I need this just to be able to test how the machine responds to the first time a device is plugged in - without needing an unlimited supply of 'new' devices.

I connected a 'foreign' iPad [my partner's, not synced to this machine but to her own] to test Photos app's response. It auto-launched.

Now I want to try again, let it 'see' the device for the first time - so I'm trying to discover what keeps the record of which devices were connected & if I can clean it of just one device without damaging my regular devices' behaviour.

Closest I can find is How do I make iTunes 'forget' a device in Mavericks? which has some discussion regarding Sync Services - but I'm not sure if that's heading in the right direction.

Also relevant - How can I prevent iPhoto from opening everytime I plug my iPad/iPhone? - which is my eventual aim.

  • Perhaps if you un-trust the mac from the iOS device : Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy
    – StrawHara
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 13:44
  • I never 'trusted' it in the first place. The iPad still asks whether to trust on subsequent connections, but the Mac 'knows' it's been seen before & not to launch Photos.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 13:49
  • Try grep'ing /Library/ for your device UDID. And ~/Library. grep -arF '<UDID>' /Library/. You will likely find iTunes containing data but you probably want to ignore that. Mainly you are looking for a file that may contain a cache of hardware serial numbers, among other information. If it is a plist, it should be easy to edit (and not delete).
    – Tatsh
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 1:57

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure exactly, but I can help you figure out which files changed after you plugged in the device. Hopefully you're comfortable with Terminal.

Start a timer. Plug in your new device, treat it like you would any other new device - trust it, let it sync, whatever.

Once that's all done, stop your timer, see how long it took and round up in minutes. Let's assume it took 5:18. We're going to round up to 6 minutes.

$ find ~ -type f -cmin -6 > ~/Desktop/files_modified.txt

Now you have a file showing all of the files that changed in the last 6 minutes. Some of these files are going to be relevant and most aren't: when I ran this experiment I got lots of files changing related to Safari, for example.

Good luck, I hope that helps.

  • Nice idea, thank you - my only stumbling block is I ran out of devices it has never seen before. There was only one to go at & I'd already done it before I realised I needed this question answering :(
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 9:52
  • That's fine, create a new user on your machine and do the process there.
    – Harv
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 10:01

iTunes>Preferences>Devices...delete any & all iPhone backups listed here

  • The device in question never had a backup; it was not my device, not backed to my machine & has never been listed in Devices.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 12:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .