iTunes for Mac won't open automatically when connecting device

iTunes may not open automatically when your iPod or iOS device is connected to your Mac.

If you would like iTunes to open automatically when connecting your device, do the following.

  1. Update to the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Open iTunes and connect your device.
  3. In the Summary tab of your device, disable the option to "Automatically sync when this [device] is connected" (if it is currently enabled). For iTunes 10, you'll see "Open iTunes when this [device] is connected" instead.
    NOTE: If the checkbox is grayed out:
    • Choose Preferences from the iTunes menu.
    • Click the Devices tab.
    • Disable the option to "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically."
    • Click OK. You should now be able to disable the option to "Automatically sync when this [device] is connected" (if it is currently enabled). For iTunes 10, you'll see "Open iTunes when this [device] is connected" instead.
  4. Click Apply in the bottom-right of the iTunes window.
  5. Enable the option to "Automatically sync when this [device] is connected." For iTunes 10, you'll see "Open iTunes when this [device] is connected."
  6. Click Apply; this will start a sync.
  7. A dialogue will appear stating "Do you want iTunes to open automatically when you connect this [device]?"
  8. Click Yes.
  9. Wait for syncing to finish and then quit iTunes.
  10. Disconnect your device and then reconnect it to verify that iTunes opens automatically.

iTunes 9.2.1:

  1. From the Finder, choose Applications from the Go menu.
  2. Control-click iTunes in the window that opens. Choose Show Package Contents.
  3. Open the Contents folder. Then, open the Resources folder. Scroll down until you see "iTunesHelper."
  4. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences. Click Accounts.
  5. Click the Login Items tab.
  6. Drag and drop the iTunesHelper file from the Finder window into the Login Items list.
  7. Restart your computer. iTunesHelper will now run each time your Mac starts up.

Learn more

You'll need to enable the option to "Automatically sync when this [device] is connected" in the summary tab within iTunes for each device you have. (For iTunes 10, you'll see "Open iTunes when this [device] is connected" instead.)

Last Modified:
Helpful?
38% of people found this helpful.

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion

in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked
United States (English)