Stop iTunes from Automatically Opening When iPhone, iPad, or iPod is Connected

May 6, 2010 - 38 Comments

Updated 5/1/2012: By default, iTunes will automatically launch when any compatible device is connected, be it an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Nano, whatever. This can be helpful but it can also be annoying. You can easily turn off the automatic open feature within iTunes and here’s how to do it:

  • Connect the iPhone, iPad, iPod device to the computer
  • Inside iTunes, click on the device and then click on the ‘Summary’ tab
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Summary tab selections until you see “Options”
  • Click on the checkbox next to ‘Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected’ – wording will be slightly different if your device is an iPad or iPod or whatever
  • Close iTunes

stop itunes launching when iphone connected

Now iTunes will not automatically open if you plug your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer. This works the same on a Mac or a PC.

Note that disabling automatic syncing is a separate function which can be turned off elsewhere in iTunes preferences.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Sting says:

    happens with the iPad too, it’s really obnoxious. turned that off immediately, as well as syncing.

  2. b says:

    Thanks, I once looked through itunes hoping that this function existed but never found it.

  3. Si says:

    This feature is not available. The Text and the checkbox is greyed out, both in itunes 9 and itunes 10. Any ideas from anyone on how to access this? i cannot stop the application from opening every time i connect my handset. really annoying.

  4. Adam says:

    Henry, that’s good advice but I already/always had the “prevent ipods from syncing automatically” unchecked and yet my “open itunes when iphone is connected” option is and always has been greyed out.

  5. Hans says:

    I use my iPod with user A on the iMac. When I logon with user B (admin user) iTunes starts, and then pops up the message ‘the ipod is in use by another user’. The device doesn’t appear in iTunes. How can I get rid of iTunes starting automatically without connecting my iPod (and risking loss of all my music because it syncs with an empty iTunes installation) ?

  6. Lance says:

    Adam. I have had an issue identical to your own. I too had the proper selection checked under devices in the iTunes preferences. Out of sheer frustration I tried what Henry suggested and it worked.
    Thanks Henry

  7. Andrew says:

    Same problem here. I unchecked the option to automatically sync my iPod but the option to open iTunes when my ipod is connect is and always has been greyed out. Curiously, there is no check mark in the box, but iTunes still opens no matter what any time I connect my iPod, and I can’t find options anywhere else to prevent this from happening.

  8. Andrew says:

    Ok I feel dumb now. For anyone who experiences the issue with the option being unchecked and greyed out, if you have the option within iTunes preferences to automatically sync your iPod unchecked, the other option in the summary tab will be greyed out. You need to check the box to automatically sync your iPod, then go into the summary tab. Viola! It is no longer greyed out and there is indeed a check mark in the box. Uncheck it! Then go back into preferences and uncheck the option to automatically sync. Problem solved.

  9. SK says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to Andrew — it works!

  10. BRI says:

    Thank you! This was driving me crazy!! Now, i just need to figure out how to access my ipod’s folders on Windows 7.. It’s no where to be found! I even have my folders to “show all hidden folders” and I still can’t find the device to open the folders.. Any suggestions?

  11. Cadurling says:

    When I uncheck the box “Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected” and try to close itunes it asks to save the changes. The problem is it also says if I change this setting it will erase all my apps and music. How can I stop itunes from opening and not have all my apps and music erased?

    • CJ Kelly says:

      I have the SAME problem, Cadurling! I assume it is a bug???? So now I am really not sure what to do. Wait until an update?? :P

    • It may not be the solution you’re looking for (an automatic non-interactive solution) but I think if you hold down the Apple/Command key when you connect your device, that’ll stop iTunes from opening.

  12. D says:

    T H A N K Y O U.

  13. Jeff says:

    Thank you Andrew! I’m not sure why it has been made so difficult to do, but you figured it out! Thanks again!

  14. Craig says:

    Thanks Andrew, this was driving me crazy as well! It seems a bit stupid that just because the option is disabled that it doesn’t show the correct setting.

  15. Dusty says:

    thanks that worked.

  16. Jerry says:

    Since Oct 2011, update ITunes kept automatically opening for me as well. It seems to have stopped since I unchecked the Wi-Fi option under Summary.

  17. Sarah Northway says:

    This option is greyed out for me and I can’t toggle it – anyone know why? It appears to be unchecked but iTunes does still open every time I plug my iPad in.

  18. Jon says:

    Um there is no summary tab after I click on device. So what am I supposed to do now?

  19. Greg Smith says:

    It looks like I’ve solved this on my machine. This may be of some help, check it out:

  20. Stevene says:

    Yeah, but what if f’n iTunes launches every time I pull my (iPhone) headphone jack OUT of my Macbook Pro?!?!

  21. Br.Bill says:

    This no longer works in iTunes 11. There’s no way to “select the device”, or it’s hidden ridiculously well.

  22. […] for iPhoto located in Image Capture? Who knows, and it’s fairly confusing considering that to stop iTunes from opening automatically you adjust a setting within iTunes, so most users would think to look in iPhoto to change the same type of setting. Nope, not so […]

  23. hussain says:


    i m start the iphone then go to logo and not next feature start plz tell me how problem

  24. melissa says:

    thanks to this page, this annoying itunes app, no longer comes up!

    thanks so much!

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