How to Force-Quit Misbehaving Apple Watch Apps

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.

  2. Now, press and hold the Side button.

  3. Release the Side button once the power down menu appears.

  4. 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.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
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Top Rated Comments

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12 weeks ago
S4 using the new info graph face.

Has anyone noticed that the date & weather are not updating??
Rating: 6 Votes
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12 weeks ago
“Apple Watch apps rarely misbehave” hahahahahahahaha I cried reading this.
Rating: 5 Votes
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12 weeks ago

Actually you hit the side button and then swipe left and hit the X.



No that removes the app from your dock.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 weeks ago
Actually you hit the side button and then swipe left and hit the X.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
12 weeks ago

S4 using the new info graph face.

Has anyone noticed that the date & weather are not updating??

Yes. I have to swipe to a different watch face and back again in order for these complications to update/refresh.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
12 weeks ago

“Misbehaving”?! Might as well have said “Naughty” hahah.

2nd defintion at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misbehave
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 weeks ago

Actually you hit the side button and then swipe left and hit the X.

This removes the app from the dock, but does not quit it.
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 weeks ago
I was looking for this shortcut for a long time!
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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