How to keep Mac Photos app closed when you connect your iPhone

If you don’t trust the cloud, you may connect your iPhone to a Mac periodically using a Lightning to USB cable. That opens iTunes and the Photos app to backup and synchronize. Photos isn’t the only photo management tool out there. If Photos gets in your way, follow these steps to stop your Mac from opening it. You can even tell the Mac which app you’d prefer to use instead.

Step one is to tell Photos not to open for your iPhone anymore.

How to keep Photos from opening when you connect your iPhone

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a Lightning to USB cable.
  2. Open Photos if it doesn’t open automatically.
  3. Under the Import sidebar, look for your iPhone.
  4. In the navigation bar, uncheck the box that says Open Photos for this device.Open photos
  5. Quit Photos.
This tip works with any iOS device, not just your iPhone. So if tethering your iPod touch or iPad similarly irritates you, you can turn off Photos for those devices too.
Now that you’ve told Photos not to open, the next step is to tell your Mac which app you would like to use to import photos. Adobe Lightroom and other software provide cataloging, editing and transformation tools that might be more your style.
Once you’ve got an app installed that you want to use, it’s easy to switch the default behavior of your Mac when your device is tethered. The secret is an Apple utility in your Applications folder called Image Capture. Image Capture is included with the Mac, so you don’t have to download it or install it. Just follow these steps.
How to make another photo app open when you connect your iPhone
  1. Follow the steps above if you have not already done so.
  2. Open the Applications folder.
  3. Double-click Image Capture.
  4. Look for this in the lower left corner. Click on it.Arrow
  5. A new menu will appear. It says Connecting this iPhone opens. Click on it.
  6. Any apps you’ve installed that can import photos from your iPhone will appear here. Select the one you’d like to use.

From now on, any time you tether your iPhone to your Mac, that app will open automatically. I’d keep Photos and its library files around if I were you, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them if you’d prefer other software.

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