Add custom ringtones to Google Pixel 2

We all like to customise our smartphones the minute we get them out of the box. Something as personal as a ringtone seems like an obvious choice but with the Google Pixel 2 it’s not actually obvious how you achieve this.

It’s a great phone but perhaps the limited selection of ringtones in the menu is an indication that they know we’re going to add our own. I was surprised by how many questions had been asked about adding mp3 ringtones and how ambiguous, misleading and varied the answers were.

No file explorer or ringtone maker apps required

So how do you add your ringtone to the menu?

To achieve this you don’t need any additional apps, no ringtone maker, no file explorer. You can just connect your phone with a USB-C to USB cable to your laptop (my MacBook didn’t recognise my phone but the Windows laptop did). Then make sure that you unlock your phone’s screen, swipe down from the top and tap on “Android system – USB charging this device”.

Pixel2 custom ringtone











Then tap again when it says Tap for more options.

Tap for more options











At this point you select “Transfer files”.

Transfer Files









That prompts Windows to open your computer’s Explorer so that you can drag and drop any mp3 files into the phone’s Ringtones folder.

These are then available to select when you want to assign individual tones to a specific contact or apply one tone as the default for all contacts.

Set default ringtone

In your phone, go to Settings > Sound and click on Phone ringtone. That will set your default ringtone.

Set ringtone for individual contacts

You can then go into Contacts and once you’ve opened a person’s contact record, tap the 3 dots in the top right and choose Set Ringtone.

So in summary;

  1. Connect your phone to your Windows laptop using a USB-C to USB cable
  2. Unlock your phone’s screen and swipe down from the top
  3. Tap on “Android system – charging this device”
  4. Select “Tap for more options”
  5. Select “Transfer files”
  6. Drag and drop your mp3 files into the Ringtones folder in your phone’s file structure

You don’t need any additional apps and the process is straightforward. I have one ringtone set as default and then certain family and friends have their own individual tones, just how I like it.

Make the most of your Google Pixel 2 by personalising this aspect of Android that perhaps needs a little more work by the time the next major update is launched.


One Reply to “Add custom ringtones to Google Pixel 2”

  1. Great solution and explanation. I looked at several other sites and boards but none of them helped in such a clear easy to follow way. Thanks!!

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