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Archived - How to keep iTunes from automatically updating your iPod

Even when set to update automatically, there is a way to tell iTunes not to update iPod when you connect it to your computer. Steps are different if you're using Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

On Mac OS X

To start off, do not plug in the iPod yet. That comes later. First you'll log into your computer as a different user:

  1. If you already have another user account on your computer that you can use, skip to step 8. Otherwise, steps 2 to 7 will create one.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. From the View menu, choose Accounts for Mac OS X 10.3 or later. If you have 10.2.8 or earlier, choose Users.
  4. In Mac OS X 10.3 or later, click the + button. If you have 10.2.8 or earlier, click New User.
  5. Give the new user a name and short name.
  6. Click the Password tab, and give the user a password.
  7. Click OK, or quit System Preferences.
  8. From the Apple menu, choose Log out username.
  9. Click Log Out in the window that appears.
  10. Click the name of the newly created user in the login window.
  11. Enter the password.
  12. Click Log In.

Now that you're logged in as another user, it's time to get back to iTunes and your iPod:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPod to the computer. iTunes presents a message that the iPod is linked to another music library.
  3. Select the iPod under Devices in the source list and then click the Summary tab.
  4. Select the "Manually manage music and videos" option.
  5. Click OK and then click Apply.
  6. Eject the iPod.
  7. From the Apple menu, choose Log out username.
  8. Click Log Out in the window that appears.
  9. Click the name of your original user in the login window.
  10. Enter your password.
  11. Click Log In.
  12. Open iTunes.

Now you can connect the iPod without iTunes automatically updating it. Optionally, you can delete the user you created by following these steps:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Accounts for Mac OS X 10.3 or later. If you have 10.2.8 or earlier, choose Users.
  3. Select the user from the list.
  4. In Mac OS X 10.3 or later, click the - button. If you have 10.2.8 or earlier, click Delete User.
  5. Follow the instructions in the message that appears.

On Microsoft Windows

To start off, do not plug in the iPod yet. That comes later. First you'll log in as the Guest user:

  1. Skip to step 5 if the Guest account on your computer is already on. If it's not, the next few steps will enable it.
  2. In Windows XP and Windows 2000: From the Start menu, choose Control Panel and open User Accounts. In Windows Vista: Choose Control Panel from the Start menu and click User Accounts and Family Safety and click User Accounts. Alternately in Classic View of Control Panel, click User Accounts.
  3. Click Guest (the icon with a suitcase) or pick another account to change. Skip to step 5 if the text underneath Guest reads “Guest account” or “Guest account is on”.
  4. Windows XP or Windows 2000: Click the Turn On the Guest Account and click the X in the upper right corner to close the User Accounts window. Windows Vista: Click the Turn On button.
  5. Choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  6. Click Log Off. Do not click Switch User.
  7. Click Guest at the login window.

Now that you're logged in as the Guest user, it's time to get back to iTunes and your iPod:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPod to the computer. iTunes presents a message that the iPod is linked to another music library.
  3. Click No.
  4. Select the iPod under Devices in the source list and then click the Summary tab.
  5. Select the "Manually manage music and videos" option.
  6. Click OK and then click Apply.
  7. Eject the iPod.
  8. Choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  9. Click Log Off. Do not click Switch User.
  10. Click the name of your original user in the login window.
  11. Enter your password.
  12. Press Return.
  13. Open iTunes.
  14. Connect the iPod.

Important: Having the guest account on allows anyone with physical access to your computer to use your computer.

Optional: To turn off the Guest account

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Click (or double-click) User Accounts.
  3. Click Guest.
  4. Click the Turn Off the Guest Account button.
  5. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the User Accounts window.

 

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: May 3, 2012
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  • Last Modified: May 3, 2012
  • Article: HT1205
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