If you’ve ever tried to plug your iPhone or iPod into a computer other than the one you normally sync your device with, you’ve probably encountered the message asking if you want to sync your device with the new computer. You rarely want to do this, considering it can cause your iPod or iPhone data to be deleted (I’ve encountered other strange changes to data even after saying no to the sync).

But sometimes you need to plug your device into another computer to charge its battery. In that circumstance, how do you prevent the warning or data mistakes?

Easy – disable auto-syncing. Here’s how:

1. Before you plug the iPhone or iPod into the computer, go to iTunes.

2. On a Mac, go to the iTunes menu -> Preferences -> Devices.
On a PC, go to Edit -> Settings -> Devices

3. In the pop up window, look for the icon or tab that says Devices. Choose it.

4. Just below the box, you’ll see a checkbox reading “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.

disable automatic syncing itunes

5. Check it and click OK at the bottom of the window.

Auto-sync is now turned off and you’re safe to plug your iPod or iPhone into the computer.