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

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.

David Kirk
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.


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