There is that feature where iTunes gets automatically launched on OSX when an external speakers are connected (Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack headphones).

I happen to prefer another application to listen to the music. So, is it possible to disable iTunes auto launch? Or reconfigure it to launch some other app?

I know. I am pushing it, but maybe I can get it to launch my favourite radio web site? ;-)


4 Answers 4


Go to System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login items and remove iTunes Helper from the list. Then, log out and log back in. Try connecting your speakers.

**Edit: The iTuneshelper.app is part of the iTunes package. To diable the iTuneshelper.app you have to view the contents of the iTunes.app by Option clicking, or right clicking, and choosing "Show Package Contents". The iTuneshelper.app is located in the MacOS folder.

Rename iTuneshelper.app to iTuneshelper-disable.app and this will prevent it from launching and being added to Login Items.

This method tested and working with OS 10.8.3 and iTunes 11.0.2.

-From useer GageGecko on the macrumors forum.

Note that this will keep it from adding itself to the login items whenever you open itunes, but will also mean you have to open itunes yourself when you plug in your phone, ipod, etc.

  • I am on 10.9 Maverick. But it seems to just re-add itself on system restart unfortunately.
    – AlexV
    Jan 25, 2014 at 2:41
  • I am going to edit my answer to add a great comment I found from a user on a non-SO forum. Jan 25, 2014 at 14:12
  • 4
    For Mavericks, disable sudo chmod 000 /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app & re-enable sudo chmod 755 /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app Apr 16, 2015 at 20:17
  • I tried all the suggestions. Nothing worked. Finally I just deleted iTunes from my computer. Good riddance. It's this kind of thing that makes me really hate Apple sometimes.
    – Ghopper21
    Jun 10, 2015 at 0:09
  • Does not work with macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and iTunes 12.7
    – damd
    Sep 14, 2017 at 8:44

You are out of luck I am afraid.
This has been a major annoyance since Snow Leopard.
You can't turn it of and you can't reconfigure it.

The suggestion of WreithKassan is an option but it apparently does not always help.
It depends on your version of OSX and iTunes.

On Mavericks (possibly also Mountain Lion) removing iTunes Helper doesn't help at all according to a large number of people in the Apple forums.
(Besides: removing it will disable the auto-start of iTunes when connecting a iPhone, iPad or iPod. Most people want iTunes to start in that case.)


I figured this out on Mavericks. I did five steps:

  1. Rename the iTunes.app to iTunesclosed.app

  2. Open a blank AppleScript Editor and save a blank window in the Applications folder as an application type (not the default script type) as DoNothing.app

  3. Remove the iTunesHelper from system preferences > users > login items

  4. Connect to the bluetooth speaker it will ask you where is iTunes located? Click browse and point it to the DoNothing.app

(iTunes will still launch when you connect to a bluetooth speaker)

  1. In Finder go to Applications and show package contents on iTunesclosed.app. Inside the MacOS folder there is a unix script called iTunes, i right clicked get info and change the name to iTunesclosed.

With the first three steps, iTunes still opened whenever I connect to my bluetooth speaker. This last step prevented iTunes from opening.


A simple but drastic measure that seems to work is to edit the access rights to itunes app in the "get info" window. Unlock the settings by logging in as a user with admin access, and change access for 'everyone' to "no access". Please note: you will not be able to use itunes anymore at all, without changing access rights back to "read only"..

  • This method works great!
    – Brady Holt
    Mar 26, 2016 at 20:22

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