Stop the Mac from Opening Photos When You Insert a Card

photos-for-the-macIf you are using a third-party program like Lightroom to manage your photos on your Mac, then you probably hate it just as much as I do when my iMac pops up the Photos app each and every time I put an SD card into the computer, or connect my iPhone to the Mac with a cord.  It's one more thing you have to shut off before you can to what you need to do.

On the old version, iPhoto, this couldn't be stopped without breaking out the automator and making a more complicated fix.  Fortunately, Photos has made this much easier to stop.

How to Stop OS X on a Mac from Opening the Photos App Whenever an SD Card, iPhone, or Tablet is Attached

  1. Connect the device or memory card to the computer that brings up Photos.
  2. When Photos pops up, go into the program (you may have to click the “Getting Started” stuff if you've never used it)
  3. At the top-left of the Photos window, you'll see a box that says “Open Photos for This Device.”  The box is checked by default.  Uncheck it.
  4. Done!
  5. Now you'll have to follow this same process for each device that opens photos.  So if you unchecked it for an SD card, you'll also have to go in and uncheck the box the next time you connect your iPhone, tablet, etc.  It takes a few minutes, but once you're done, it's done forever.  Phew!

You're welcome 🙂


5 thoughts on “Stop the Mac from Opening Photos When You Insert a Card”

  1. Does this continue to work after the SD card is formatted? I have the same issue with Dropbox that it opens up a photo upload dialogue box every single time I insert an SD card – I always tick “never for this device” – but once the card is formatted the same dialogue box pops up again. It’s really annoying and I assume there is a way to turn this functionality off in Dropbox – it’s just too small an issue to look for the answer.

    1. Yep, and every article says the same thing about that obvious checkbox. I don’t quite understand why Apple would do this, as videographers and photographers are surely formatting their cards. I am forced to close a program I barely use multiple times per day now, and still no solution.

  2. @James, on my mac, the box must be unchecked every time you reformat the card. Since I reformat after every import, unchecking the box does nothing for me.

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