Apps on your Apple Watch can freeze or crash just like apps on your computer or phone, so it’s good to know how to close these apps.
There are several ways to close an app on your watch, as well as options to restart your device if you get stuck trying to close those apps.
Our guide below will show you all of these options so that you can fix the issues you are having with the app or the entire watch is not working optimally.
You can close apps on your Apple Watch by pressing the side button, swiping left on an app, and then tapping the red X.
How to close the Apple Watch app
- Press the side button.
- Swipe left on an app to close it.
- Touch the red cross.
Our guide continues below with more information on how to close apps on the Apple Watch, including images of those steps.
If an app isn’t working properly on your Apple Watch, you won’t be able to use it the way you want.
But besides not being able to use the app, it can also cause other unexpected behavior on the device and possibly drain your battery faster.
Fortunately, you don’t have to allow the app to continue running and you can close it yourself.
You can also force close the app if the traditional method of closing the app doesn’t work.
Related: This Apple Watch article shows you how to turn off sounds from your watch.
How to manually close an app on your watch
The steps in this section were completed on an Apple Watch Series 7 using watchOS 8.5.1.
Step 1: Press the side button on the side of your Apple Watch.
A screen will open showing the apps that are currently open on the device or that have been opened recently.
Step 2: Swipe left on the app you want to close on your watch.
Step 3: Tap the red X next to the app to close it.
Now that you know how to close apps on your Apple Watch, you can do so any time you suspect there are open apps that won’t close on their own.
How to force quit an app on Apple Watch
Sometimes the method we described above to close the app does not work, so you may need to use an option instead that will force the app to close.
Step 1: Press the Digital Crown button on the side of the watch, which will bring up a screen with all the watch’s apps.
Step 2: Select the app you want to close.
Step 3: Press and hold the Side button until the Power Off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS button screen appears.
Step 4: Press and hold the Digital Crown button until you return to the main watch screen.
If you’re still having issues with your watch after forcing an app to quit, you can try restarting your watch completely instead.
How to restart your Apple Watch
Like your computer or phone, your Apple Watch may need to restart periodically if a system service or app is causing the device to perform poorly.
Step 1: Press and hold the Side button until you see the Power off button screen shown below.
Step 2: Drag the power slider to the right until the clock turns off.
Step 3: Press and hold the Side button until you see the white Apple logo, then release the Side button.
If this standard reboot option does not work, you may need to use a method that will force the device to restart.
How to force restart your Apple Watch
In some rare cases where your Apple Watch does not turn off using the method described in the previous section, or if the device has stopped working, you may need to force restart.
Step 1: Press and hold the Digital Crown and the Side button until you see the white Apple logo.
Step 2: Release the Side button and the Digital Crown button when you see the Apple icon.
Now that you know how to close apps and restart your watch, you should be able to resolve any app-related issues you’re experiencing on your device.
Note that you should generally avoid force closing apps or force restarting your device if you can use other options, but you do have force close options available if standard methods don’t work.