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Tip: How to Get Custom Ringtones and Notifications to Show on Motorola Devices


Before you laugh at this tip, you have to understand that Motorola – for whatever reason – has made it increasingly more difficult with each new version of Blur to set custom ringtones. You used to be able to do it through the stock music app, but that option appears to have been removed. When I first setup my RAZR MAXX yesterday, the first thing I went to do was rid it of those awful DROID ringtones that they continue to include in each phone. While I’m the biggest “DROID” advocate around, the ringtones that Moto has associated with the brand will blow your ear drums in seconds while also making you the angriest person on the planet. But I digress.

So, back to this setting of the ringtones business. If you aren’t using a ringtone app and are weird or anal like me and create your own, this is how you get them to appear in the “Ringtones” and “Notifications” lists. Since simply dropping them on your SD card or internal storage doesn’t work, you will need to follow these simple steps.  


1.  Download the ringtones or notifications to your internal storage.
2.  Create separate folders on your internal storage for “Ringtones” and “Notifications.”
3.  Drop your custom ringtones and notifications in each.
4.  Give your phone all of 3 seconds, cruise into your sound settings and they should appear.

  • Bridgit Mitsubishi

    Thank you! So easy, but ridiculous we have to do this.

  • thank u

  • Marty

    Sweet got to use capital n in Notification

  • It didnt work for me ….. I have the Razr I did all the steps but when I pick a ringtone or notification it just plays the Stock Android Ring… I also have GoSMS and you can change your SMS ring different form the Notification ring but it does the same thing. It plays Stock Android Ring. Help!!!

  • BG

    I have a Motorola Droid 3, by the way. Purchased when they came out last year (mid-2011).

  • BG

    Appreciate the post.

    But this is what I did (created a Ringtones folder on the internal storage menu and dropped my files in there), and nothing is showing up in the Ringtones list in Settings —> Sound, etc. when I go back and check. It’s just the same old pre-loaded and obnoxious ringtones in that list.

    No matter how much I play around with all the settings and options (i.e. right-clicking on each ringtone while it’s still in its ringtones folder I created on the internal storage menu), there’s nothing that allows me to “send” a ringtone to the Ringtones list over in Settings. 

    What gives?

  • guest

    In case I misunderstood I created the two folders /sdcard/{Ringtones,Notifications}. If you meant Phone Internal Storage; I can’t create folders there as it is write protected; but from your picture I’m pretty sure that is /sdcard since it has a LOST.DIR

    Any suggestion why it doesn’t work for me ???

  • guest

    Does NOT seem to work for me; I created them at the top level. For the external card I have /Media/Audio/{Notif…,Ringtones} which does seem to work but i would liek to move them to the internal sd card…

    • guest

      Ok it finally showed up for me; not sure why it took so long also they aren’t in alpha order with the rest of the ring tones; kind of just in the middle. Well what I did was copy the ring tone from external storage to internal and rename it xxx; and the xxx copy shows up just after the original rather than near the end 🙂


  • Anonymous

    Why would you need to do anything different on Motorola phones? Oh, that’s right, they are running their on bastardized version of Android that doesn’t quite work right.

  • Jeffrey Kaplan

    How does one create folders and get files into the internal storage?  Using stock Gingerbread on a Droid X

  • Ugh. Motorola is still OUT OF TOUCH with the people. {{>_<}}

  • Guest

    I always just used handcent sms. it has a great way to set ringtones and i can find the files anywhere on my phone

  • Anonymous

    LUPE FIASCO!!! Coincedentaly that is also in my ringtones.

  • Anonymous

    Hooray for Lupe! Although his newest album was very underwhelming.

  • M.Spit

    I’ve had a droid x and now bionic and both I can simply go to the sound settings and it pops up a window of where to pick ringtones/notifications from system or handcent. I can pick system and all my ringtones are mixed in the list. Mine are in seperate ringtones and notifications folders inside another folder labeled my media on my external sdcard. I don’t think handcent is creating this ability though.
    thanks for the tip

  • Anonymous

    Too bad this doesn’t work for the Galaxy Nexus. Using Ringdroid or any similar app, the files get created as .m4a instead of mp3s. 

  • Brian

    On bionic go to internal storage look for the media folder then ringtones thern you can move any ringtones there and they show up

  • Anonymous

    You can also do following
    Create structure like following on SD

    And those files will show up in the menu. I am not sure about the wallpaper. You may need to out it under media directly (instead of under pictures)

    I used it on Eris and D1 and now on GN. Works great. Tip that I got from the Internet…. 🙂

    Hope it helps some of you 🙂

    • Droids

      ^^ This is the way you do it. Been like that on my OG since the early days and now on the Bionic. Under media, besides audio and pictures, I also have video and music folders.

  • Anonymous

    Kellex just has to have his Macarena ringtone….

  • BigODroid

    Or just use Ringdroid if it is a song and have it on your sd card forever.  Easy Peasy

  • I just changed my ringtone/notification to pokemon blue sounds XD

  • Anonymous

    For Android 4.0 (namely, galaxy nexus) In what folder can I put my songs so that they show up in the google music app?

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Jeezzz…. you mean people didn’t do it like this already? duh

  • Lakerzz

    So this is how Kellex is spending his time as he waits for the battery cycle to end on the Razor, so he can go back to the His Nexus. 😛

  • Rhyde82

    mine set up as Media folder and in side that i have folders for ringtones, notifications, alarms, sounds…and its all on my external SD card and my moto phone reads them fine…

  • Teng247

    ive always created the folders in the Media Folder in my SD card

  • Mack

    Kellex and his lazy list …haha

  • Mack

    That’s actually how I’ve always done this since I got my droid X. I never even knew it used to be possible through the music app. 

    • Dbarden31

      Yeah same here!

  • Or you can open any sound with the stock blur music app, click menu soft key, and click “set as” which is even easier.

    • Anonymous


  • Dshudson

    Yeah, I have been doing this manually since my Nextel i90

  • Anonymous

    Spiffy. Thanks for the tip.

  • I suppose this is a handy tip for those who didn’t know. However, I thought this was common knowledge by now.

    • …especially considering how many results you can get by just typing “android custom ringtone” in Google.

    • Most phones already have Media folders, but Moto phones no longer do. And since I almost always carry a couple of specific ringtones or notifications to all phones, I had to create these damn folders in order to get them to show.

      Some novice users may not know this. 😛

      • Lgreg64

        thanks, for the information. i have had my OG droid for 2yrs and did not know this info. i don’t use ringtones much but now i know so thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Michael Quinlan

      I thought so too.  In fact, this is the only way I’ve ever added ringtones or notifications to ANY Android phone.  This has worked since my launch-day OG Droid.  How is the fact that it still works this way considered “increasingly difficult”?

  • M1ghtysauc3

    Great. Now all the world can hear the Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Soundtrack custom ringtones.