How to close apps on Apple Watch

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Aina Prat Blasi

The apps on the Apple Watch work like the ones on the iPhone and iPad. Quit an app and it will continue to remain in a suspended state, ready to be viewed at any given time. watchOS is incredibly efficient at managing the Apple Watch's memory and battery life, so there's little downside to apps staying open in the background.

But rarely, you will come across instances that require closing or force quitting apps on Apple Watch. For example, if an app starts to malfunction or behaves in an unusual way (such as rapid battery drain), closing and reopening the apps can help.

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However, if you're trying to shut down apps to "optimize your Apple Watch" or "reduce battery usage," you'll only end up slowing things down.

Close apps on Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch Dock keeps track of a list of apps you've recently opened. It also allows you to close them quickly.

  1. Push the button lateral of Apple Watch to view the Dock. 
  2. Swipe the screen up or down (or use the digital crown ) to find the app you want to close.
  3. Swipe the app left and tap the icon X to close it.

Close any other apps you want and press the button again lateral to exit the Dock. You can restart closed apps by going to the main screen (press digital Crown ).

Force close apps on Apple Watch

If closing an app from the Apple Watch Dock didn't help or if it got stuck on the screen, you need to force quit.

  1. Start by opening the app - if it's locked, you don't need to do anything, then move on to the next step.
  2. Press and hold the button lateral until the sliders Shutdown e Emergency SOS do not come displayed on the screen.
  3. Press and hold the digital Crown for a couple of seconds until you see the watch face (or whatever else was on the screen before using the app).

Go to the main screen (press digital Crown ) to reopen the app. It should charge again and start working smoothly.

9 Additional troubleshooting tips for closing apps on Apple Watch

If you are unable to close or forcibly close an app (or if the app does not work properly even after doing so), you need to follow the tips below.

1. Restart Apple Watch

Restarting your Apple Watch is a quick fix to eliminate minor glitches that prevent apps from working properly.

Start by holding the button down lateral Apple Watch until you see the Power off slider. Then, drag the icon of power on right to turn off the device. 

Wait at least 30 seconds before pressing and holding the button again lateral to restart it.

2. Forced restart of Apple Watch

If you can't force close a frozen app on Apple Watch, you need to force restart the device. To do this, press and hold both the digital crown than the button lateral for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears on the screen. 

Your Apple Watch will continue to boot into watchOS. Reopen the app and check if the problem returns.

3. Restart the paired iPhone

Your Apple Watch relies heavily on its paired iPhone to function effectively. But a bad connection can also introduce problems and make apps work incorrectly. Restarting your iOS device can potentially fix the problem when you can't close apps on your Apple Watch.

Go up Settings > Generali and touch Switch off to turn off your iPhone. Then, wait at least 30 seconds and hold the button down lateral to restart it.

4. Update app

If a third-party app continues to cause problems, it needs to be updated. The latest updates include bug fixes and performance improvements that can address a persistent problem.

Start by starting theApp Store of Apple Watch via the home screen. Then, scroll down, select Updates and apply any pending app updates.

You can also set up your Apple Watch to automatically install new app updates as they become available. To do this, open the main screen, go to Settings > App Store and turn on the switch next to Automatic updates .

5. Update watchOS

Running the latest version of watchOS ensures that the latest bug fixes and performance improvements are available for system software in general. This also updates the first-party Apple Watch apps and provides all apps with a stable environment so that they can close properly.

Open the app Watch on your iPhone. So, go on General > Software update and touch Download and install to update watchOS.

If you've connected your Apple Watch to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can install watchOS updates directly. To do this, press the digital Crown i went his Settings > Software update, then tap Download and install .

6. Disable background app refresh

Some apps on Apple Watch run continuously in the background and don't close completely. To stop it, open the Watch app on your iPhone. Then, tap General > Refresh apps in the background and turn off the switch next to the problematic app.

If the watch face displays the app as a complication, it may continue to run in the background. To stop it, open the app Watch iPhone, select the complication in the section Complications and choose a different app or select off .

7. Delete and reinstall the app

Sometimes, a full reinstall can be the only way to fix a particularly problematic app that won't quit. 

To do this, long press any app icon on the Apple Watch home screen. Once everything starts to rock, touch the baby x - shaped icon in the upper left corner of the app you want to remove and select Delete App .

Restart your Apple Watch. Then, open the App Store, search for the app you just removed and reinstall it.

8. Free up storage space

The internal memory of the Apple Watch isn't huge, so it can fill up quickly. However, both system software and apps work best when there is enough space to play. So free up storage on Apple Watch and check if that helps.

9. Unpair and reconnect Apple Watch

If an app continues to fail, try resetting the Apple Watch to its default values. The procedure not only disconnects the device from your iPhone but also returns it to factory settings. However, the unpairing process creates a backup of the Apple Watch on the iPhone, then you use it to recover your data later.

Open the app Watch iPhone and tap All watches . Then, tap on the icon Information next to your Apple Watch and tap Disaccoppia Apple Watch to unpair and reset the Apple Watch.

You have to follow by reconnecting the Apple Watch to your iPhone. You can choose to restore your data during the pairing process.

Close apps on Apple Watch, but only if necessary

You need to force quit or close apps on Apple Watch for troubleshooting purposes only. If not, the device works very hard reloading apps from scratch every time you want to use them.

If you want to speed up your Apple Watch, the only way to do this is to keep the apps and system software up to date.

Further Reading:

  • How to pair Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch
  • How to Watch YouTube Videos on Apple Watch
  • How to update your Apple Watch
  • How to use Apple Fitness + without Apple Watch
  • How to connect AirPods to Apple Watch
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