Guide for adding custom ringtones and tweaks to your iPhone

Very early this morning a user named Mubs posted a guide in the forums outlining the steps involved in putting a custom ringer on your iPhone. Before I go any further, I would like to point out that the guide is fairly geeky despite Mubs’ best efforts to package all the needed files into one place. Full guide and our results after the jump!

I was pretty disappointed when I got my iPhone home and found that it had no disk mode. Not only did this mean I couldn’t use it as a convenient flash drive, I couldn’t make any customizations to it either. Luckily for everyone lacking in super nerd skills, a team of hackers have been working around the clock to get the iPhone unlocked. While the phone still remains secure, they’ve discovered a very clever way to gain access to the phone’s OS partition enabling a host of abilities. Obviously the most pertinent request for iPhone outside of SIM unlocking is the ability to use custom ringtones.

Up to this point the iPhone hacks has been left up to the geeks, but we now have a pretty usable guide for uploading new ringtones courtesy of one of our forum users “Mubs”.

I would like to mention that I have followed this guide and it worked perfectly for me. Not only was I able to get the CTU ringer Mubs provided into my iPhone, I also managed to get a Beatles song uploaded as well. Presumably any iPhone compatible audio file should work. He also provided some tweaked AT&T carrier images which worked for me as well. Some (poor quality) images to wet your appetite before the guide:

He has granted us permission to post his guide here, so without further ado, here it is!

I’ve compiled a guide for anyone that wants to have a custom ringtone on their iPhone. This can also be used as a base for adding other modifications to your iPhone. I’ve also assembled a nice little package with everything you need to follow my guide. At the moment, this version of jailbreak only works on intel Mac’s. The universal one I found didn’t work correctly so I’ll let you know when I find a universal version.

I have to start off by saying that all the hard work was not done by myself. It was done mostly by “geohot”, “nightwatch” and “ziel”, as well as the rest of the guys in #iphone-dev. Thanks guys, you rock!

Although highly unlikely, messing with your phone this way has the potential to screw things up beyond repair. If you do feel you have messed something up, in most cases a simple restore will do the job. I am not responsible if you brick your iPhone.

It’s a good idea to make sure you have a backup of the stuff on your iPhone before starting this procedure.

Keep iTunes closed throughout this guide as it may complicate things. If it opens, pause to close it, then continue.

Step 1: Download the magical package of goodies and unzip them to your desktop. I’ll be assuming you’ve done this throughout the guide.

Step 2: After you’ve unzipped your goodies, pop open the Terminal located in the Applications > Utilities folder.

Step 3: In the terminal, type the following -

cd ~/Desktop/iPhone\ goodies/tools/

Hit return, then type


Step 4: Restart your iPhone into soft recovery mode by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button and Home button at the same time. Keep these two buttons held until you see a yellow exclamation mark with the words “Please Connect to iTunes” at which point you can let go. You will see a spinning gear shortly after while the iPhone boots. When it’s done, it will restart.

You are now out of jail, lets do something fun! How about setting up the CTU ringtone?

Step 5: In the same terminal window which is currently in the “tools” directory from before, type the following –


Hit return. You should now see the following:

Waiting for phone… established.
iPhone state: Activated
type “help” for help

Step 6: Time to upload your CTU ringtone. The following is all case sensitive so I recommend copying and pasting. At the prompt, type -

cd Library/Ringtones

Hit return, then type –

putfile CTU.mp3

Hit return again. Type


and press return. You should now have the CTU ringtone on your iPhone. You can choose the ringtone from the Ringtone preference pane in Settings.

But wait a tick, iTunes doesn’t understand what’s gone on with your iPhone. What do you do? It’s time to put yourself back into jail so you can continue using your iPhone normally. Don’t worry, your sweet new ringtone will still be there.

Step 7: Assuming that you’ve still got the magical folder unzipped on your desktop, type the following into a terminal window –

cd ~/Desktop/iPhone\ goodies/tools/

Press return

Step 8: Type the following –


Hit return. You should now see the following:

Waiting for phone… established.
iPhone state: Activated
type “help” for help

Step 9: At the prompt, type -

cd System/Library/Lockdown

Hit return, then type –

rmdir Services.plist

and press return.

Step 10: Right now you’re pretty naked as you’ve just removed the Services.plist from your iPhone. Don’t worry, we have another in the tools folder ready to go.

To upload the new copy, type –

putfile Services.plist

press return and type –


hit return once more and you’re done!

Step 11: Changes will not take effect until you restart your iPhone. To do so, hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button at the same time until the screen goes black. Now press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo and let go. Your iPhone should now be in correct working order able to be synced. The CTU ringtone should still be available.

There you have it! I’ve also included some tweaked AT&T logos for your tweaking pleasure. If you’re feeling adventurous, they go into the System/Library/CoreServices/ directory on your iPhone.

Note: Everything you want to upload to the phone must be located in the “tools” directory.

Have fun!

If you do anything crazy or creative with your iPhone using the info here, tell us about it!

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