I am using mavericks. Often, iTunes starts up on my for no apparent reason. I never use iTunes and would like to remove it (for this reason). I have followed a few different tutorials for removing iTune. It is not as simple as expected. Every time I "uninstall" it, sooner than later it pops back up in my dock. Please help with a way to remove iTunes.

Another tutorial attempted

I got this error with the first tutorial: enter image description here

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    Can you add some details about the steps you actually did take to remove iTunes and describe where the confusion starts? You also mention different tutorials but only link to one (which if you follow at least the first few steps should successfully remove iTunes).
    – nohillside
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:09
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    You might also want to look into apple.stackexchange.com/questions/110685/… which offers some ideas about preventing iTunes from opening.
    – nohillside
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:10
  • @patrix I have looked at that question, and it appears the solution there was to uninstall, and reinstall iTunes. That would not be a solution for me. Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:12
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    And to disable it from launching: Control click on iTunes in the Finder > Get Info > In the info window unlock on the bottom-right > under Sharing & Permissions > set Everyone to No access, do it for every row that has Everyone.
    – Duvrai
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 23:09
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    @bmike ok I moved the comment down there ;-)
    – Duvrai
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:54

4 Answers 4


You can disable iTunes from launching by changing its permissions.

  • Control click on iTunes in the Finder > Get Info
  • In the info window unlock on the bottom-right
  • under Sharing & Permissions > set Everyone to No access, do it for every row that has Everyone.

enter image description here

Disabling permissions might not always work, and they may reset sometimes (especially when upgrading).


If you are OK never updating your OS and/or repeating the 'sudo mv' when the program gets patched, I would do the following:

  1. Make a Time Machine Backup (or whatever else backup you use to protect yourself from a bad sudo command)
  2. sudo mv /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunes /private/tmp

This leaves the helper app, the libraries and the rest of the app around, but relocates the actual executable program to a place where it won't launch. You can then reboot and test to make sure that the move was effective and your Mac works otherwise.

The bonus of this is you can move the binary back (from /tmp or from Time Machine) when needed and get a fun message whenever anyone tries to start iTunes on your Mac:

2/24/14 12:25:44.309 PM com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[148]: (com.apple.iTunes.47376[38194]) Job failed to exec(3) for weird reason: 2

This one command to move one file is quite safe and doesn't have any large bad effects that I can see and I have used it from time to time to disable iTunes in lab situations where we didn't want iOS devices being managed or music being played.

  • I don't use Time Machine, It requires an external HD, right? Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:39
  • @Binghammer Yes - an external HD or Time Capsule or equivalent NAS/server destination that looks like a Time Capsule to the OS.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:40
  • e "OK never updating your OS" that will cause security issues and I would suggest is not a good recommendation
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:54
  • @Mark hence the ...or repeat the sudo mv... since you can't easily prevent Apple from dropping a new iTunes on you which will eventually happen while updating.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:56
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    After the mv I also created a fake read-only iTunes file: sudo touch /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunes && sudo chmod 000 /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunes
    – pyb
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 17:10

You can't safely remove iTunes, but there are ways to prevent it from opening. Removing it and the iTunes Helper from login items can give you a boost to startup performance.

  • What ways this is what the answer should be
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:19

Here's also a guide about "how to uninstall and re-install iTunes without losing music".

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 24, 2014 at 9:05

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