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Every time I connect my bluetooth headset to my Mac, iTunes decides it's time to launch. Is there a way I can prevent this behavior?

I found this thread, but there is no solution:

  • OS X 10.8.3
  • iTunes 11.0.2 (26)
  • Using Beats Wireless


Even after removing iTunes from my computer, it stills prompts me to "find iTunes" whenever a bluetooth audio device is connected.

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check iTunes preference settings! – user44516 Mar 21 '13 at 19:04
If you list your headset's Bluetooth profile or just the exact model, there might be an answer by disabling the play/pause functionality that could be built into the device. – bmike Mar 21 '13 at 20:46
Please be more specific, and provide more detailed information. Computer type, operatings system, iTune version,... – user44516 Mar 21 '13 at 20:47
Updated with my info – Steve Robbins Mar 21 '13 at 23:39
The workaround to disable Itunes helper does not work. Ituneshelper will re appear after login even if removed. I have actually gone and found the file and renamed it and itunes continues to start when my headset is turned on! As to the workaround with terminal and renaming files that completely disabled my keyboard on my macbook air! Be very careful using this! Luckily i was able to reset the computer using a bluetooth keyboard to recover. There is really no help in this thread for OSX 10.9 using itunes. – user75259 Apr 9 '14 at 14:07

7 Answers 7

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Extending Steve's answer, plus some tips from this apple discussion, here's what I did that finally solved this.

1) Create a "Do Nothing App": open Automator, create an empty application, and save it as

2) Rename iTunes (manually in the Applications directory, or using this terminal command):

sudo mv /Applications/ /Applications/

3) Make a copy of as (manually, or using this terminal command):

sudo cp -R /Applications/ /Applications/

That's it. Of course, your iTunes is now called iTunesBACK.

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I found an an app that disables the play/pause media key. This might work for the bluetooth issue as well, and if so, it's a better solution than the one I propose above. – Joe Fletcher Dec 23 '13 at 17:59
Won't this break updates that include iTunes? – Paul Hargreaves May 6 at 20:43
@Paul, I'd bet 99% that it will break the update or something. I really don't care, iTunes is breaking my workflow with this stupid behavior. Bounty on its way, Joe, thanks! – brasofilo Jul 17 at 1:01

I've got this figured out.

On OSX, the "RCD" (remote control daemon) is responsible for the naughtiness. It has hard-coded list of actions to do when it detects certain "events" - one of them being connecting to a bluetooth headset.

To disable this behaviour (minimal loss of functionality, possibly your apple remote won't work), use the following two commands:

launchctl stop

launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchAgents/

This should stop rcd from being launched by OSX. No rcd - no auto-magic multimedia. Your volume keys should continue working, but things like play key (or bluetooth) auto-starting iTunes should stop.

PS: The following is the nuclear option. In Terminal, enter:

sudo chmod 000 /System/Library/CoreServices/

sudo pkill -9 rcd

To stop rcd from even being started by any app. To restore your rcd, use:

sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/CoreServices/

launchctl start

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Finally! Something that works on Yosemite – emmby Dec 2 '14 at 20:27
None of these options worked for me on 10.9.5 using Beats Wireless. – acpigeon Feb 3 at 0:34
Worked on 10.10.3 using Apple EarPods. – Pavel May 6 at 16:47
On a MacBook Air with OS X 10.9.5, this worked (while the accepted answer of renaming the ITunes app did not, as the system would just launch the renamed app). THANK YOU. – Ghopper21 May 21 at 13:45
Didn't work for me on OS X 10.9.5 with a Bose headset. – Eric Darchis Jul 16 at 9:05

Solution explained by imp68 worked for me

Short version:

  • Remove iTunesHelper from your user's Login items

Step by step version:

  • Open "System Preferences"
  • Click "Users & Groups"
  • Select your user
  • Click "Login Items" in right panel
  • Remove iTunesHelper
  • Log off and back in (MUST DO)

and voilà !

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I do not see iTunesHelper in my Login Items on mavericks – emmby May 7 '14 at 18:06
This didn't work for me in Mavericks – bluescrubbie Aug 26 '14 at 1:04
It is there in Yosemite, but need some time to see if disabling this really works – texasbruce Aug 16 at 18:14

I'm on a MBP with osx 10.9.2. Disabling iTunes in "CD and DVD" preferences does not help. Just renaming iTunes to something else does not work.

The service "Remote Control Daemon", rdc, is responsible for delivering commands to (for example) iTunes. Use this script, iTunesPatch. This script modifies the actual binary for rdc to inhibit the command it sends to start iTunes, which means that all other functions of rdc still works as expected.

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It is completely stupid and seemingly unrelated but it works:

In the CDs and DVDs preference pane disable iTunes to launch inserted for Audio CDs

your headset is an audio cd you know ;-)

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Didn't work for me. – Steve Robbins Apr 8 '13 at 23:38

Remove iTunes (you can reinstall later, but who would want to do that)

sudo rm -rf /Applications/iTunes

Create a "do nothing" application using Automator. Just open Automator, create an empty application, and save it.

Connect your device. You will be prompted to find iTunes. Click browse and select your "do nothing" application.

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Instead of removing iTunes a simple sudo chmod 000 /Applications/ should be enough (and avoid the reinstall later on). To revert run sudo chmod 755 /Applications/ – patrix May 24 '13 at 21:11
+1 for chmod. This worked for me on 10.9.5 using Beats Wireless. – acpigeon Feb 3 at 0:34

I've had the same issues with mine... but there is

  1. an app to route BT events to media keys
  2. an app to redirect media keys to specific apps: Media Keys by "Gear player" creator.
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