Windows Phone 7 gave us the ability, eventually, to add custom ringtones by tagging an MP3 with a genre of "Ringtone". Can the same be done on Windows Phone 8 for SMS/MMS messages, emails, alarms or calendar alerts? If so, can they be assigned per contact (for SMS/MMS), per email account (for emails) or per calendar (calendar alerts)?

  • 1
    Let's be very clear - the question is "Can I have Custom Alerts?" Please stop adding stuff about Ringtones. These are NOT Alerts.
    – user1004
    Jan 22, 2013 at 5:39

7 Answers 7


To the question "Does Windows Phone 8 support custom SMS, email, alarms, or calendar alerts?"


Windows Phone 8 DOES support custom ringtones but for phone only.

All other functions are controlled by and limited to the range of sounds already on the device.


Alarms: Yes, you can choose custom songs. My custom ringtone shows up when ading/changing an alert / alarm

Text, voice mail and email don't offer the possibility to have custom tones (ref: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1983729 and tests)

Calendar: Haven't found a way yet.

To add my custom ringtone I synced on my Mac with Microsoft's windows phone app. There I could choose music from iTunes to use as ringtone.

Edit 1: Changed alert to alarm (more clear)

  • Where can you change SMS tone to a custom sound? My files show up on my ringtone list, but not any other.
    – user790
    Nov 21, 2012 at 4:07
  • SMS = Text, so currently there is no possibility to do this (at least no that I'm aware of)
    – Sascha
    Nov 21, 2012 at 8:54

Windows Phone 8 supports customs alerts as long as they are MP3 files. You can change your standard ring tone, as well as custom tones for your contacts. You can also set a custom tone for a new text or IM, new voicemail, new email. You can toggle whether or not you want a tone to play for reminders and other notifications. There is a ringtones+sounds tab under the settings tile where you can make these changes. If you want to create a custom ring tone for a contact, you can do that on the page for that contact. I hope this helps. Let me know if it didn't answer your question.

  • That's what I keep reading is possible, but how do I actually add custom Alerts to be listed in the Ringtones + Sounds tab alert dropdowns?
    – sergeb
    Nov 15, 2012 at 22:10
  • 1
    When you sync with your computer the device shows up as an external drive. there is a ringtones folder that you can drag your mp3s into. Nov 16, 2012 at 18:00
  • @Mike Brown The folder shows up, at least on my tries copied MP3 files couldn't be selected as a custom ringtone
    – Sascha
    Nov 18, 2012 at 8:33

This only works for ringtones, SMS,email and IM alerts are stil not changeable even by putting sounds in the ringtone folder.


I'm using Lumia 535 and WP 8.1 Update 2. I can change Ringtone, Alarm, SMS notification and calendar notification to custom sounds. It only works if I connect to a computer and copy mp3 files to Phone->Ringtones (when I saved a file from browser on my phone directly, it didn't work, but when I moved that file to computer and back to phone, it worked). The file will show up under "Custom" in ringtone selection (have to scroll up to the top).

SMS ringtone selection is from ringtones+sounds->manage app sounds->Messaging->notification sound


@sergeb... If you go to the Ringtones+Sounds under the settings tile, you will see a small text link that says 'get more'. There are full instructions there on how to add more ringtones. I cheated and just downloaded a free app from the store that provides free ringtones. But the 'get more' link offers other alternatives. You can connect your phone to your computer and transfer the files via Explorer. The sound files need to be dropped into a folder you will find under Computer >> Portable Devices >> Your Phone >> Ringtones. Then you can go to the Settings on your phone to actually change the ringtone. I hope that helps :)


I found the only way to use your custom ringtones on the 920 is to make them WMA files, MP3 files only load into your music

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.