How to Prevent iTunes from Launching Automatically

iTunes is automatically set to open when an audio file is downloaded, a link is sent from iOS, iTunes is updated, and more. This can be a nuisance and can definitely take up some RAM on the computer. Furthermore, it can be hard to initially close the program once it starts launching, depending on how hard your CPU is currently working.

Regardless of your reasoning, there are a few great ways to disable iTunes from launching. It can be disabled for specific processes or entirely. All of these options can be easily manipulated to suit your needs.

Prevent Launch When an iOS Device Is Connected

iTunes will launch when an iOS device is connected to start a sync. To stop this, automatic syncing must be disabled. If you want to sync your iOS device, you will have to initiate it manually from now on.

Ironically, start by launching iTunes. Select “iTunes” from the Mac’s menu bar and select “Preferences.”


Alternatively, press “Command + ,” on your keyboard once iTunes has been launched.

A Preferences window will appear. Select the “Devices” option from the menu. Now, check the box labeled “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.” Click “OK” to confirm.


Prevent Launch When Opening an Audio File

To change Launch Services, right click an audio file and select “Get info.”


From this menu, change the default app that is set to launch it. To do this, click the arrow labeled “Open with” and select your preferred application.


Then select “Change all” to change the launching behavior of all like files.


Prevent Launch on Login

To prevent launch when logging in, launch “System Preferences.” It can be found in the Launchpad or on the Dock. Select “Users and Groups.”


Select “Login items,” then “iTunes.” The final step is to select minus (-) to remove the app from startup.


Disable Launch for All Processes

The app noTunes is perhaps perfect for disabling iTunes from launching across the board. This is for any process that may attempt to launch it, including launching it yourself. Luckily, once initiated, the program is easy enough to disable. If you actually want to launch iTunes, you will be able to do so.

You will need to download the associated .ZIP file which when downloaded will appear as a program. From there, just double-click to run the program. The program itself is lightweight, only 2.4MB, and has no intrusive interface.


To verify that the program is always running, first drag the application to your Dock. Right-click and select “Options,” and then select “Open at Login.”


To stop the application from running, simply remove the app from “Activity Monitor.” To do this, press “Command + Space” to open Spotlight Search. Type in “Activity Monitor” and press Enter.

Now, under the CPU tab search for “noTunes.” Select the application and then the quit icon in the top-left of the window.


Select “Quit” again from the dialogue box. iTunes will now be able to launch as normal. If for any reason noTunes will not quit, select “Force Quit” from the dialogue box instead.


Let us know if the above methods solve your iTunes woes.

Corbin Telligman
Corbin Telligman

I'm a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.

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