How to Prevent Automated Sync on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

   Posted June 9, 2010 by David Kirk in Apple Mac

On many systems a connected iPhone, iPad, or iPod will try to sync with iTunes as soon as it is connected via USB to a computer system. This tutorial will show to how permanently or temporarily stop the automatic sync behavior.

With all of my music, podcasts, and applications, I really do not want to automatically sync every single time I plug my device into my computer. Here’s a couple of options to prevent this:

This will disable automatic sync until you re-enable it:

1. Under the iTunes Preferences, select the Devices tab
2. Check Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box

disable sync iphone ipad ipod touch

3. Click OK

If you want to disable sync for just one connection:

1. As you plug in your device, press command+option key in OSX.
(Or for a windows machine, press Shift+Control)
2. The device will mount without syncing.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Toast

    I have that checked, but nearly every time I plug in my iPhone, it starts syncing. It’s very frustrating.

    • Dcvzxcbvcx

      did u restart your computer after doing that?

      • Anonymous

        Only about six times that evening plus however many times during the last 4 months. Yes, it’s been restarted, and yes it still tries to sync. However, I’ve noticed it’s not a “real” sync. It says “syncing” on the iPhone for a couple minutes and then stops.

  • Twatson87

    Try using ImageCapture (free utility that comes with your Mac). Select Devices on the left and select your iDevice. Now in the bottom left select No application int he pop up menu under Connecting this iDevice opens: