This ‘feature’ is one I find really, really irritating. When I plug my iPhone into my Mac, Photos launches whether I want to sync photos or not. It even launches Photos when I plug in a Micro SD card from my DSLR.
Over the years, Apple has moved the auto-launch ‘off’ switch around, so the other day I vowed I was going to find that switch and never be bothered with this behavior again.
The trick is to launch Photos on OS X with your phone plugged in. If you don’t, the little check box will never show up.
Once the Photos app is launched, highlight your iPhone icon on the left column that lists your shared and local photo resources. Your iPhone will be the first thing on the list. At the upper left above the iPhone icon you’ll see a little checkbox that says “Open Photos for this device”. Unchecking it will stop the auto-launch, not only for your iPhone, but any external camera or memory card.
Now I would have expected Apple to put that control in the Photos preferences panel, but I guess that was too logical for the designers.
Now some of you may love this feature, and love having Photos open when you connect your camera, but for me it makes no sense, as I most often plug my iPhone into my computer to charge it. My photos sync to the cloud anyway, so they are all going to wind up in Photos anyway.
So, to each his or her own, but here’s how to turn the feature off, if, like me, you find it irritating and anything but essential.