If you’re running iTunes 12 or later, follow these steps to stop syncing automatically:
- Connect your iPhone or iPod to your computer. iTunes will automatically launch. If not, throw it.
- If necessary, click the small iPhone or iPod icon in the top left corner, just below the playback controls, to the Summary screen.
- In the Options box, uncheck the box next to Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected.
- Click Apply in the bottom right corner of iTunes to save your new settings.
Turn off Auto-sync in iTunes 11 and earlier
For previous iTunes versions, the process is quite similar, but the steps and the text are slightly different. If your version of iTunes doesn’t have these same options, find the best matches, and try those out.
- Before you plug your iPhone or iPod into your computer, open iTunes
- Open the Preferences window (on a Mac, go to iTunes menu -> Preferences -> Devices. On a PC go to Edit -> Settings -> Devices. You may need to press Alt + E on your keyboard to bring it up because the menu is sometimes hidden by default)
- In the pop-up window, click the Devices tab.
- Look for the checkbox labeled Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. Check it out
- Click OK at the bottom of the window to save your changes, and close the window.
Auto-sync is now disabled. Quite iTunes and plug your iPod or iPhone into the computer, and nothing should happen.