Prevent Apple Devices from Automatically Syncing with iTunes

Hieu Tran updated November 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM

In general these devices are designed to sync with only one computer. Plugging the devices to multiple computer without following the procedures below have the potential to wipe your data off your portable devices. By following the procedures below you can charge your devices or download the occasional photo to your work machine.
NOTE: If you just want want to stop automatic syncing, skip to Prevent Syncing Indefinitely .

Prevent Syncing with Keyboard Shortcuts

This option is useful if you want to prevent syncing once or occasionally.

  1. Open up iTunes.
  2. Hold down the Command+Option keys (or Shift+Control Keys for Windows).
  3. Connect your iPod, iPhone, or iPad while holding down the keys.
  4. Continue to hold down the keys until iTunes says Safe to Disconnect.

Prevent Syncing Indefinitely

  1. Open up iTunes
  2. Go to iTunes > Preferences (or Edit > Preferences for Windows).
  3. Go to Devices tab.
  4. Check the Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box.

If you decide that you want to resume automatically syncing, refollow the steps and uncheck the Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically box.