How To: Stop Photos from launching when plugging your iPhone into a Mac

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OS X Photos App2

A new operating system is always a joy to behold but using our computers every single day also means we get used to certain things which may change completely with major updates. With OS X El Capitan, plugging your iPhone into your Mac makes the Photos app launch automatically. While the app is great and all, connecting your phone to your computer does not always mean you want to transfer pictures so it is certainly annoying.

Block Photos from launching automatically

  1. Connect your iOS device to your Mac with a USB cable and allow the Photos app to launch.
  2. Go to the Import tab and you should see the device you connected before on the upper left corner.
  3. Next to the name of your device there will be a box that reads “Open Photos for this device”. Uncheck the box and you are done.

Disabling the automatic launch does not affect the Photos app in any other way. Whenever you want to transfer photos, you can simply launch the Photos app manually and it will work in exactly the same way as if it was launched automatically. Also note that disabling this option is done on a per-device basis. If you have an iPhone and an iPad, you will need to connect them both and disable the respective option individually.