Prevent iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad From Automatically Syncing

This tutorial shows you how to prevent the Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from automatically syncing with iTunes when you connect it to your computer. You can disable this capability permanently or one time with these steps.

Permanently prevent automatic syncing

1. Open iTunes.

2. Click iTunes > Preferences (on a Mac) or Menu > Preferences (on a PC)

3. Choose the Devices tab and check the Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box.

iTunes automatic sync option


Now iTunes will never try to sync anything again when you connect your device to your computer.


Prevent syncing one time

If you don’t wish to disable syncing forever, and only wish to do it one time when connecting your device, use these steps:

  • Windows: Hold down Shift and Ctrl while connecting the device until the device appears in iTunes.
  • Mac: Hold down Command and Option while connecting the device until the device appears in iTunes.

That’s all their is to it! Now you won’t be bothered with unexpected syncing when trying to use your computer.


  1. Ted says

    so I successfully followed these steps and checked the box to stop auto-syncing, however . . .

    when I plug my phone in, it still says “syncing” and turns off whatever I’m listening to on the iphone. If I slide the bar to “cancel sync” it gets worse: It takes several seconds to cancel, then I get a message saying “updating library” (despite the fact that nothing has synced) and this “updating” takes a minute or more to complete. Other ways to prevent autosync from happening?

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