I quickly go bored of the default iPhone SMS sounds. But its relatively easy to switch them to your own.

I used the following apps to do this.

  • www.zedge.net – for downloading a suitable replacement sound.
  • iFile – for navigating through the iPhone file system. You can also use iPhoneExplorer too if you’re on Windows.

First of all, find the new sound file you require. This has to be of AAC format, which is an MPEG4 standard audio file. This is the default format for iPhones. The extension will generally be .m4a, or .mp4. Bear this in mind if you are creating your own sound file from an existing MP3. You can import an MP3 into iTunes and have it convert it to AAC, or if you use Zedge (and tell it your using an iPhone) it will download in AAC format automatically.

Then, using the file browser of your choice, navigate through the iPhone’s folder structure to


In here are the default sound files for the iPhone. The new SMS sounds are named as follows:


where <x> is a number from 1 to 6. They are not named “Chime” or something easy to play with.

  1. Tri-Tone
  2. Chime
  3. Glass
  4. Horn
  5. Bell
  6. Electronic

So, decide which of the 6 you are going to replace. And rename the file to backup-sms-received<x>.caf.

Copy your new file into this folder, and rename it to the original file that you have just renamed to backup.

In your sound settings now, you’ll need to choose the file from the above list – and remember which one you chose to replace, as the names will be the same as they were before. I know its not the easiest thing to do, but its Apple’s fault I’m afraid. So, on my phone, I have Tri-Tone selected, but it has been replaced with Super Mario.


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