a great set of ringtones from OS5 and OS6 available so you can stick with some tones that you love from previous OS versions. You can use nearly sound files for ringtones including MP3 and M4A - so don't worry too much about the file format.

Once you have the tones you want to use you can get started.

  • Connect your SD card to your computer via microUSB. Make sure USB Mass Storage is enabled by going to Settings > Storage and Access and toggling USB Mass Storage on (more on that here). 
  • Once you're connected, you'll see your SD card on your computer as a removable drive. Open the drive and create a folder called Ringtones. You can also use a folder that's already on the device, I just like to keep things organized.
  • Drag and drop the ringtone files you want to use into the folder of your choosing. When the transfer is complete, eject the drive.

Your tones are now on your SD card and can be chosen from the notification settings on your device and used as you see fit. When browsing, choose Browse Tones then navigate to the folder on your SD card where you placed the files. That's it! 

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

Reader comments

How to use custom ringtones and alerts on BlackBerry 10


anyway of customizing a unique text tone to individuals from your contacts? the messaging tone doesnt work for text

I haven't been able to do that either. All I have done is customize ringtones for each of my contacts for when they call, but doesn't translate into different txt sounds

It's kind of annoying to not be able to set up customized ring tones for certain people (profiles). I got so used to it with my Torch that I didn't think it would be left off BB10. Hopefully a future update will rectify this.

I wish there was a way... I have Osmand navigation on my Z10 and all the voice sound packs show up so when I'm playing music and shuffling, all of a sudden I hear "Turn Left" come out of nowhere LMAO

LOL - That's awesome. Hopefully they will fix that, but I guess on the priority list this one is at the bottom. Thanks for the reply.

Well, maybe you don't need this any more, but I just read in the forums that if you create the "ringtones" folder inside the "voice" folder (Device or sdcard), the ringtones won't show up in your music app.

I don't onw a Z10 but have u tried changing the genre to Ringtone. See if it still shows up. I know Ringtonez in the media player ducks lol

Yes, DO NOT CREATE A NEW FOLDER Only put them in the already configured "Blackberry" > "Ringtones" folder. That is where they belong and then won't show up in the music player.

I actually think I will prefer the random alerts while shuffling, but it would be great to be able to seperate the ringtones and alerts as you can do on Legacy BBOS. Also, I sure hope they add the ability to have different group and individual text alerts per contact.

Wait so u cant set individuals sounds for contacts/messages??? This is what I was affraid of with this New OS, same goes for WP but they are much worse, u cant even put your own Ringtone on a WP, I HOPE that BB gets the customization right, people love to customize the ringtones for contacts, ANY word on the BlackBerry font? I use to use a custom font on the old berrys it was the BlackBerry font

YOU CAN setup individual contacts for ring tones only. You go into your contact list, click on your contact, edit, scroll all the way to the bottom, and there will be an option to allow for ring tones for that specific contact. What you can't do, is setup individual ring tones for each contact for SMS, for MMS, for calling, it will be whatever ringtone you set for the SMS or MMS or BBM, but you can customize the ringer for each contact.

This is different from what I thought people were complaining about on the forums. So please correct me/confirm for me, while I can set up a different ring tone for each contact, i.e., a different sound for my mom, dad, best friend, etc. But if these contacts text me or bbm me, they will all have the same sound?

I presume, however, that you can choose a different sound for SMS, MMS and BBM, i.e., sound "A" for SMS, sound "B" for MMS" and so for. If that's true, then for my purposes, Im happy as that is what I've always done on my phones.

I have different ring tones for each caller. But each of my type of text messages have a different sound regardless as to who is texting me. A "ding" means I have a text message. A "bong" means I have a MMS message" and so forth.

So does it work in that manner? Sorry for the length/wordiness - but it has been confusing as to what exactly is customizable and not when reading through the forums.

I'm trying to figure out the same thing... anyone care to answer in detail? we get all these videos of NEW features (Which I have NO complaints about) but a lot of us are looking for OLD fav features. custom Ringtones is a must. Does the LED light change colors??? Email settings like deleting on handheld only, That made my Berry work so perfectly, it was a true SMART phone, My berry would tell my computer that I already read that email lol. Also I would like custom fonts/sizes, do we still have this feature?


Go into your contacts, click on a contact, edit the contact, down near the very bottom you can select ring tones

Thank you, Like I said I don't own 1 yet and Im trying to learn it before its actually in my hand lol I dream every night that I wake up and c Z10 released in the US. waiting for that day lol. thanks for all that info

Hi - Got the Q10 3 days ago. Has anyone seen this? While trying to set custom ring tones, under Ring Tones and Notifications, I see for example "Phone Ring Tone" - however, the only options are OFF and an up arrow. Same for vibrate etc. I don't see a menu of tones to select from. It looks effectively non-customizable... Am I missing a simple step? Thanks.

DO NOT CREATE A NEW FOLDER - Use the "Ringtones" folder already configured under the "Blackberry" folder item. That will ensure any reference link paths already using that folder will be utilized...and they won't show up in your music player.

Does anyone know where to find this folder? I do not have it on my SD card. I created one but it still shows in my music player.

Although you create a new folder for these ringtones, when you access your music playlist to listen to your songs, they also become connected with your mp3.
Anyway to correct this?

Yes put them in the "Blackberry" > "Ringtones" folder that already exists and is excluded from the music player. DO NOT CREATE A NEW FOLDER.

Ahhh... I see. I did not see the folder. I was copying from my dropbox to my Z10 using the built in file manager. Thank you!

This doesn't work. At least not for me. ALL SOUNDS on the phone, internal and card storage, are detected by the Music Player, just as all images are detected by the Picture viewer. ALL OF THEM, no matter where they are. This is annoying, as it seems pictures to do with applications, or browser viewing become 'recent', same with sounds. There needs to be separation. If you want ringtones, they should be able to be in a folder that the music player won't see/access/play them. Same for photos/images.

At the risk of repeating others, I can't see a 'blackberry' folder on the SD Card or the phone. I have tried reformatting the card, no luck. Any suggestions. Cheers

Is BeBuzz coming to BB10??
It's what I use now to completely customize my sound and LED notifications.
This would be the perfect solution!!

Just wondering, on WebOS I had/have an app that pulls itunes previews and creates ringtones out of them. Anything like this for Blackberry (or a portable android app)? There's actually two apps that do this but I'd love to have something similar for the new Z10!

Can anyone please tell where the hell is the "Blackberry" > "Ringtones" folder?

Sorry for the "hell"... but I can't find it either using Z10 native browser or even my laptop windows explorer... :-(

There is no such folder on mine either. I just reformatted the card to confirm. Old BB OS had that folder - BB10 does not appear to. Hopefully someone can figure this out. Thanks!

It took me a couple of tries but I got the ringtones downloaded and installed on my microSD card. I then renamed the folder ringtones (as per instructions) and lo and behold when I went to Notifications I could not only find them, they worked. Now if I can replicate this process with some song type ringtones well the Z10 will start to sound like the old Curve only with a bigger screen and wayyyyyyyyy faster. Thanks Adam

I saw this in the forums! Apparently if you put the ringtones folder within the "voice" folder they don't show up in the music player.

I am unable to set individual ringtones for contacts (phone or message). Every time I change it and then save, the screen flickers twice. When I go back in it is back to the default ringtone.

I was able to get the ringtones to stop showing up in my music. I formatted the sd card then placed it in my old blackberry so it would create all the folders. I then placed the sd card into my z10 and let it create the folders. So i placed my music in the music folder and placed the ringtones in the ringtone folder that my old blackberry had created (Blackberry > Ringtones). Hope this helps someone.

I wish I would have READ all this before I call tech support and sounded like a fool! BB and the Wireless Carriers must know this is an issue by now.......... I just did the OS update, crossing my fingers hoping it works or I will be doing what bruanbaker91 suggested....

I am an owner of a new Q10, replacing a tired old Bold. I have been thru the various blogs and haven't found the magic trick that will allow me to attach ringtones (MP3 or .wav files) to individual people in my contact list. I have loaded all the desired tones onto my media card as directed, but I only get the little arrow up or the active as my choices - no browsing to find the specific tone I want. Weird thing is, it took about a nanosecond to have my favorite blues tune put in place for the whole fone, but nothing for individual contacts. Help, please!

Why wouldn't you already use the "ringtones" folder that is there? If you connect your Q10 to your computer, open Blackberry Link, then look at "My Computer", two drives come up--one for the phone memory and one for the media card. In the "Blackberry" folder, there is already a "ringtone" folder . . .

Thanks so much for this!!! I was very disappointed with the ringtones that came stock on the Q10 - now I am happy again! :D

I have downloaded the classic tones per the instructions above, and I can browse to them on them on BB - I have them in a file called MP3. I can select them for various alerts. BUT ... they don't actually play or make a sound. Any ideas?

I was so happy to find that others also missed the old great tones and alerts and that you found the solution. However, I cannot download them because I keep getting a message that it contains a virus.
Any solution?

I load up Blackberry Link and in my music folder is a folder called "RingTones Cafe" but when trying to access these ringtones on the Z10 via Setting>Notifications>Applications>Phone>Tone>Browse Music the folder is non-existent???

Anyone figure out how to use your own Ringtones on your Z10 (os v10.2.1) ?

I just downloaded the new software update for my q10. Now I've noticed that when a call comes in and I don't want to answer it, I touch the screen to mute the ringtone. When the caller is prompted to my voice mail greeting, my phone goes to its main lock screen and it rings again as my caller is hearing my greeting to leave a message. Any ideas as to why ?

Anyone know the right way to complain to Blackberry so I can bug them to get individual tones on text messages like I had with the Torch? That's one of my #1 desires in a cell phone so I'm pretty sad to lose it with the Z10. Other than that I'm happy with it.

on my blackberry q10 I have selected a song for my text tone set it followed all the steps but it wont play it when i receive a text it as if its muted but checked all the sound levels and they are full and on not sure if its related but i have composed and sent text messages and received them but when i press the text icon it says no entries in this view it seems i can only view the sent or received text messages via the hub and not via the text message short cut all the other alert messages i have selected songs for work like facebook twitter whatsapp and the phones ring tone but i'll be dammed if i can work out why the text one wont work