Update: I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with an Apple support person, to no avail. The LAST thing he had me try was to remove the .plist file from the Preferences directory (forcing iTunes to create a NEW .plist file when it was opened again).
iTunes did not "zombie open" after that file was removed. But once I opened it manually, then closed it again (after iTunes had created a new .plist file, having been opened), same old behavior.
The Apple support person concluded that there was "something corrupt" in the .plist file. I don't agree, since the behavior just starts all over again once I open iTunes manually again (after having removed the .plist file). It's just creating a basic .plist file each time. There really couldn't be anything "corrupt" in it, each time.
My personal conclusion is that there is some bug in iOS 5.1 that they haven't figured out yet. Typical of Apple, when there is a pervasive bug, they just claim to not know about it until they fix it. Then they'll say "Oh we found a bug and fixed it in this update," instead of saying "We know of the bug you're all experiencing, and we're working to fix it." They don't do this because it makes them look bad ("We're not sure what it is, and we're trying to fix it, etc.")
This has been my experience with Apple anyway. So this is still pretty FCKD, and remains unfixed...
Well, here's some progress. I noticed the additional file in my Preferences directory:
Some searching, and I found this:
I did NOT have the iTunes Helper in my Login items (or anything else iTunes related). I can only assume this preference file is created automatically having once checked the "Sync this iPad over Wi-Fi"? (I later unchecked it, having decided not to use it). Then the Zombie iTunes issue started.
Here's what I did:
• I DELETED com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist
• Started up iTunes & checked my Preferences directory. That file didn't return.
• Connected my iPad via USB, and ran a sync
NOTE: I use BackOff (now a feature of DiskAid) to disable iPad backups while syncing, and I had this activated while syncing, since It was NOT the thing adding the iTunesHelper.plist file
• I kept the following settings:
- Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically CHECKED
- Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi UNCHECKED
At this point, the problem still persisted.
• I deleted ALL of the iTunes-related .plist files in the Preferences directory
• Open iTunes ( iTunes will create a new .plist file, that's normal )
• iTunes ALSO created a new 'com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist' file
• DELETED that again
• Ran through my iTunes preferences, set the ones I wanted.
• I also UNCHECKED EVERYTHING in iTunes Preferences > Store Preferences. It's basically a bunch of stuff that automatically checks for purchased/downloadable content. Anything "automatic" could be a culprit, so I kept them all unchecked.
NO MORE ZOMBIE ITUNES.
• Whatever it was, upgrading to iOS 5.1 started it
• It was probably nothing to do with using the BackOff App, since I still have that active (Using that app does NOT create a NEW .plist file, and it does NOT create a Login item)
• It probably had something to do with the com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist file, AND the Store Preferences (constantly "looking" for downloadable content). Also, the Store Preferences settings MAY HAVE BEEN the thing creating that com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist file?
I've repeatedly opened and closed iTunes for a while now. The problem appears to be gone.
Wow, you really have done your research.
I can get it to stop when I want by toggling the lcd display on my "Logitech" 510 keyboard, Can you?
Not having the expertise in how "iTunes" works, I did what came naturally, Googled it! In all the forums and all the sites I visited only once was a "USB" keyboard metioned. Tried playin' around and found that when the keyboard was unplugged "iTunes" closed without a hitch!
I think this issue has something to do with autopolling of devices. Apple must be trying something new and now it might be breaking other devices connected to the computer.
Also, been through one update allready and no change.
I think your (elmnt) right about apple's deny, deny policy?
Similar problem, but my issue is that iTunes launches every time I pull my (iPhone) headphone jack OUT of my Macbook Pro?!?!
Anyone have any insights?
All the solution's I've seen include, inside iTunes, clicking on the device and then clicking on the ‘Summary’ tab, and then going to Options at the bottom.
Obviously my headset is not a device (though iTunes may think it is) so there are no such options in iTunes.
Please make it stop!!!
Yeah, there seems to be variations in this issue based on iTunes version, OS version, etc. I'm running 10.6.8 and have iTunes 10.6.3 (25) installed.
I can add to my previous LONG LONG post, and add MORE LONG INFO (haha, sorry) by saying that this one extra step has 100% removed the ZOMBIE iTunes problem for me:
1. Navigate to iTunes in your Finder window ( Applications > iTunes )
2. Right-click (or Control-click) on iTunes.app to pull up the menu
3. Show Package Contents
4. Contents > MacOS > iTunesHelper.app
After seeing the iTunesHelper show up in my Login items EVERY TIME I rebooted (even after I continually rebooted), I decided to Google "What does iTunesHelper.app do," just to see if it was a CRUCIAL thing, and if it would be OK to delete. I decided to DELETE it.
According to what I could gather, this is the thing that creates the com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist file every time.
I'm taking the chance that this won't mess up my iTunes. At this point, even if it does, I'll live without iTunes. I'm so fed up with it. AND, I'm now using Downcast on my iPad for my podcasts. I no longer plug my iPad into my MacBook. For anything. Ever.
I was able to sync my iPod just fine. I don't have an iPhone, but, when I get one, I probably won't be syncing it with iTunes, unless it's on a newer machine where this isn't a problem.
*** NOTE ***
DON'T DELETE THIS FILE ONLY BASED ON MY RECOMMENDATION. I would never give someone the advice "just delete this file." But, from what I read, it doesn't seem like a crucial file. I've had no problems with iTunes since it's gone, and the ZOMBIE issue is 100% gone, and I'm not continually deleting preference files every time I use iTunes.
So look into it yourself, and, if you conclude this might be the ting for you to do, good luck. It's working for me.
Thank you for your post, it has been helpful and honest.
I dragged the ituneshelper.app into app cleaner and deleted it and thus far no issues.. zombie itunes was driving me crazy as shutting down became and issue and itunes consistently went into checking mode when first started on a fresh boot. I was paranoid that i could corrupt a exstensive library.
I'm a firm believer that the easiest solution is probably the right solution so:
The first time your itunes pops open unexpectedly, perform a sync of any devices connected. Once they have finished syncing close down iTunes and hope for the best.
Basically my iTunes would constantly open by itself. I finally let it open. Then clicked on sync for both my iphone and ipad. Once both were completed, I closed it down. It didn't open up again !!!!!
Hopefully that will help.
The source of all my problems in Snow Leopard was iTunesHelper. Once I got rid of it, the problem went away. I'm on a new machine now (13" MBAir) and the FIRST thing I did was find iTunesHelper and trash that ****. It was showing up in my Login Items every time I rebooted, no matter how many times I removed it.
Granted, the zombie iTunes issue no longer exists in Mountain Lion, but I don't like my apps doing stuff I haven't told them to do.
I like Mountain Lion, so far, but they've really dumbed-down the OS. I get it. I know why. It's easier for the "average" user. I'm not trying to sound like an arrogant nerd, but it's annoying. I loved the OS, up to Snow Leopard, for how EASY it was to feel like I was in total control. Mountain Lion has stuff much more hidden.
I mean, c'mon, the Library folder is hidden now? Wow. I had to do the small hack to get it to show up permanently. Not a big deal. But kind of annoying. For what it's worth, here's how to track down the iTunesHelper in Mountain Lion.
NOTE: Maybe you want the iTunesHelper. That's cool. I'm not saying you NEED to do this. I'm just saying I resent that it's assuming more control than I want it to have. So I nuked it.
Applications/iTunes ( Right-Click/Control-Click > Show Package Contents ) > Contents > MacOS > iTunesHelper > DELETE
Then I rebooted. It's gone. Perhaps if iTunes was one of Apple's best apps, then things would be different. But when their worst, most bulky, inefficient app is taking comando control of my system, no thanks, don't want it.
I also have the same problem and can't get rid of it.
I tried everything mentioned on this thread and nothing seems to work.
Can't say exactly what started this problem since i never had this problem before. can't say it was the latest itunes update (10.7) since i upgraded a few days ago but only today notice this but i usually have itunes open on it's own desktop, but today i decided to get rid of all my usual 6 desktops trying to speed up boot time and started noticing itunes keeps opening up on startup and also randomly.
since i recently installed flutter (a itunes motion controller) and spotify and it was since this i started noticing this problem altough can't say for sure it was because of this apps. Of course, already uninstalled them and the problem persists. Tried the following:
- never had ituneshelpper to open at startup but trashed it anyway - no good
- uninstalled itunes and did a fresh install altough maintaining the itunes music folder so i could keep my library - no good
- since the fresh install itunes helpper appeared on startup items and can't get rid of it, when i select it to remove it the next time i start my mac is there again; and itunes keeps opening nevertheless
don't know what to do next
PS i'm running mac os x 10.7.5 on a macbook pro 2,2Ghz intel core i7 with 8Gb RAM and sorry for the long post
I don't know if this will help (as I'm running windows!) but I had the very same problem...I fixed it by running Itunes in "administrator" mode - not sure if there is an equivalent in Mac oS?
Anyway that solved it for me - but thanks for all the research - I tried deleting the plists but that didnt work for me
I'm going to throw in what fixed mine...I was having this problem and was reading all the solutions and none of them fit. I didn't have any widgets that were directly realated to iTunes so I thought that wasn't the problem...then I remembered that I had added a timer/alarm clock widget recently which can play itunes music as the alarm. I deleted this widget and it fixed my problem. All that to say you might recheck you widget (especially recently installed ones) and see if any of them have ANY sort of itunes access, even if it is not directly an itunes widget. Hope this helps someone.