Auto-syncing in iTunes happens when you plug in your iPhone or iPod into a computer with the service, and it opens and tries to sync with the device automatically. While this should be convenient for you the user, you may want to prevent it from doing so for several reasons.
Among these reasons is that the computer may not be yours so you don’t want the iPhone to auto-sync with the computer, or it’s not your primary computer. Sometimes you’re in a hurry and syncing mat take a longer time than you expect, especially where there’s a lot of data to sync or there are issues with some content.
No matter your reason, you can stop auto-sync in iTunes depending on the iTunes version you have. The settings we’ll show you below don’t apply to syncing over a WiFi connection, but using a direct connection via USB cable to your computer.
How to stop auto-syncing in iTunes
For iTunes 12 and up, here are the steps you’ll take to stop auto-syncing in iTunes for your iPhone or iPod:
- Connect your iPod or iPhone to your computer. iTunes will automatically launch, but if it doesn’t, launch it manually
- Click the small iPod or iPhone icon at the upper left side
- Under Options box, uncheck the Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected box
- Click Apply at the bottom right side of iTunes. This will save the new setting so your iPod or iPhone won’t auto-sync when you connect to the computer
For version 11 or earlier of iTunes, the process is similar except the steps and options are a bit different. If your iTunes version doesn’t have the same options, find those that are a close match and try them out.
To do this:
- Open iTunes on the computer before plugging in your iPod or iPhone to the machine
- Open Preferences window: in Mac – iTunes menu>Preferences>Devices; on a PC, go to Edit>Settings>Devices and click ALT+E to open this window as it sometimes hides the menu by default
- Click Devices tab in the popup window
- Find the Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box
- At the bottom of the window, click OK to save changes and close the window
Auto-syncing in iTunes is disabled so quit iTunes and plug in your iPhone or iPod into your computer.
With all the changes set, you no longer have to deal with auto-sync in iTunes, but you have to remember to sync manually going forward. Syncing creates data backups on your iPhone or iPod which helps restore data or transfer it if you have issues with your device or you’re upgrading to a new one.
Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.