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How to add custom text tones to your favorite SMS conversations

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It may sound like dark sorcery, but it’s a simple setting on most phones.

Custom text message tones might seem like a small feature, but they can be immensely useful. A custom text message tone can tell us to respond to one notification among a sea of default notification tones. A gunshot can mean the boss is texting you after hours again and you can ignore him, while a whip crack means your wife is texting you and you should really check it right now. Whether you’re using Google Messages — the default SMS app on most phones — a manufacturer version like the Samsung Messages app, or one of our favorite third-party SMS texting apps like Textra or Pulse, setting a custom text tone for a contact or conversation is easy to do, though you might find the setting in different places depending on your app or phone.

  • How to set custom text tones on Google Messages
  • How to set custom text tones on Samsung Messages
  • How to set custom text tones on Pulse SMS
  • How to set custom text tones on Textra SMS
  • How to set custom text tones on Mood Messenger

How to set custom text tones on Google Messages

Google Messages is the standard messaging app on a large portion of Android phones these days, and is available for free on Google Play if your phone didn’t have it pre-installed. Google Messages uses the “common” method for custom conversation notifications, using the newer notification protocols implemented with Android Oreo.

Tap the Conversation you wish to set a custom notification for.
Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap Details.

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Tap Notifications.
Tap Sound.
Tap your desired tone.

Tap the back arrow, or OK or Save if those options appear with your ringtone picking menu.

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How to set custom text tones on Samsung Messages

Samsung Messages is getting a new look with the One UI update that brings Android Pie to Samsung devices, but the basic layout should be the same on all Oreo and Pie Samsung devices.

Tap the Conversation you wish to set a custom notification for.
Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap the toggle next to Custom notifications.

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Tap the text Custom Notifications.
Tap Sound.
Tap your desired tone.

Tap the back arrow in top left corner of the screen.

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If you don’t find conversation-specific text tones using these menus on a Samsung phone running Android Nougat or an even older version, check the desired contact entry in the Samsung Contacts app.

How to set custom text tones on Pulse SMS

Tap the Conversation you wish to set a custom notification for.
Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap Conversation settings.

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Tap Conversation Notification Customization.
Tap Sound.
Tap your desired tone.

Tap the back arrow, or OK or Save if those options appear with your ringtone picking menu.

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How to set custom text tones on Textra SMS

Tap the Conversation you wish to set a custom notification for.
Tap the downward pointing carat in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap Customize this conversation.

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Tap Notifications.
Tap Notification Sound.
Tap your desired tone.

Tap OK.

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How to set custom text tones on Mood Messenger

Tap the Conversation you wish to set a custom notification for.
Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap Options.

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Under Notifications & Sounds, tap Current tone.
At the top of the sound picking menu are three icons. Tap the bell icon to use the system notification picker to select a text tone. You can also tap the microphone icon to record a custom phrase as the text tone or the folder icon to select a ringtone through your file manager.
Tap your desired tone.

Tap OK.

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Your turn

Whether you stick with the standard messaging app your Android phone came with or branch out with a third-party client, setting custom text tones for your most-used contacts can be a small but very helpful tool — WHIP-CRACK! — in helping avoid distractions while you try to work. After all, no one needs a needy — WHIP-CRACK! — roommate wasting your time during a lab-

WHIP-CRACK! WHIP-CRACK!

If you’ll excuse me, I need to answer this before my mother calls and asks me why I’m not answering her texts.

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