Disable Automatic Syncing in iTunes When Connecting an iPhone, iPad, or iPod
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:
- Launch iTunes and open “Preferences” from the iTunes menu
- Click on the “Devices” tab
- Check the box next to “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically”
- 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.