Is there any way to prevent iTunes from starting under XP when an iPhone is plugged in? Using iTunes v 9. Usually I just want to charge my phone and don't want iTunes to start.

Note: Exact dup of this question - except this is for v9 on Windows. The answer in the related question doesn't work for me.

5 Answers 5


Have you tried disabling "Itunes Helper" (ituneshelper.exe) ?

It's a program launched at startup. To disable it, use msconfig or any program that helps with managing startup programs (Startup Control Panel for instance).

You could also use iTunesBooster (not free though). From their FAQ:

Why would I want to disable / delete iTunesHelper?

iTunesHelper is a service used by iTunes to determine when an iPod is plugged in, so it can automatically launch iTunes. The iTunesHelper service unfortunately eats up a non-trivial amount of your computers available processing power - all of the time, not just when iTunes is running. iTunesBooster disables and deletes iTunesHelper, thus removing the significant performance impact that installing iTunes may have placed upon your computer.

  • 1
    Disabling iTunes Helper did the trick. Oct 23, 2009 at 19:42
  • Disabling iTunes Helper didn't help for me.
    – Dan
    Dec 17, 2009 at 9:48
  • 4
    I killed it with the Task Manager and connecting my iPad no longer launches iTunes. w00t! XD Apr 26, 2010 at 0:10

From Preventing Automatic Syncing :

You can prevent iPhone from syncing automatically when you connect iPhone to a computer other than the one you usually sync with.

Turn off automatic syncing for iPhone:

Connect iPhone to your computer. In iTunes, select iPhone in the sidebar, then click the Summary tab. Deselect “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected.” You can still sync by clicking the Sync button.

Prevent automatic syncing for all iPhones and iPods:

In iTunes choose iTunes > Preferences (on a Mac) or Edit > Preferences (on a PC), click Devices, and select “Disable automatic syncing for all iPhones and iPods.”

If this checkbox is selected, iPhone won’t sync automatically, even if “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” is selected in the Summary pane.

Prevent automatic syncing one time, without changing settings:

Open iTunes, connect iPhone to your computer, then press and hold Command-Option (on a Mac) or Shift-Control (on a PC) until you see iPhone appear in the sidebar.

Sync manually:

In iTunes, select iPhone in the sidebar, then click Sync in the bottom-right corner of the window. Or, if you’ve changed any sync settings, click Apply.

  • 1
    Syncing wasn't really my issue though. I just don't want iTunes to start. Oct 14, 2009 at 19:35
  • Then just take from the above only the part(s) you need. I reproduced the whole lot for you (for maximum flexibility).
    – harrymc
    Oct 14, 2009 at 19:53
  • I must be missing something. These tips appear to all be related to syncing. I want to be able to keep the default sync options when I do start iTunes but I just don't want iTunes to start automatically when I plug in the iPhone. Oct 15, 2009 at 15:13
  • I don't own an iPhone, unfortunately, but according to the doc, it starts automatically because it wants to sync.
    – harrymc
    Oct 15, 2009 at 18:44
  • The 'Disable automatic syncing for all iPhones and iPods' doesn't work on my iTunes. I have the latest iTunes and the iPhone is a few years old. I've never really found the options that Apple gives you 100% reliable. They like to do things their way and get a little peckish if you don't want to play along.
    – bev
    Jan 10, 2011 at 9:51

try running this as batch file when you log into windows - I use it for my iPod Touch:

@echo off
net stop "Apple Mobile Device"
net stop "iPod Service"
net stop "Bonjour Service"
  • i think you could get away with just stopping the first two; i doubt the Bonjour service has anything to do with launching iTunes on device detection. can't say i've tested it though. Oct 14, 2009 at 18:59
  • 7
    Using the service management console to put the service startup to "Manual" would give better result than running a batch at login no? Oct 14, 2009 at 19:17
  • I tried turning off the iPod Service but it didn't seem to stop iTunes from starting. Oct 15, 2009 at 15:11
  • 1
    iTuneHelper.exe is the cause just stop it being automatically run by editing the startup in msconfig then remove (End Process) in Task Manager.
    – user692942
    Aug 20, 2014 at 9:36

With iTunes on, go to your phone in the devices menu. Under the Summary Tab > Options there is a check box: "Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected"..... I assume this is turned off?


th-Inker is right - on the summary tab when your iphone is selected in itunes, there's an option to 'open itunes when this phone is connected'.

but - if you've already selected 'manually sync' in the preferences, this option is greyed out. so turn auto-sync back on, and then you can disable auto-open. But you apparently can't have it both ways. Apple won't let you. http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa;jsessionid=0FD67A05C246D1D1966DB744A4D72B35.node0?messageID=11660068&#11660068

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