How to Force-Quit Misbehaving Apple Watch Apps

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,749
10,154



Apple Watch apps rarely misbehave, but if one becomes non-responsive or fails to refresh data, sometimes force-quitting the app and relaunching it can solve the issue.


Fortunately, it's a simple procedure. The following steps show you how it's done on Apple Watch models running watchOS 4 or watchOS 5.

  1. Open the misbehaving app on your Apple Watch, either by tapping its complication or selecting it from the honeycomb-style app menu/list view, so that it takes over the display.

    Now, press and hold the Side button.
  2. Release the Side button once the power down menu appears.

    Next, press and hold the Digital Crown. You can release it once the app is whisked away from view and you're returned to the watch face.
And that's all there is to it. The next time you launch the app in question, it will load up as if for the first time, and hopefully play nice again.

If the problem you're having still persists, try restarting your Apple Watch from the power down screen, or consider re-installing the related app on your iPhone.

Article Link: How to Force-Quit Misbehaving Apple Watch Apps
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saipher

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,437
2,232
Awesome, always wondered how to do this - but haven't needed to in the year I've been using the watch.
 

twocents

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2016
267
1,516
California, USA
This is somewhat off topic, but is there a similar method for the iPhone X / XS? It is not the same as swiping up on the app from the multitasking view since doing this with the buttons on an iPhone 7 Plus results in all apps relaunching
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,437
2,232
This is somewhat off topic, but is there a similar method for the iPhone X / XS? It is not the same as swiping up on the app from the multitasking view since doing this with the buttons on an iPhone 7 Plus results in all apps relaunching
I thought just swiping up on the tasking view unloaded it from memory (frozen or otherwise).
 

bingeciren

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2011
875
740
I’ve been trying to find a solution for the non responding / slow responding Workout program for a while. Apparently it is a well known widespread problem and no known real cure for it. Apple recommend to reboot the watch, unpair and re-pair it again but the problem comes back after a while.

This info to kick out a misbehaving program from the memory was the remedy I was looking for. It actually works like a charm. I keep the Workout in the Dock but delete it from the memory once I’m done with it. Next time I need to run the Workout, I launch it from the Dock. It spins its icon briefly and loads it. Once it’s loaded no lag, no freeze no misbehaving, it just works immediately. Problem solved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aston441

chinito77

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2015
157
216
Japan
Same here
[doublepost=1537891221][/doublepost]
Yep. Same issue.
So clearly, a good number of us are having this issue. For me, it started about 2 months ago. I put up with it since I tought the next Watch OS update would fix it. Same problem but not as frequent.
 

pweicks

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2016
247
501
USA
Never realized you could do this. I thought closing them out of the dock did this. Just went through this process for every app currently in my dock and my Series 2 is running faster and smoother than it has in over a year all of a sudden. Forgot how cool all the UI animations are on watchOS now that I can watch them actually working again. Awesome
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,704
4,331
I was surprised with an Apple Watch for Christmas yesterday. In 24 hours of wearing it, this is the first time I've even noticed the side button exists.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.