Red Echo

September 28, 2012

How to disable Android utility app auto-launch

Google’s Android file transfer app has an incredibly annoying habit of popping up every time you plug your phone in, whether you want it to or not, and there’s no preference to make it stop. This might be fine if you only ever plugged your phone in when you wanted to transfer pictures, but I use my Mac to charge the phone, too.

Here’s how to disable the behavior: it’s a bit finicky, but basically there’s a little “agent” app that does the auto-launch, and the Android utility app installs this thing as a login item every time you run it. So you have to delete the login item *and* rename the executable, thereby preventing the Android utility app from reinstalling the agent.

Summary, since that link will probably go away:
– If “Android File Transfer” is open, tell it to quit.
– Use Activity Monitor to force the process “Android File Transfer Agent” to quit.
– Right-click on the “Android File Transfer” application and select “Show Package Contents”. Go into Contents > Resources and rename “Android File Transfer Agent” to “Android File Transfer Agent_DISABLED” or something of that sort.
– Go to your user home directory and open Library > Google; if you see another copy of “Android File Transfer Agent”, rename it similarly.

You will still be able to open “Android File Transfer” by hand any time you want to look at the files on your phone: it just won’t pop up automatically every time you plug the phone in to charge.