Your iPhone won’t let you use just any song as a ringtone. You’ve probably heard of the mp3 file type before. That’s what all of the songs on your iPhone are. But have you ever heard of m4r files? They’re a special kind of file that serve as ringtones on an iPhone. So if you’ve got a ton of songs that you want to hear whenever your phone rings, you’ll need to learn how to convert mp3 to m4r, and that’s just what this guide is going to show you.

Convert MP3 to M4R Ringtone in iTunes (Time-Consuming)

One way to convert the file type of your music is straight within iTunes. It’s a bit cumbersome to do, but here are the instructions:

Step 1. Launch iTunes. If the mp3 is not already in your iTunes library, find it on your computer and drag it into iTunes.

Step 2. Within iTunes, right-click on the song you want to use as a ringtone and select Get Info.

Make m4r in iTunes

Step 3. Click on the Options tab and set the start and end times of the ringtone (40 seconds max).

Make m4r in iTunes

Step 4. Click Ok to save the settings.

Step 5. From the top menu, select File > Convert > Create AAC Version. (If you can’t see the Convert AAC Version, Please firstly go to “Edit > Preferences > General > Import Settings > AAC Encoder”.)

Make m4r in iTunes

Step 6. Just right-click on the created AAC file and choose “Show in Windows Explorer” (or “Show in Finder” on Mac)

Step 7. Change the extension from .m4a to .m4r, which is the required extension for iPhone ringtones.

Step 8. Open iTunes again and delete the mp3 and AAC files.

Step 9. Connect your iPhone and click the device tab from iTunes. At the right panel, check “Manually manage videos”.

Step 10. At the left side, click on “Tones” under On My Device. Just drag and drop the created .m4r file into iTunes library. The ringtone will be added to your iPhone.

Make m4r in iTunes
If you tried to follow the previous steps, you may have noticed how annoying the process is. You’ve got to switch in and out of iTunes, delete some files, and rename others. And you can’t even preview the song when trying to decide start and end times.

How to Convert MP3 to M4R Ringtone without iTunes

The good news is that there is an easier way. iMyFone TunesMate is a program that will let you seamlessly transfer your music from iTunes or your computer directly to your iPhone as a ringtone. The conversion from mp3 to m4r is automatic, requiring no cumbersome renaming or deleting of files.

TunesMate does so much more than just convert ringtones though. It’s an all-in-one file transfer tool to move all your media freely between your computer, iTunes, and iPhone. Break free of Apple’s pointless restrictions and regain control of your music, photos, videos, playlists, and more.

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Key Features for Ringtone Conversion:

  • Super Simple Ringtone Conversion. TunesMate will perform the conversion from mp3 to m4a completely behind the scenes to save you all of the headache.
  • Never Open iTunes Again. You can convert and transfer your ringtones without even launching iTunes and navigating its clunky interface.
  • Save New Tones Freely. You can save the converted M4R files directly either to iPhone or to computer, with preview in advance.

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Steps to Convert MP3 to M4R without iTunes

Don’t ever struggle with the painful iTunes interface again. Get started with iMyFone TunesMate for free and follow these easy steps to convert your mp3s into m4r:

Step 1. Plug your iPhone into your computer and launch TunesMate.
Step 2. Navigate to the Music tab and select Ringtones from the menu on the left. Click on Ringtone Maker.

Make m4r in TunesMate

Step 3. Select the song you want to make ringtone.

  • If the song you want to convert is on your computer, select Local Music.
  • If the song is on your iPhone, select Device Music.

Step 4. The chosen song will begin to play. As it does, you can use the TunesMate interface to choose the start and end times with ease.

Step 5. Choose Ringtone Audition to listen to your ringtone and then adjust as needed. Once you are happy with your ringtone, select Save to PC or Save to Device.

Make m4r in TunesMate

Other Key Features of TunesMate:

  • Manage Ringtones: Transfer to/from iPhone, customize from any song, delete unwanted ones, and more.
  • Two way transfer files freely from iPhone to computer/iTunes, or from computer/iTunes to iPhone.
  • Extracting files from iPhone includes purchases and non-purchases. (iTunes just extracts purchases from iPhone)
  • Sync unlimited iTunes libraries to iPhone without erasing the previously added files.
  • Smartly manage iPhone files like to export, import, add, delete, edit, etc.