How to close apps on the Apple Watch, and other troubleshooting tips

Abigail Abesamis/Business InsiderClose apps using the Apple Watch’s side button.

  • Close apps on the Apple Watch by pressing the side button and swiping left on recently opened apps.
  • Resolutions for problematic Apple Watch apps (from freezing to closing unexpectedly) include force quitting and uninstalling and reinstalling the app.
  • There are better ways to conserve Apple Watch battery than closing apps – which may not be saving you battery in the first place.

Whether for the satisfaction of decluttering or for the perceived notion of conserving battery life (a point that has been debunked, though that won’t stop me from swiping away – idle apps, begone!), closing apps on your Apple Watch is as straightforward as closing them on your iPhone.

Here, we walk through how to close apps on the Apple Watch and a few general troubleshooting tips for when apps on the watch aren’t working.

How to close apps on Apple Watch

Apple watchAbigail Abesamis/Business InsiderPress the side button on the Apple Watch to show your apps.
  1. Press the side button to show the Dock of your open apps.
  2. If no apps are open, you’ll see the below message that reads “Recently used apps appear here.” Otherwise, you’ll see a list of windows representing various apps (as depicted above). You can scroll through this list by swiping up or down on the watch display or by turning the digital crown.

    Apple watchAbigail Abesamis/Business InsiderIf you haven’t used any apps recently, you’ll get this screen.
  3. Swipe left on any open apps you want to close. This will move the window to the left and reveal a red “X.”

    Apple watch appsAbigail Abesamis/Business InsiderTap the ‘X.’
  4. Tap the “X” to close the app.

Troubleshooting for apps that quit unexpectedly, freeze, or won’t open

Apple Support offers numerous tips for apps on its various devices. Below, we detail a few of those tips for how to troubleshoot problematic apps specific to the Apple Watch:

  1. Force quit the app by pressing and holding the side button. This will pull up the watch’s power options. Press and hold the digital crown to finish quitting the app.
  2. Restart your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button, dragging the button across the “Power Off” option, then pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo. To force restart (as a last resort and only if your watch isn’t responding and not currently updating), press and hold the side button and digital crown, and release when you see the Apple logo (at least 10 seconds).
  3. Ensure you have the latest version of watchOS.
  4. Delete and reinstall the app by opening the Watch app on your iPhone. Tap the “My Watch” tab and select the app you want to remove under “Installed on Apple Watch.” Turn off “Show App on Apple Watch” to remove the app. To reinstall, scroll down to “Available Apps” and tap Install.
  5. If all else fails, contact the app developer. Use Apple support if it’s an Apple app or, if it’s made by a third party, contact the app developer.

How to conserve battery on Apple Watch

Closing apps won’t extend your Apple device’s battery life, according to Wired. However, Apple does offer several tips for “maximizing battery life and lifespan” on its devices, including updating your software and turning on Power Saving Mode. Here’s how to do those two things on the Apple Watch.

  1. Make sure your software is up to date. You can do this by opening the Watch app on your phone, select the “My Watch” tab, tap “General,” then “Software Update.”
  2. Turn on Power Saving Mode when doing running or walking workouts. This will disable the heart rate sensor, which preserves battery life however calorie counts might not be as accurate. To turn on Power Saving Mode, open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap the Workout app and switch on Power Saving Mode.

For more tips specific to the Apple Watch’s battery, visit Apple’s website.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.