If you own an iPhone, iTunes is an essential app for you. You may or may not like it but you need it. If nothing else, iTunes can back up and restore everything on your iPhone. You might never user it to sync music or pay your subscriptions but you will use it to take backups. That said, once you install iTunes, it will open every single time you connect your iPhone or iPad to your PC. It will take a fresh backup of all your data. iTunes doesn’t check how recent the last backup was. It may only be a few hours old and iTunes will still take a new backup. You can cancel it, or close iTunes right away once it opens but it’s annoying. Here’s how you can stop iTunes opening when you connect an iPhone or iPad to your PC.
When you install iTunes, a few additional services are installed with it. One of these services is called ‘iTunesHelper’. When you install iTunes, there is no sign of this service being installed and it’s automatically added to your Startup folder. It’s what forces iTunes to open when you connect an iPhone.
Disabling it is pretty easy, especially if you’re on Windows 10. Open the Task Manager and go to the Startup tab. Look for the iTunesHelper app. Right-click it and select ‘Disable’ from the context menu to stop iTunes opening when you connect an iPhone.
This same service is responsible for iTunes opening on older versions of Windows. The Task Manager in Windows 8.1 has a Startup tab so this will work if you’re still using Windows 8.1.
Disabling iTunesHelper in Windows 7 is pretty easy. The only difference is you can’t do it from the Task Manager. Open the run dialogue box via the Win+R keyboard shortcut. In the box, type ‘msconfig’, and tap Enter. This will open the System Configuration window. This window is divided into several tabs, one of which is ‘Startup’. Go to the ‘Startup’ tab, look for iTunesHelper and disable it.
Disabling iTunes Helper won’t impact anything else. It’s the quickest way to stop iTunes opening when you connect an iPhone or iPad. You can just as easily enable it again if you need to. If you already have iTunes running and you connect your iPhone, it will start to back it up. Disabling iTunes Helper doesn’t stop the auto-sync feature. It only stops iTunes from opening when you don’t need it to.
It goes without saying there should be an easier way to do this. iTunes adds a service to the Startup folder and doesn’t even explicitly ask for the user’s permission.