This is what I am currently running:

Verizon Motorola Droid 4  
Android Version 4.1.2  
System Version 98.72.189.XT894.Verizon.en.US  
Last update Nov 21 2013 

Prior to this Nov 21st update, I was able to set a custom ringtone, notification, and alarm on my phone. Custom meaning I can upload a sound file of my choice and have my phone play it.

After the update, I am still allowed to set a custom ringtone and notification, however I am prohibited from setting a custom alarm sound.

Is it possible to still choose my own alarm sound without rooting or installing an app?'

Note: Previous question/answers don't concern this update or suggest installing a third party app.

EDIT: To change alarms, I go to: Apps -> Clock -> Set Alarm -> Settings. When choosing an alarm sound, I am only allowed the default selection from the phone, whereas with ringtones and notifications (in System Settings -> Sound), I am able to select from my custom made sound files.

  • How is it "prohibited"? What steps did you follow, and what happened?
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03
  • I've tried two approaches. Apps, Clock, Set Alarm, Settings, Default alarm tone: Only has the default selections available. In System settings -> Sounds, I have all my default sounds set to my custom sounds. But these don't apply to the alarm.
    – krikara
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:32
  • I used the word prohibited because I have created a calendar/alarm app a while back, where I was allowed to code the selection of ringtone, alert notifications, and alarm sounds. However, even when I use my app to change the alarm sound to my custom ones, it doesn't work. Regardless, I don't want to require an app for this. It seems silly that people can have custom ringtones and notifications, but not alarms.
    – krikara
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:34
  • Hey try downling Zedge from the Play Store: play.google.com/store/apps/… Then download a custom alarm sound (any really) and then go to your alarm settings. When you go to choose an alarm it should ask what you want to open "Media Storaga" that's the usual one or "Zedge". Try Zedge and see if you have some custom alarms. It's not ideal but it might just solve it. Let me know how you get on!
    – RossC
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 12:44

5 Answers 5


The folder Media is the where all the Sound files are actually stored. Inside Media, it has its own Alarms, Notifications, and Ringtones folder. These are the folders where each respective sound file belongs.

In my case, I wanted to create a custom alarm. I thought it would be as simple as dropping a sound file in there, but it wasn't. THERE'S A TRICK. In order for the Android phone to recognize your file as an actual alarm, the file must have Alarm appended to its name.

Example : If your song/file name is Unwell.mp3, then you have to rename it to Unwell Alarm.mp3.

Only after you include the Alarm in the name will it become an Alarm.

  • If anyone has a better alternative that doesn't require file name changing, I'll gladly accept that as an answer.
    – krikara
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 15:42

To change my alarms I use the ES File explorer app:

When I go to change the alarm it asks which app you want to change it with (if you have not set a default). I am able to chose between the built in media app and ES file explorer. If I chose ES File Explorer then I will be able to chose a file without having to shuffle around media files.

  • I was looking for a solution that didn't require an app.
    – krikara
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 9:36
  • I am sorry but you are out of luck in that case. I personally love ES File Explorer. If you ever change your mind it is ~8 MB and it is free with no advertisements. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:39

There is a way around which I was able to use. Convert your favorite Alarm tone to .ogg format using any online tool. Following is a link to one of them -


Now go to your \Systems folder and find the \Ringtones or \Alarms folder. There you can paste the converted .ogg file. Try to keep the file size below 200KB.

Now, go to your alarms and you can find the Alarm tone in the Default Alarm-tone list.


Simply rename the file; right click and rename, at the end of the file name, remove the old file extension type, (ie .mp3) and change it to .ogg and it will be available to use. It will say it may become unstable, but in my experience it works just fine.


There is a folder called "Alarms" in your SD card. Just paste the sounds/songs you want to set there and it should appear when selecting sounds for the alarm.

  • I don't think that this is what the Alarm folder is for...
    – Shokhet
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 13:19

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