Android offers the opportunity to set a wide variety of media files as ringtones and notifications.

This is also true of voice memos and voice recordings, even those made directly on your phone. With most devices, the process for doing so is quite simple yet it does require the help of a file manager app.

Assuming you already have the voice memo recorded — or a ringtone file downloaded or created — here’s how you can set it as a ringtone on an Android device.

Please note that older versions of Android may appear different, as is true of Android running across handsets of separate brands. A Samsung device is not going to look the same as a Motorola or LG device, for example.

1. Record Your Voice Memo

If you do not already have a voice recording app installed, you can use one of these:

Install the app on your phone, and when it’s done simply open it up. To record, do the following:

Click red button to record audio

  1. Press the red button in the bottom. Wait for a second and then begin speaking clearly.

click the red button to stop recording

  1. Press the red button again to stop recording. To preview the recording, simply press the play button. If you are satisfied, tap the back button and you will be asked to save the file. Select save and you should be all set!

Optional: To see your recording (in Samsung Voice Recorder) tap List in the top right. You should now see a list of all the voice memos recorded and stored on your phone.

2. Make Sure You Have a File Manager Installed

Most Android devices come with a file manager installed by default. If this is not the case, however, you will need to download and install one from Google Play.

For reference, here are some good file managers:

Once you are sure you have a file manager installed on your device, you can proceed.

2. Move the Media File to the Appropriate Folder

On Android devices, there are dedicated folders for storing ringtones and notifications. For example, some devices have three separate folders: one for alarms, another for notifications and a third for ringtones.

In order to see the file within the ringtone or notification settings menu, you must move the content to the appropriate folder.

To differentiate the ringtone types:

  • Ringtones are used when someone calls your phone
  • Notifications play for a variety of events like incoming text messages or app notifications
  • Alarm sounds will play when you have an alarm set (the tone must also be designated within the alarm or clock app)
  • Some apps have custom ringtones such as Google Hangouts or Facebook

First, choose which type of tone you’d like your memo or voice file to be. Then follow these steps to move it to the appropriate directory.

open file manager

  1. Open your file manager app of choice. The screenshots you see are from FX File Explorer.

locate the voice memo file

  1. Locate the voice memo you want to use as a ringtone. If you downloaded it from a site or app it should be located in the Downloads folder. If you recorded the memo using your phone, you’ll need to find the correct storage location. When using the Samsung Voice Recorder, for example, the storage folder is located under Main Storage > Voice Recorder. It may or may not be a similar folder if you are using a different app.

copy the voice recording

  1. Copy the voice recording file in the folder. Long press on the file and you will see a list of options. There are two ways to do this. You can either Copy the file and then Paste it in the new directory, or you can select the Move To option which does the same thing. For this guide, select Copy and then move on.

If you are using FX File Explorer there should now be an icon displayed that says Clipboard – 1 Copied. If you’re using another file manager you may see something similar, or nothing at all.

open the file you want to save it to

  1. Open the folder you wish to move the file.
  • Ringtones should be stored in Main Storage > Ringtones
  • Notifications should be stored in Main Storage > Notifications
  • Alarms should be stored in Main Storage > Alarms

 paste file in the folder

  1. Select the Clipboard icon and select Paste in the right. If you’re using something else you can long press on an empty space inside the folder and choose Paste.

3. Set Your Voice Memo as a Ringtone

To set a voice memo as ringtone:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Sounds and Notifications.
  2. Select Phone voice memo as ringtone
  3. Select the voice memo to save it as your ringtone.
  4. When your phone rings, the voice memo should play.


  • Notifications should be listed under the same menu yet a different field: Settings > Sounds and Notifications (Sounds and Vibration on Samsung) > Notification Sounds.
  • Alarm sounds will be listed in the sound settings within the Clock or Alarm

If you do not see the file you wish to use in the list, then one of two things is wrong. Either you moved the file into the wrong folder or it’s in an unrecognized file format.

For example, if your file is .aac instead of .mp3 it might not be recognized as a compatible on some devices. If the file format is the problem, you must download a conversion app and swap to the correct file format.

Bottom Line

Some devices — like the newer Samsung Galaxy phones — actually allow you to specify any file to use as a ringtone or notification within the settings.

If you have that option available, you don’t actually have to move the media file to use it.

For everyone else, however, moving the media file is the best way to ensure it appears in your notifications or ringtone list. Once that’s done, it’s as simple as opening the ringtone menu and choosing your media.

If you run into any problems or have any question feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.