How to Stop iTunes from Opening Automatically When Your iPhone Is Connected to Your Mac

stop iTunes from opening automatically

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

By default on Mac, iTunes opens automatically when you plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer. If you have a Mac, the Photos app will also automatically open. But for many people this causes a lot of problems, including computer freezes. Luckily, you can disable iTunes auto launch pretty easily. We’ll go over how to stop iTunes from opening automatically when your iPhone is connected as well as how to disable Photos auto launch when your iPhone is connected. You’ll need to change these settings on your computer, so have it ready. 


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How to Stop iTunes from Opening Automatically

How to Stop Photos from Opening Automatically

How to Stop iTunes from Opening Automatically

If you want to prevent iTunes from opening when connecting your iPhone or iPad, there’s an easy way to fix it! You'll have to follow these steps for each iOS device. To do this:

  • Plug in your iPhone to your computer. Naturally, iTunes will open.

  • To change the settings, click the iPhone icon on the top left of the page to get to your iPhone settings.

  • Make sure you’re in the Summary view, which can be found in the left panel.

  • From here, scroll down to the Options panel. To stop iTunes from opening automatically when you plug in your phone, uncheck Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected.

  • Click Apply in the bottom right to save your settings.

  • Repeat these steps for your other iOS devices, if desired.

Now iTunes will no longer open automatically when you plug in your iPhone or iPad; you’ve successfully disabled iTunes auto launch.


If you still want to sync automatically without having iTunes pop up, click the Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi option in the same panel. Your phone will now sync automatically when both your Mac and iPhone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

How to Prevent Photos from Opening Automatically

To stop the launch of that pesky Photos app on Mac:

  • Open Photos on your computer.  

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using the Lightning-to-USB charging cable.

  • At the sidebar,  under Devices, select your device.

  • To the right of the sidebar, in the top left corner next to the name of your device, you’ll see Open Photos for this device. Uncheck that box.

You will now need to manually open the Photos app when your iPhone or iPad is plugged in and you want to manage your pictures.

Top image credit: Denys Prykhodov /

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Author Details

Abbey Dufoe's picture

Author Details

Abbey Dufoe

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at