by Jim Lynch

Stop the Photos app from opening in OS X when you connect your iPhone

Dec 28, 2015

How to disable the annoying auto-launching of the Photos app each time you connect your iPhone to iTunes in OS X

One of the most potentially annoying things that happens when you connect your iPhone to your Mac is the automatic launching of the Photos app. And it’s particularly galling if you are using iCloud to store your photos and don’t need to sync them with your Mac. Watching the Photos app open just blocks iTunes and ends up annoying the user.

How to disable Photos auto-launching in OS X

But it’s very easy to disable the auto-launching of the Photos app with a simple terminal command, and here’s how you can do it:

1. Open the terminal application by going to the Utilities folder and clicking on Terminal.

2. Type in the following command:

defaults -currentHost write disableHotPlug -bool YES

3 If you decide you want to reenable auto-launching of the Photos app, use this command:

defaults -currentHost write disableHotPlug -bool NO

And that’s it, that’s all you need to do to stop Photos from annoying you each time you connect your iPhone to your Mac. And the great thing about using the terminal command is that it applies to all of your iOS devices, so you don’t have to do them one by one.

I tested the command this morning, and it worked great in OS X El Capitan on my 5K iMac. So no more Photos popping up to annoy me each time I connect my iPhone to my Mac!

I can’t blame people for being annoyed by Photos autolaunching

It’s very funny that I stumbled across this tip on the PetaPixel site. I found myself in the exact same situation with Photos the other day. I had connected my iPhone 6 Plus to my Mac and, sure enough, up came the Photos app!

Usually I just grumble to myself about it and then click on the iTunes window. It never occurred to me to find a way to just disable it. And it’s doubly maddening since I used iCloud to store my Photos, so I have no need to sync the photos via my Mac. All of that is done by iCloud.

Maybe Apple should reconsider having Photos launch when users connect their iPhones to their Macs? It might go a long way toward cutting down on a singularly annoying “feature” that many people don’t need or care about in OS X.

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