How to force-quit misbehaving apps on your Apple Watch

force quit apple watch

If an app on your Apple Watch unexpectedly quits, stops responding or won’t open, there’s a solution to that. Just follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to force-quit any misbehaving app on your Apple wearable device like a pro.

Changes to force-quitting apps

Apple has changed how apps are force-closed with the release of watchOS 4 in September 2017. In prior watchOS editions, force-quitting required holding the Side button until the power options appeared, letting go and holding it again until the app disappeared.

TUTORIAL: How to set up & use Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

As of watchOS 4 and up, the aforementioned process no longer works because holding the Side button on the power menu initiates the Emergency SOS feature.

Follow along to learn how to quickly dismiss a misbehaving app on your Apple Watch.

How to force-quit apps on Apple Watch

1) While using the unruly app that you wish to nuke out of orbit, press and hold the Side button until the power options are shown on the screen, then release the button.

force quitting an apple watch app requires press the Digital Crown on the power options menu

2) Press and hold the Digital Crown until the app closes.

While the app may remain in your Dock, rest assured that it’s killed and flushed from the memory. If you now relaunch the app, it should go through the first-time loading process.

A note on force-quitting apps

Like with iPhone and iPad, force-quitting apps in the hope of prolonging battery life or improving performance is a bad idea that has the exact opposite effect on your Apple Watch battery. watchOS is better than any human at allocating system resources sparingly to apps that need them. Therefore, refrain from force-quitting apps unless absolutely necessary.

There are some exceptions to this rule—troublesome apps may easily monopolize system resources and put an additional strain on Apple Watch’s limited system resources.

TIPS: Saving battery on Apple Watch

If you’ve determined that an app is a battery hog, force-quitting it will save battery power. If an app behaves wacky or stops responding completely, force-quitting is your only option.

Just don’t overuse it and you’ll be fine.

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