How To Stop iTunes Preview Links From Automatically Opening iTunes

Apple's offered browser-based iTunes previews for a couple of months now, so is there any good reason my browser should show the preview and open iTunes every time I click an iTunes link? We think not; here's how to fix that.

Apple-focused site The Apple Blog details how to stop the iTunes web previews from automatically opening iTunes along with the web preview. (You can always choose to click through to iTunes after you've seen the web-based preview.) The post explains how the pages open iTunes (JavaScript), then the author sets out solutions for various browser (and they should work whether you're on Windows or OS X), including Firefox, Chrome and Safari. In Firefox, for example:

Open a new browser window or tab and type "about:config" into the address bar. After dismissing the warning, you will be presented with a long list of options. Fortunately, we can use the search box at the top of this window to filter the results down to just the option we need. Type "itms" in the filter box and you will see an entry for "network.protocol-handler.warn-external.itms" as the only result (if you don't get any results, keep reading for a solution). Double-click on the "false" entry below the "Value" column and change it to "true" and then close the window or tab. Restart Firefox to make sure the change is saved and used the next time you launch Firefox.

If iTunes still launches automatically, check the settings in the applications tab of the Firefox preferences window and search for "itunes" in the filter box. If any content types are set to open with iTunes, change those settings to "Always Ask" and this should stop iTunes from opening. To double-check, do another search on "itms" and make sure it is set to "Always Ask" here as well.

It's not a perfect solution, but at least you'll be prompted from now on. I also did a little searching and came across this user script (which requires Greasemonkey in Firefox or simply installs as an extension in Chrome), and it seems to work even better. You don't have to deal with the prompt at all unless you click the View in iTunes button, and it doesn't require any extra legwork beyond simply installing it.

However you decide to address it, feel free to check this annoyance off your list. If you've got a better method for handling this, let's hear it in the comments.

How-To: Stop iTunes Web Links From Opening iTunes [The Apple Blog]


    This is a good tip. I have a netbook which takes forever to open iTunes bloatware on the atom processor, I have it installed to manage my iPhone but hate when iTunes starts automatically.

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