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How to prevent Photos from launching on Mac OS when inserting an SD card

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Guest roey

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With my M I used Image Capture to set the default app to launch for my SD cards. I had to do this only once per card and the system would remember not to launch Photos but Lightroom. With the SL this is no longer feasible since the camera's formatting algorithm seems to be more aggressive -- after formatting the card in the camera the card switches back to the default behavior. I have found this little terminal command to disable app launch on SD card insertion completely:

 



defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug -bool YES


 

While this doesn't allow me to pick a different app to launch I at least don't have to keep quitting Photos. This has worked for me on OS X 10.11.16. Use at your own risk!

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Mine just stopped opening Photos recently without my doing anything, at least not consciously, which is my preferred working method.

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....-- after formatting the card in the camera the card switches back to the default behavior. ....

 

I would presume that this was because formatting the card also changed its label which the apple uses to determine what to do when the card is inserted. Tell the apple again what to do with the freshly formatted card and it will stick until you format the card again.

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This "constantly reverting to opening Photos" business is an Apple -> macOS implementation issue, not a problem with the camera or card. The defaults command does work to defeat it, although it's not ideal. 

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I've gotten used to killing the several programs that want to steal my files from a just-inserted card before putting them where I want them.  In fact it is also possible to ignore them altogether and kill them later.

 

scott

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I was using an App called Default Apps but sadly it stopped working in Sierra (OSX 10.12), so now I still get the irritating Photos popping up all the time. I used the Terminal command and it worked for a while but even that seems to have stopped blocking Photos. Photos is IMHO a far worse program and less user friendly than iPhotos, although improved by another third party App called External Editors to enable editing in Photoshop. 

 

Wilson

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You have to tell Photos to 'get lost' every time you use a new card or format an existing card. It will then remember this and not bother you again. I am still holding out on Sierra, so I don't know what will happen when I do this in Sierra. Apple is effectively 'at war' with its customers and wants us to use its software above all others and, preferably, migrate to its cloud based services also. This is the type of 'land grab' behaviour which would prevent Leica from getting involved with Apple. They seem to be very happy with Huawei who do not have such ambitions. A few more years of this type of behaviour and Apple could lose an awful lot of customers.

 

William

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William, 

 

I agree. the way Apple is heading I can see me after 15 years, heading back to Windoze. I have to admit however, after some pretty flaky OS upgrades (Yosemite), Sierra is proving to be rock solid and I am running 10.12.1 Beta 4. The only major issue seems to be printing from PS CS 2015.5, which to Epson Stylus Pro and P series printers, is not as stable as it should be. 

 

Wilson

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Apple is effectively 'at war' with its customers and wants us to use its software above all others and, preferably, migrate to its cloud based services also. This is the type of 'land grab' behaviour which would prevent Leica from getting involved with Apple. They seem to be very happy with Huawei who do not have such ambitions. A few more years of this type of behaviour and Apple could lose an awful lot of customers.

 

William

 

 

Having been involved in this particular issue myself, personally, I think your perceptions are somewhat backwards of the reality and you're reading a heck of a lot of things into what is, essentially, a design flaw or oversight. 

 

It's useful to remember that people like you and me, and everyone else on this esteemed forum, represent a miniscule fraction of a percentage of Apple product customers. The vast majority of that body of Apple want Photos to autolaunch when they connect their iPhone or camera, or insert an SD card with photos on it. Why? Because it's convenient that way, and the vast vast VAST majority of them just use Photos without thinking about it. The features it has for Cloud storage, automatic sharing, etc, are all things that were requested, adamantly and in no uncertain terms, by consumer input and feedback. Very few of those users are people like you and me who have a few cameras, many cards, several iDevices, etc, and have a need to manage them independently of Photos. 

 

So the design flaw, or oversight if you will, is that the global "do THIS {options for Photos, etc} when you detect a volume containing DCIM information" facility that at one time was in System Preferences, and later migrated to Image Capture preferences, and even later migrated to iPhoto preferences, went into Photos when things moved that way, and went there in such a way that it was supposed to be more handy for users to see it. Most users have an iPad and an iPhone, or an Android thing, maybe another camera, so with this small number of devices, I agree: It's easy to click the button to say "ignore this device" if that's all you have. These devices are rarely "formatted" (or restored to factory defaults), so once a user clicks the "ignore this device" checkbox they're pretty much done with it forever, without having to do anything in System Preferences, or Image Capture preferences, or ... whatever. 

 

But we, in our infinite wisdom, have a half dozen cameras and a half dozen cards for each of them. Plus our iPhones and iPads, and all the other whatever. And we format our cards and devices on a semi-regular basis. And every time we format these devices, the id code that the operating system uses to identify the card and its contents as 'to be ignored' is erased. 

 

I opened an enhancement request some ten or more months ago to reinstate the global preference in System Preferences that would allow me to say, in one place for all possible DCIM enabled devices, "ignore these things." And a now almost legendary-length thread of comments and discussion has ensued. The design folks are quite convinced that this poses a negative for the vast majority out there because it confuses them. Engineers, photographers, etc, all complain that they really really need the ability to defeat the automation built there for the vast majority because it costs time every time they need to use a freshly formatted card. And the debate rolls around and around. 

 

Reading into this some larger "Apple intent and purpose" is, as far as I can judge from the discussion and what I know of the people doing the work, a complete red herring. Apple's intent and purpose is to produce complete systems that integrate everything that their users want to do, and that surprise and delight those users. The company has no particular agenda to take over the market in its entirety and make everyone do everything their way. 

 

I certainly do whatever I please with my systems, and will continue to do so. I have no interest in moving to some other operating system; I know this one really really well and it does everything I want, very easily. 

 

Don't drop into paranoid conspiracy theories. They're a waste of time. What you are seeing is a design flaw, a bug, an oversight. That's all.

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It's useful to remember that people like you and me, and everyone else on this esteemed forum, represent a miniscule fraction of a percentage of Apple product customers. The vast majority of that body of Apple want Photos to autolaunch when they connect their iPhone or camera, or insert an SD card with photos on it.

I’m not sure that is actually true but in any case Apple have introduced the auto-launch ‘feature’ long before Photos even existed. Back then it was ‘Image Capture’ that would launch automatically. That was years ago and back then, Apple failed to do the sensible thing and provide a global setting of which app, if any, to launch when a card was inserted. Instead you had to launch Image Capture and use the settings of that app to tell OS X which app you really wanted to auto-launch (if any). There was some method to this madness as you had to tell Safari that you did prefer another browser and Mail that you used another e-mail client. Quite evidently Apple didn’t like their customers to use some other software than their own. But now there isn’t even an option left to select the preferred app anywhere. All you can do now is to disable auto-launch altogether, and even that requires the terminal which most Apple users tend to avoid. That is neither a bug nor an oversight; it is intentional and the intention is to goad their customers into doing something they wouldn’t choose to do on their own.

Edited by mjh

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Guest roey

One detail that got lost in this discussion is that when reformatting the card with my M the card keeps getting recognized as the card that I set to launch LR for. Whereas every time I reformat the card with the SL the card is treated like a new card that gets the default treatment. Whatever Apple uses to remember the card by gets preserved when the M formats the card but wiped out/overridden by the SL. I don't know which behavior is actually (more) correct, but it is interesting that Leica has chosen to implement the format algorithm differently for the SL firmware.

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I’m not sure that is actually true but in any case Apple have introduced the auto-launch ‘feature’ long before Photos even existed. Back then it was ‘Image Capture’ that would launch automatically. That was years ago and back then, Apple failed to do the sensible thing and provide a global setting of which app, if any, to launch when a card was inserted. Instead you had to launch Image Capture and use the settings of that app to tell OS X which app you really wanted to auto-launch (if any). There was some method to this madness as you had to tell Safari that you did prefer another browser and Mail that you used another e-mail client. Quite evidently Apple didn’t like their customers to use some other software than their own. But now there isn’t even an option left to select the preferred app anywhere. All you can do now is to disable auto-launch altogether, and even that requires the terminal which most Apple users tend to avoid. That is neither a bug nor an oversight; it is intentional and the intention is to goad their customers into doing something they wouldn’t choose to do on their own.

 

 

(bolded) Before that the autolaunch for DCIM volumes option was in System Preferences, in the panel that is now named "CDs & DVDs". And yes: these changes are all intentional, but not for the intent you state in your opinion. As I explained. 

 

You can live in your conspiracy theory world all you like, however. Since you don't know the people involved, you have no facts and it remains your opinion.

 

I know the people and know what their intent is. I think they're wrong, but that doesn't change the fact of their design intent. 

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This auto-launch behaviour has been bugging people for years, basically since the first versions of Mac OS X. I couldn’t keep count of how many times I have anwered questions in the various forums of how to change the app to be launched when a digital camera is connected. There used to be a third-party systems preference panel that provided an easy way of changing that behaviour but unfortunately that stopped working a few versions of OS X ago. I always thought it was ironic that you needed Image Capture to tell the OS that you didn’t want Image Capture to auto-launch, just like you needed Safari to tell the OS you preferred another browser. Apple never explained why there wasn’t a proper system preference panel for setting these defaults. And now it is even worse as OS X requires you to repeat the selection for every device/volume.

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Neither Apple nor Microsoft, nor whomever, has never 'explained' all of the thousands of design decisions made in their operating systems and supporting application UI. Ever. To expect that is to expect the Moon to be made of green cheese. 

Edited by ramarren

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You have to tell Photos to 'get lost' every time you use a new card or format an existing card. It will then remember this and not bother you again. I am still holding out on Sierra, so I don't know what will happen when I do this in Sierra. Apple is effectively 'at war' with its customers and wants us to use its software above all others and, preferably, migrate to its cloud based services also. This is the type of 'land grab' behaviour which would prevent Leica from getting involved with Apple. They seem to be very happy with Huawei who do not have such ambitions. A few more years of this type of behaviour and Apple could lose an awful lot of customers.

 

William

 

I was 'hissed' off when they stopped developing Aperture their 'professional' image program. After all I gave up on iPhoto for something professional! So actually "this type of behaviour and Apple" just drives me away from Apple. Many months ago I switched to Lightroom.

 

To be honest if one organises original and modified images in folders on the internal or external drives it does not matter what program comes along to manipulate and display them. I still have some of my Aperture libraries in use and will 'one day when I have time, patience and inclination' export the images to a fresh hard drive and into sorted folders. Then I am done with Aperture and can delete the program.

 

If Lightroom is pulled I am in a better position because all the images are neatly in folders on an external drive sorted by events and dates.

 

Sometimes I love computer ....... increasingly not.

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I must have a long time ago done something because my OS Sierra Mac does not start anything when camera card is put in the reader (I never attach camera to computer).  It just pops up the "Leica SL" drive icon. I then can navigate myself to the images if I want to quick look at one image. Then I copy the images to a new specific folder. From there I open Lightrrom to work on the images etc. That is my preferred way to operate. Used to drive me potty when iPhotos/Photos opened.automatically.

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You could try to use RCDefaultApp. It is a free preference panel.

 

If you do not like that you could try this: (Not terribly clean, but simple).

In the worst case you could start a small or "dummy" program that is not doing anything (a small script saying hello and leaving), instead of the photo program.

Simply rename your photo program to "myphoto" or whatever you like (and additionally put the mentioned script there with the name of photo). Remember the new name of photo so that you can start it if needed. Of course this will be overwritten with an update. (So write a second small script that does this change).

 

If this is too complicated, then use a preference panel.    

This is a list of free ones, but there are certainly commercial versions as well. Use your preferred search engine.

http://www.addictivetips.com/mac-os/10-best-free-mac-os-x-preference-panes/

 

P.S: This is without guarantee. If it does not work for you - not my fault. And not necessary to finish me here. That's also why I add no script. Do not expect any explanations how to do a script. If you know how, then it is very easy. If not, learn it if interested ( e.g. https://macosxautomation.com/applescript/firsttutorial/index.html) or simply use a preference panel.

P.S: 2: This is not unfriendly, just precaution. 

Edited by steppenw0lf

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1  Open Image Capture which is supplied with your Mac. 2  Bottom of page select import to (Create folder or use one on desktop)  3 Bottom left use scroll down menu and select Image Capture.  4 Tick delete after import (optional). After this, every time you use your memory card this will be automatic.

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You could try to use RCDefaultApp. It is a free preference panel.

 

If you do not like that you could try this: (Not terribly clean, but simple).

In the worst case you could start a small or "dummy" program that is not doing anything (a small script saying hello and leaving), instead of the photo program.

Simply rename your photo program to "myphoto" or whatever you like (and additionally put the mentioned script there with the name of photo). Remember the new name of photo so that you can start it if needed. Of course this will be overwritten with an update. (So write a second small script that does this change).

 

If this is too complicated, then use a preference panel.    

This is a list of free ones, but there are certainly commercial versions as well. Use your preferred search engine.

http://www.addictivetips.com/mac-os/10-best-free-mac-os-x-preference-panes/

 

P.S: This is without guarantee. If it does not work for you - not my fault. And not necessary to finish me here. That's also why I add no script. Do not expect any explanations how to do a script. If you know how, then it is very easy. If not, learn it if interested ( e.g. https://macosxautomation.com/applescript/firsttutorial/index.html) or simply use a preference panel.

P.S: 2: This is not unfriendly, just precaution. 

 

RC Default Apps does not seem to be working in Sierra. I have it set to ignore when a camera (SD card) is connected but for a newly formatted or new card, the pesky Photos will still open. 

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