Disable Automatic Syncing in iTunes When Connecting an iPhone, iPad, or iPod

May 1, 2012 - 9 Comments

Stop Auto Syncing in iTunes

Each time you connect an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a computer, iTunes launches and immediately begins to automatically sync all content between the iOS device and the connected computer. If you’re annoyed with the auto-syncing aspect or you just want to disable it on an auxiliary Mac, here is how to do so:

  1. Launch iTunes and open “Preferences” from the iTunes menu
  2. Click on the “Devices” tab
  3. Check the box next to “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically”
  4. Disable Automatic Syncing in iTunes

  5. Click “OK” to exit out of Preferences

You do not need to have the iOS device connected to the computer to make this change within iTunes. The next time you connect any iPhone, iPad, or iPod though, you won’t start syncing automatically with iTunes.

For most users it is best to keep this enabled since it also serves as a backup for your iOS gear. If you decide to turn this off, get in the habit of manually backing up to iCloud or manually backing up to the computer through iTunes itself, otherwise you will be lacking a backup if something goes wrong and you need to restore the iOS device.

Update: Separately, you can also stop iTunes automatically launching when an iOS device is connected to the computer.

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

9 Comments

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  1. Zach says:

    Don’t forget to turn off automatic iTunes LAUNCHING too, different feature and I think it’s even more annoying!

  2. bones says:

    Will the disabling of automatic syncing disrupt the wifi syncing?

  3. bones says:

    Thanks

  4. lawlist says:

    Thank you.

  5. [...] users may want to disable the iTunes & iOS backup process completely, which is different than stopping iTunes from automatically syncing because it continues to allow for device syncing but minus the backing up [...]

  6. [...] Turn off automatic syncing in iTunes, do this through iTunes Preferences > Devices > check “Prevent iOS hardware from syncing automatically”, then quit iTunes [...]

  7. tray kar says:

    thx 4 the tip bro…

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