Disable Automatic iTunes Launch when iPhone is Plugged

Charging iPhone without iTunesPlugging in your iPhone at your home or work PC and Mac will trigger iTunes per default. What if you just want to be charging your iPhone without iTunes opening up automatically? While the feature is certainly useful for a quick sync and backups, it might get annoying if you tend to plug and unplug your iPhone many times during the day. Here’s a guide on how to disassociate iTunes and your iPhone so that it doesn’t open up automatically on Mac OS X. This trick is also useful when other people use your Mac and don’t want their iPhones synced or popping up in your iTunes application on the computer. The latter part of this guide will demonstrate how you can eject your iPhone in iTunes so that you can keep charging without any kind of data flow.

iTunes opening automatically: How to switch off

If iTunes is set to open automatically upon connecting an iPhone, iPad or other iDevices on your machine, we can change this default setting quite easily. Open Spotlight on your Mac and look for “Image Capture”, which is a native utility app integrated into Mac OS X and should be present on any Mac. Connect your iPhone using the USB cable.

Check the bottom left corner to see what happens when your device is connected to the Mac.

image capture app

You can change the entry by clicking the dropdown menu field and selecting another action. Selecting “No Application” from this list will ensure that no actions are taken when connecting this particular iPhone to the currently used Mac.

no app in image capture

Ejecting your iPhone

While disabling the automatic launch of iTunes in the Image Capture app keeps the app from opening up when connecting your iPhone, the sync process will be unaffected for already running instances of iTunes. Thus we need to eject the iPhone or close iTunes to prevent this behavior.

Option 1: Click the corresponding button for your iPhone in the icon bar of iTunes and select the Eject Button in the overview of the app. This will disconnect your iPhone, but it will keep on charging through the USB connection. To reconnect, simply remove and plug the cable back in.

how to disconnect an iPhone but keep charging

Option 2: When multiple devices are connected, clicking the device icon in the button bar will open up a popout window that contains a list of all connected devices. Therein you can also click the eject button to disconnect a specific device.

Option 3: You can also right-click or option-click your iTunes icon in the Mac OS X dock. Then click “Eject iPhone” to disconnect the flow of data from and to your device. The exact label of the button will always correspond to the name you have given to the iPhone. As with the other options, the charging through the USB connection will not be affected.

how to eject an iPhone from the itunes dock icon