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How to Stop iTunes from Opening When Plugging an iPhone In



If you don’t use iTunes and hate it when the app launches whenever you plug your iPhone in, here’s how to disable it from doing that in the future.

While iTunes allows you to sync all of your media to your iPhone, as well as acts a music player and gives you access to the iTunes Store, it’s an application that just don’t have a use for. All of my media is in the cloud, so there’s no need to use iTunes to sync, and I don’t use iTunes as a music or video player. I also don’t use the iTunes Store on my Mac.

This means that iTunes is essentially useless to me, but I found out that whenever you perform a clean install of OS X, it automatically defaults to launching iTunes whenever you plug your iPhone in.

It’s annoying to say the least, especially if you don’t use iTunes at all. Luckily, there’s an easy way to stop iTunes from opening when plugging an iPhone into your computer.

So if you’re like me and just have no use for iTunes, here’s how to keep it from launching whenever you plug in your iPhone.


When I plug my iPhone in, it’s usually so I can just charge it up, rather than sync media and what not, which is why I find it annoying when iTunes will automatically open when I plug my iPhone in. However, it’s a really easy feature to disable.

To prevent iTunes from opening up when you plug an iPhone in, just follow these simple steps.

  • First off, plug in your iPhone and open up iTunes (it should automatically open anyway!).
  • Next, click on the small iPhone icon at the top of the window. This will bring you to the device summary page of your iPhone.
  • Toward the bottom there is a setting that says Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected. Uncheck the box next to it.
  • Click Apply in the lower-right corner of the window to save the changes.


That’s all there is to it. The next time you plug your iPhone into your computer, iTunes won’t automatically open.

Other iTunes Tricks

This may not be the only iTunes feature that you didn’t know about, as there are a ton of other tips and tricks that you can use with iTunes to make the experience a bit better.

For instance, you can on Playlists at the top-center to bring back the sidebar that many users loved in previous versions of iTunes.

You can also get rid of duplicate content really easily. Too many times I see users’ libraries filled with two of the same song, either because the importing process when wonky or they literally have two of the same song. By going up to View > Show Duplicate Items, you can narrow down all of your duplicates with ease in order to clean them up quickly.

iTunes also has its share of handy keyboard shortcuts, like hitting Cmd+1-7 to jump between different sections like Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, etc. Cmd+/ toggles the status bar at the bottom, which may or may not be useful to you.

Above: iTunes' Playback settings

Above: iTunes’ Playback settings

You can even use iTunes to quickly redeem iTunes gift cards using your Mac’s iSight camera. Simply just hold the gift card up to your camera and it will automatically “scan” it.

If you need to better organize your iTunes music libray, the app lets you do this. Most likely, you have music scattered all over your computer, even though it’s all imported into iTunes for easy listening. However, going to File >Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files will make a copy of all media not in the iTunes Media folder and place that copy in the folder, leaving the originals where they’re at. You can either delete those to free up space or leave them there.

Another set of options that users often overlook is under Preferences > Playback. From there, you can configure all sorts of neat options for listening to music and watching videos. You can set the crossfade when songs change and there’s even a Sound Check setting, where it will equalize the volume of all of your songs that there’s one that isn’t louder or quieter than the other.



  1. Jim

    04/01/2016 at 4:10 pm

    Using 64-bit Win7 Pro. iTunes > Preferences > Devices window doesn’t show info on extreme left and cannot be resized, so I’m unable to prevent iTunes from opening when I plug in my iPhone/iPad. Any suggestions?

  2. none

    07/26/2016 at 3:08 pm

    I’d suggest you follow up with Apple or increase your screen resolution. This really isn’t the place to ask for technical support though… SMH

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