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How to close the apps on your Apple Watch

Manage apps in a few taps.
By
January 7, 2023

If you need to close an app on your device, we have you covered. The only reason to close an Apple Watch app is if one is malfunctioning, or if you want to remove it from your recent list for organizational purposes.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Apple Watches

QUICK ANSWER

To close an app on your Apple Watch, press the side button, then swipe left over the app you want to close and tap the X.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to close apps on your Apple Watch

A user closes an app on their Apple Watch Ultra.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Closing apps on your Apple Watch is simple. Locate the side button just below your Digital Crown.

  • Press the side button on your Apple Watch to access your app dock.
  • Swipe left over the app you want to close and tap the red X.

How to force-quit apps on your Apple Watch

If an app starts to glitch or won’t close normally, you can also force-quit:

  • From the app’s screen, press and hold the side button until you see the power-down menu.
  • From there, press and hold the Digital Crown until the app closes and you return to the watch screen.

How to automatically close background apps

To preserve battery life, you can also disable Background App Refresh. This feature keeps your apps updated so they are ready when you need them. For example, email or sports scores will continue to update in the background so information is available as soon as you open the relevant app. If the feature is disabled, you may have to wait for items or messages to load. On the other hand, disabling Background App Refresh will also help minimize notifications from pesky apps.

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll down to and tap Background App Refresh.
    • To disable the feature for all apps, tap the toggle next to Background App Refresh.
    • To disable the feature for specific apps only, scroll down and tap the toggle next to the app for which you want to manage refresh settings.

Read more: Common Apple Watch problems and solutions

FAQs

Third-party app support is one of the biggest strengths of Apple’s wearables. Our top picks include everything from Strava to Spotify, but the App store is filled with options and tools.

In your app gallery, long-press any app and tap Edit apps. Tap the x next to the app you want to remove. For more details, see our dedicated guide.