Ringtones are very much a personal preference, but more importantly it's crucial to have one that sounds different from everyone else's so you know when it's your phone ringing and not theirs.

Fortunately, setting a ringtone on Android is easy as takes but seconds. Here's how to do it.

Note: Android phones differ from manufacturer to manufacturer as each tweaks the Android interface and menus. Your phone might not look exactly like our Google Pixel 2 here, but the process is very similar for most phones.

First, find the Settings app in your app tray or, if you prefer, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the settings cog (you may have to swipe down a second time to reveal the cog on certain phones).

How to set a ringtone on Android

Now, scroll or search for 'Sound' or 'Sounds & Notifications'. Tap on it and you should see 'Ringtone' in the menu.

How to set a ringtone on Android

Tap it and choose from the list of available tones. These will vary according to what your manufacturer pre-loads onto your phone model.

Tapping on one will give you a preview, and it's a bad idea to listen to them all on the bus or train. Do it in private where you won't disturb others.

How to set a ringtone for a contact

One handy option is that Android (like on the iPhone) allows you to assign a ringtone to a specific contact.

This way, you'll know who is calling before you even look at your phone.  

To do it, open the Contacts app, find the person you want and tap the three vertical dots (or 'More' on some phones) to bring up a menu where you'll find the Set ringtone option.

How to set a ringtone on Android

Tap it and you'll see the same list of ringtones as before: just pick something different from the tone you've picked for all other contacts.

How to set a song as a ringtone

If the pre-installed tones aren't to your liking, you can set a portion of a favourite song as your ringtone.

We've written a separate guide explaining step-by-step how to create a custom ringtone on Android.