How to Stop iTunes from Opening When Plugging in an iPhone
Connect with us


How to Stop iTunes from Opening When Plugging in an iPhone



If you’re like me and don’t use iTunes that often or at all, it can be annoying when it opens automatically every time you plug in your iPhone to your computer. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

While I own an iPhone and an iPad, I rarely use iTunes at all. I use Spotify for all my music needs and I rarely need iTunes in order to manage my iOS device, which means I might open it up maybe once a month to do something, if that. If you’re the same way, then you probably don’t want iTunes to automatically open whenever you plug in your iPhone. Luckily, there’s an easy way to shut this “feature” off.

Granted, iTunes is essential for updating your iPhone or iPad, but overall it’s a sluggish piece of software that many users avoid using at all costs, and it’s known for causing all sorts of problems.

The good news is, you can easily use an iPhone and never have to deal with iTunes, but by default, Apple wants you to use iTunes by having the program automatically launch whenever you plug in your iPhone, but here’s how to disable that feature so that you don’t have to be bothered with the music program ever again without manually opening it in the first place.

Stop iTunes from Automatically Opening

Go ahead and plug in your iPhone to your computer and have iTunes automatically open up. If you don’t see the device summary page, go ahead and click on the iPhone icon toward the upper-left corner of the iTunes window.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 12.37.49 PM

Scroll all the way down to the bottom and make sure to uncheck Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected. This is the feature that automatically launches iTunes whenever you connect your iPhone to your computer, but with it disabled, you won’t be bothered by the program anymore when you connect your device.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 12.38.24 PM

If you still want to sync your iPhone with iTunes, you can still do that without having iTunes automatically pop up every time. Simply place a checkmark next to Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi. Your iPhone will sync automatically when your device is plugged in, iTunes is at least running, and both your computer and your iPhone are connected to the same WiFi network.

Personally, I really only use iTunes to back up my iPhone, but even then you really don’t need to use iTunes. Instead, you can back up through iCloud whenever you want.

Backing up your computer and other devices is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can do. It can save you from certain disaster if you’re iPhone ever dies or you accidentally drop and break it. If you don’t have any of the data on it backed up, you’re at risk of losing it all if the device ever crashes or fails, which could be a huge deal depending on what you have stored on your iPhone, like photos or important messages.

And of course, your iPhone is one of the most important possessions you have, considering that you probably take it everywhere with you and store all of your photos, videos, music, movies, TV shows and ebooks on it.


Some of this you may already have backed up, thanks to syncing through various services, but if not, you’re putting yourself at risk if you don’t have it backed up. You can either back up your iPhone using iTunes, or do it through iCloud, which takes little effort.

While backing up your iPhone using iCloud is more convenient than backing up through iTunes, iCloud doesn’t back up everything.

Backing up your iPhone with iTunes backs up your entire device, including apps. However, iCloud only backs up photos, videos, documents, iMessages and SMS text messages, and settings, so it won’t back up the apps you have installed, although it will back up app data. This makes sense, because a lot of apps take up a lot of space, and with only 5GB of free iCloud storage, that may not be enough to store all of your apps.

So if you want to backup absolutely everything, you’ll need to use iTunes, at least you can prevent iTunes from automatically opening every time you connect your iPhone to your computer.



  1. Joy

    07/06/2015 at 2:43 pm

    Any update on how to do this in iTunes 12.2? My “automatically sync when this iphone is connected” is grayed out and unchecked, as seen in the screenshot you provided, but iTunes still opens when I plug my phone in.

  2. Jack

    07/18/2015 at 6:49 pm

    I have the opposite issue, I want my iTunes to open when I plug my phone in… but it doesn’t. My “automatically sync when this iphone is connected” is checked (and isn’t greyed out) but doesn’t seem to affect the opening of iTunes.
    My phone does sync automatically if iTunes is already open.

    Thanks for any help!

  3. carlzetterberg

    08/17/2015 at 3:17 am

    This does not work entirely, since iTunes keep poping up. Think you need to deactivate iTunes totally to make it work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.

Copyright © 2020 SXL Media Group, Inc.