AAGGGGHHHHH! If you set a custom contact ringtone in Android version 4.x – and apparently all other versions, it uses that ringtone for every possible notification from that contact. This includes calling, sms, emails and IM notifications from messaging applications like WhatsApp. Definitely a UX/usability flaw in the Android OS as I need call ringtones to be differentiated from messaging ringtones for obvious reasons. What makes things worse – there is no option to reset the ringtone back to the default ringtone.

Luckily the Ringtone Maker application from the Android play store has a Contact ringtone management option in the top right settings dropdown, that has the added ‘default ringtone’ option at the very top of the ringtone options list.

Thank God. It drove me crazy and I can’t believe these two options of setting custom ringtones for various types of alerts for a contact and resetting custom contact ringtones back to the default ringtone aren’t available at all.

Hope this helps.