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How do I Download Ringtones?

Most cell phones include a variety of pre-loaded ringtones a customer can use until new ones are downloaded.
Seniors who are unfamiliar with how cell phones work may stick with the preloaded ringtones.
Ringtones can be downloaded to a computer and transferred to a cell phone.
A ringtone can be sent to a cell phone as an SMS or text message.
A ringtone helps alert a person as to when he or she is receiving a phone call.
It may be necessary to connect a cell phone to a computer with a USB cable in order to download ringtones.
Article Details
  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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It’s easy to download ringtones, especially from websites that offer multiple choices for download options. There are three basic ways to get ringtones to your cell phone: Mobile Web, text message, or download it to the PC and then transfer it to the cell phone. Regarding this last choice, one can use either Bluetooth or a USB data cable for the transfer.

Virtually all cell phones today come with the option to use Mobile Web services. Mobile Web allows one to surf the Web using his or her cell phone. If you cruise on over to a website that offers free ringtones, you can choose to transfer the ringtone directly to the cell phone via a Mobile Web option.

Despite the convenience of Mobile Web, not everyone utilizes the option because it costs more than a standard plan. In other cases Mobile Web is only partially implemented in some cell phone models, allowing the user to access only the carrier’s website in order to purchase ringtones, with free ringtones being limited.

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It might be more convenient and cheaper to use the computer to visit the site, and choose the option to send the ringtone to your cell phone as an SMS or text message. The text message will arrive at the phone with the ringtone as an attachment. Open the attachment, let it play, then save it to the phone. Each phone has its own software, but once saved, the audio file should be able to be assigned as a ringtone.

In some cases people have to pay for each text message received, so these people might opt for the third option: to download ringtones to the computer. Once on the computer, ringtones can be transferred to most phones using Bluetooth or an optional USB data cable.

To use Bluetooth to download ringtones from the computer, both the phone and computer must be Bluetooth enabled and using a shared Bluetooth standard. Once a connection is established between the devices, the user should be able to transfer files from the computer to the appropriate ringer folder on the phone. Note that some cellular carriers build restrictions into the Bluetooth software on the phone to block access to the ringtone folder, hoping to force users to buy ringtones from the carrier itself.

Another way to download ringtones to the phone from the computer is to purchase a USB data cable for the phone. If the cable does not come with a driver, search cell phone forums online for a link to the proper driver and install it so that your operating system will recognize the connected cell phone. Once connected and recognized, the phone’s file tree should be accessible.

Cell phone folders typically take arcane naming schemes that are sometimes numeric and rarely indicate what the folder actually contains. You will likely have to drill through the tree, manually searching for the folder that holds ringtones already present on the phone. This is the folder into which you will want to download ringtones you’ve saved to the computer. In some cases, however, carriers will make folders “read only” to thwart this process.

All things considered, the easiest option for most people is to download ringers via the text message method. Remember that cell phones have limited memory and you might need to delete old ringers, old wallpaper, or pictures to make room for new ringtones.

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