There's a much despised bug in OS X wherein iTunes unexpectedly opens and in some cases, starts playing music, a podcast, or whatever the user was listening to last. The bug can be triggered in a number of different ways but it's not the bug itself that I'm asking about today; It's an implementation of the recommended solution.

It turns out that the only way to eliminate the bug is to completely disable iTunes. The well-documented steps for doing so are:

Go to Applications folder >> highlight iTunes app shortcut >> select 'Show Package Contents' from context menu >> Contents >> Mac OS; from within this directory, rename 'iTunes' to 'iTunes-disabled' and rename 'iTunesHelper' to 'iTunesHelper-disabled'

The solution works perfectly. It's a shame to disable iTunes completely but getting some relief from iTunes randomly starting up and interfering with my workflow far outweighs any benefit that iTunes provides so I just leave it disabled and use other options for audio/video playback.

The thing is though, these days I occasionally need iTunes to stream downloaded TV shows to my AppleTV box. And each time I do, I have to undo the steps described above in order to reenable iTunes. Which leads me to my question:

Is there some way to automate the process of disabling/enabling iTunes using the method described? Like maybe some sort of script or something? Ideally, I'd have a couple of shortcuts on my desktop which when double-clicked, would disable or enable the product by renaming the relevant files. Any ideas?

  • How often is iTunes (supposedly) starting up all on it own? – user3439894 Dec 30 '15 at 4:04
  • It's (supposedly) starting up multiple times per day unless it's completely disabled. – Festus Martingale Dec 30 '15 at 14:57
  • The reason I said "(supposedly)" is nothing starts on its own!. In other words, the iTunes executable just doesn't load itself into memory without something telling it to. Since there is a component of iTunes that loads at Login you might want to start by removing it as mentioned in Tetsujin's answer. Then run the following command in a Terminal to kill iTunesHelper, pskill $(pgrep iTunesHelper) and then see if the issue continues. – user3439894 Dec 30 '15 at 15:16
  • Seriously? At least Google this first. It's just a bug that Apple has decided not to fix. This is one (of many) examples of the bug being triggered -- in this particular case, the trigger event is Bluetooth: discussions.apple.com/thread/6555077 – Festus Martingale Dec 30 '15 at 15:48
  • For anyone reading this having the same problem, the issue of automating the enablement and disablement of iTunes is now resolved. See solution at: discussions.apple.com/message/29547432?ac_cid=op123456 – Festus Martingale Dec 30 '15 at 20:20

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