Apple has changed how you force-close an Apple Watch app in watchOS 4.
In prior watchOS versions, force-quitting required holding the Side button until the power options appeared, then releasing and holding the button again until the app disappeared.
That process no longer works in watchOS 4 and later because holding the Side button on the power menu now initiates the Emergency SOS feature.
Without further ado, this is how you force-quit a misbehaving app in watchOS 4.
How to force-quit apps in watchOS 4
1) While using the unruly app that you wish to nuke out of orbit, press and hold the Side button until the power down menu appears before releasing the button.
2) Press and hold the Digital Crown until the app closes and you go back to the watch face.
Although the app remains in the Dock, it’s killed and flushed from the memory. You can clearly see this if you try relaunching the app—it should go through the first-time loading process.
And that’s how you force-close any app in watchOS 4.
A note on force-quitting Apple Watch apps
Like with iPhone and iPad, force-quitting Apple Watch apps in the hope of prolonging battery life or improving performance is a bad idea that actually has the exact opposite effect on your Apple Watch’s battery life. Both iOS and watchOS have pretty good memory management designed to allocate system resources sparingly to apps that need them.
That being said, you may want to force-quit an app if it gets wacky to the point where it stops responding. Troublesome apps tend to monopolize system resources and can put an additional strain on Apple Watch’s limited system resources.
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