How to stop iPhoto from opening when you plug in an iPod Touch (or any device with a camera)

This tutorial will show you how to stop iPhoto from launching each time you plug in your iPod Touch (or iPhone, or any device with a camera) – and still allow iPhoto to automatically launch when you plug in your digital camera.

The application Image Capture was recently updated to include much awaited functionality – the ability to choose which application launches – or none at all – when you plug in a specific device. This means that you can set your digital camera to automatically launch iPhoto when it’s plugged in, but have nothing happen when your iPod Touch is plugged in.

To set your preferences by device, follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. Launch Image Capture by going to your Applications list and double-clicking it. With no devices (cameras, scanners, iPods, iPhones etc) connected, it will look similar to the screen below.

  2. click to enlarge

  3. Now plug in a device (or three, as I have in the image below). Select that device from the DEVICES menu in the left column. Now choose an action for that device by selecting the Connecting this xxxxxx opens: drop-down list. In the case of my camera, I want iPhoto to launch when it’s plugged in.

  4. click to enlarge

  5. Now select (or plug in) another device. In the example below, I don’t want anything to happen when I plug my Android phone in, so I selected No application from the drop-down list.

  6. click to enlarge

  7. And I repeated the above step for my iPod. Note: iTunes will still launch when you plug an iPod or iPhone into your Mac if you have that preference set in iTunes itself.

  8. click to enlarge

  9. That’s it! Now you can have individual settings per device.

  • SJT

    My version of Image Capture doesn’t look like that, and doesn’t offer individual choices for each item you plug in. I’m getting really annoyed with iPhoto opening instead of iTunes when I plug my ipod in.

  • Grace

    Worked like a glove.. I have been searching on Google for nearly 25 minutes and this one worked for me… I am working on Snow Leopard and wanted to prohibit iPhoto from automatically launching when I plugged in my iPhone.
    Thank you for taking away this headache.

  • Dandy

    It worked! Thank you very much!

  • I have this problem in ubuntu but it opens shotwell instead and i cant seem to find where to get it to stop, any ideas? Sweet site by the way! Keep up the good work!

  • lizzie_b


    Try selecting “Image Capture” the top left corner of your mac and then selecting preferences while you ipod is plugged in. Then change automatic task to none. Viola.

  • melissa

    i love you. i was ready to start throwing things after thoroughly searching for preferences that would change this. THANK YOU.

  • shaslers

    OMG, thanks. It was driving me nuts. I couldn’t find the setting in iTunes to allow it to launch when I plug in my iPod Touch, but I just used Image Capture and and changed the setting from launching iPhoto to iTunes when the iPod is plugged in.

  • SMcG

    Thanks. Had wasted hours trying to work that one out!

  • Sue

    SJT–Mine doesn’t look like the one here when it opens either, but if you launch it, choose “Preferences” from the drop-down menu, and a dialog box opens up where it lets you choose to launch “No Application” when your camera is plugged in. (It was seeing my ipod touch as a camera).

  • nabil

    super c’est ce que je cherche, sur mon mac (avec Snow leopard) le nom de l’application est “Transfer d’images”
    Merci encore

  • Aidy

    Awesome. Worked Great!! Thank you.

  • RSG

    THANK you for this! Mac power user here since 1989 but every so often it can still drive me crazy…

  • dargareaulevy

    Thank you!