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Everything is stated in the title. When I connect my iPad or iPhone iTunes automatically launches. What is the simplest way to prevent this from happening?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

The simplest way is to un-tick the Automatically sync this... box* on the Summary Screen for the device in iTunes when the device is connected:

Open iTunes Tick Box

  • This is per device.

Alternatively you can just remove the iTunesHelper service under your Login Items which will disable it irrelevant of the tick box state.

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+1 and accept for the Login Items bit. – Eric Brotto Oct 12 '11 at 11:19
This option seems to have changed in iTunes 11.2. There's now "Automatically sync when this iPad is connected" (or 'iPhone'). Disabling that option prevents auto-sync even when iTunes is manually opened, so the login item removal seems the most appropriate if you wish to retain that functionality. – drfrogsplat Jun 13 '14 at 1:59

From the iTunes menu at the top go to iTunes>Preferences>Devices>Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically. Check the box at the bottom of that window. Click OK, quit iTunes.

That will stop iTunes from launching when you connect the phone stop automatic syncing.

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This plus the other answers seem to end the problem if you're in 2015. – Matt Quiros Mar 27 '15 at 9:06

If you are using Apple's iTunes on Windows 8 you can disable iTunesHelper by executing the following instructions:

1) Right click the task bar,
2) Select the Task Manager,

enter image description here

3) Click the Startup tab,
4) Click the iTunesHelper app,
5) Click the Disable button,
6) Close the Task Manager

enter image description here

You can also right-click the iTunesHelper app and select Disable from the context menu.

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  • Connect the iPhone/iPad/iPod device to the computer
  • Inside iTunes, click on the device and then click on the ‘Summary’ tab
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Summary tab selections until you see “Options”
  • Click on the checkbox next to ‘Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected’ – wording will be slightly different if your device is an iPad or iPod or whatever
  • Close iTunes
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Unfortunately, the option mentioned in the other answers is no longer present on iTunes. Instead, the OSX solution is now similar to the Windows one:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Users & Groups
  3. Select your user profile if not selected already
  4. Go into the Login items tab
  5. Select and remove iTunes Helper from the list
  6. Log out and back in, or restart OSX
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For all those who never use iTunes and do not have that 'Summary' panel (not sure why this happens, perhaps iTunes version too old)

I just disabled execution for iTunes altogether.

So, open terminal and sudo chmod -x /Applications/ - never see iTunes again.

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