How to Delete Apps on Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch has made its debut as more than just an iPhone accessory; it’s a powerful wearable that has become a must-have for Apple fans and fitness freaks alike. From the newest iteration, the Apple Watch Series 7, to older models like the Series 3 and Apple Watch SE, these smartwatches offer a ton of wonderful apps to boost your fitness journey. 

However, as the holiday season deals make it even more worthwhile to buy and install new apps, you might find your home screen cluttered and run out of storage for important updates you really need. That’s why this quick guide is here to explain how to delete those Apple Watch apps and restore some order to your wearable.

Whether you’re tracking your fitness goals or simply loved the idea of having iPhone accessories on your wrist, the Apple Watch has something for everyone. 

But what happens when you have too many apps beginning to clutter your device? It’s essential to know how to delete apps to make room for those you’ll actually use. In this guide, we’ll delve into the different methods you can use to declutter your Apple Watch, ensuring you only keep the apps that are truly beneficial for you.

How to Delete Apps on Apple Watch?

The process of managing and deleting apps on your Apple Watch can be done either directly on the device or via the iPhone’s Watch app. Here’s how to go about it:How to Delete Apps on Apple Watch?

Deleting Apps Directly from the Watch Screen:

  1. Press the Digital Crown: Start by pressing the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to display all your installed apps on the Home Screen.
  2. Touch and Hold the Display: Once the apps are visible, touch and hold the display until the View Options screen appears.
  3. Tap Edit Apps: In the View Options, you’ll find an option labeled “Edit Apps.” Tap on it.
  4. Use the Delete Button: Look for the app you wish to remove. Tap the delete button next to it, and then tap “Delete App” to confirm the removal. Note that some built-in apps don’t offer a delete option.
  5. Press the Digital Crown Again: To exit the edit mode, press the Digital Crown once more.

Managing Apps via the iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch App: On your iPhone, navigate to the Watch app and tap on the “My Watch” tab.
  2. Scroll to Installed Apps: Scroll down to the section labeled “Installed on Apple Watch” to find the list of apps currently on your device.
  3. Manage App Visibility: To hide an app from your Apple Watch, tap on it and then toggle off the “Show App on Apple Watch” slider.

Additional Information:

  • Restoring Apps: If you’ve accidentally deleted an app or wish to restore it, you can redownload it from the App Store on your iPhone or directly on your Apple Watch.
  • WatchOS 9.4 and Default Apps: As of watchOS 9.4, certain default apps like Wallet, Maps, and Activity cannot be deleted.
  • Didn’t Mean to Delete?: No problem. Just head to the App Store and search for the app. Tap the cloud button or the down arrow icon to have it restored to your device.

Deleting Directly from the Apple Watch:

  1. Accessing Apps: Press the Digital Crown to view all apps on your Home Screen.
  2. Entering Edit Mode: Touch and hold the display. Once the View Options appear, select Edit Apps.
  3. Choosing an App: Navigate to the app you wish to remove. If your apps are displayed in list view, swipe left on the desired app.
  4. Deleting: Tap the delete button or the trash icon, then confirm by selecting “Delete App.”

Delete an app with your iPhone:

  1. Opening Watch App: On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Navigating to My Watch: Head to the My Watch tab.
  3. Selecting the App: Under the “Installed on Apple Watch” section, find the app you want to remove.
  4. Hiding the App: Turn off the “Show App on Apple Watch” slider.

Delete Apps from Apple Watch using iPhone:

  1. Watch App on iPhone: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. My Watch Section: Go to the My Watch tab.
  3. Choosing the App: Under “Installed on Apple Watch,” find and select the app you wish to delete.
  4. Hiding the App: Turn off the “Show App” slider. To reinstall, check under Available Apps and tap the install option.

Delete Pre-installed Apple Watch Apps:

Apple Watch, like other Apple devices, comes with default apps. While some are essential, others might not be of use to every user. Here’s how to manage these pre-installed apps:

  1. Accessing All Apps: Press the Digital Crown to view all installed apps.
  2. Entering Edit Mode: Touch and hold an app icon until options appear.
  3. Deleting: Tap the X icon on the app you want to remove and then confirm by selecting “Delete App.”

Note: As of watchOS 9.4, you can delete apps like Wallet, Maps, Find My, Heart Rate, Activity, Emergency Siren, Depth, World Clock, and Workout.

Reinstall Accidentally Deleted Apple Watch Apps:

Mistakes happen. If you’ve unintentionally deleted an app, here’s how to get it back:

  1. App Store on Watch: Open the App Store on your Apple Watch.
  2. Searching for the App: Use the search function to find the app you deleted.
  3. Reinstalling: Once located, tap the redownload button (cloud with a down arrow icon). The app will be restored and available on both your iPhone home screen and Apple Watch screen.

How to Turn Off Automatic App Downloads on Apple Watch:

Apple Watch is an incredible device that seamlessly integrates with your iPhone. However, it can be quite annoying when apps start downloading automatically, especially if you only intended to have them on your iPhone. This not only clutters your Home Screen but also consumes unnecessary space. Thankfully, Apple provides a straightforward method to turn off Automatic App Downloads, ensuring that your device remains free from unnecessary apps.

Steps to Turn Off Automatic App Downloads:
  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll until you find the App Store option.
  3. Here, you’ll see the Automatic Downloads feature. Simply toggle it OFF.
  4. Now, your Apple device will stop downloading apps automatically.

How to Download Apps on Apple Watch:

Downloading apps on your Apple Watch is an easy practice, enhancing the functionality of your smartwatch. Here’s how:

Steps to Download Apps:
  1. Press the digital crown on your Apple Watch. This action will display the home screen.
  2. Tap on the App Store.
  3. Search or explore to find the app you’re interested in.
  4. Once you’ve found the app, tap on it to learn more.
  5. If you decide to download it, tap on the “Get” button.
  6. A prompt will appear, asking you to double-click the digital crown to initiate the download and install process.

Alternatively, you can also add apps from the My Watch tab in the Watch app on your iPhone. Under the Available Apps section, find the app you wish to add and install.

Can You Delete Preinstalled Apple Watch Apps?

Apple Watch comes with several built-in apps. While some of these native apps like Music, Voice Memos, and Contacts are essential, you might not find all of them useful. So, can you get rid of them? The answer is yes, but with a caveat. Not all preinstalled apps can be deleted.

Steps to Delete Preinstalled Apps:
  1. Touch and hold the app you wish to delete until it starts to jiggle.
  2. An X button will appear on the app. Tap on it.
  3. Press the home button or the digital crown to complete the deletion process.

Remember, while you can delete some native apps, others are integral to the Apple Watch’s functionality and cannot be removed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How to delete apps on your Apple Watch to free up space?

The Basics of App Deletion:

If your Apple Watch’s home screen is getting cluttered, it’s time to declutter by deleting some apps. To initiate the process, press the Digital Crown to view all apps on the home screen. Next, touch and hold the display until you see the option to “Edit Apps.” Once you’re in this mode, locate the app you wish to remove and tap the cross (X) button. Confirm the deletion, and voila, you’ve freed up some space!

A Quick Note on Built-in Apps:

Not all apps can be deleted. Some built-in apps are permanent residents on your Apple Watch, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the delete button for them. Press the Digital Crown again to exit the edit mode.

Can I delete in-built apps on my Apple Watch?

The Scope of Deletion:

Yes, you can remove some of the built-in apps on your Apple Watch. However, this is only possible if your watch is running watchOS 9.4 or later. Apps like Wallet, Maps, World Clock, and Find My can be deleted just like third-party apps.

The Process:

To delete these apps, you’ll follow the same steps as you would for any other app: press the Digital Crown, touch and hold the app icon, and then press the cross (X) button to delete it. Confirm your choice, and the app will be removed.

Why can’t I delete some apps on my Apple Watch?

The Screen Time Factor:

If you find that you can’t delete certain apps, it’s likely due to Screen Time settings on your iPhone. In such cases, the app icons will jiggle, but the delete option won’t appear. To resolve this, open the “Content & Privacy Restrictions” under Screen Time settings on your iPhone. Navigate to “iTunes & App Store Purchases” and enter your Screen Time passcode. Finally, select “Allow” under “Deleting Apps.”

The Jiggle Without the Giggle:

Sometimes, the app icons will jiggle, but the delete option remains elusive. This is usually a Screen Time issue, and adjusting your settings should solve the problem.

Can I delete the Podcasts app on my Apple Watch?

The Undeletable Apps:

No, the Podcasts app is one of the pre-installed applications on your Apple Watch that cannot be deleted. It’s a permanent fixture, so you’ll have to learn to live with it.

Why Some Apps Stick Around:

Certain pre-installed apps are designed to be integral parts of the Apple Watch experience, and Podcasts is one of them. These apps are not removable, so they’re here to stay.

Can I remove apps off my Apple Watch but not on my phone?

Selective Deletion:

Yes, you can remove apps from your Apple Watch without affecting their presence on your iPhone. Deleting an app from your watch will not automatically remove it from your phone.

How It Works:

To do this, you can either touch and hold the app icon on your Apple Watch to delete it or use the Watch app on your iPhone to turn off “Show App on Apple Watch.” The app will then be removed only from your watch.

If I delete an app on my iPhone does it delete on my Apple Watch?

The Synchronized Deletion:

Yes, if you delete an app from your iPhone, it will automatically be deleted from your Apple Watch as well. However, you can easily restore it from the App Store if needed.

Reinstallation Steps:

To reinstall a removed app, you can go to the App Store on either your iPhone or Apple Watch and download it again. The app will then be available on both devices.

If I delete an app on my Apple Watch does it delete on my iPhone?

Independent Operations:

No, deleting an app from your Apple Watch will not remove it from your iPhone. The two actions are independent of each other, allowing you to manage your apps selectively.

The Deletion Dichotomy:

While the deletion of an app on your iPhone leads to its removal from your Apple Watch, the reverse is not true. You can continue to use the app on your iPhone even after it’s been deleted from your watch.

How to use your iPhone to manage your watch apps:

iPhone as a Control Center:

Your iPhone can serve as a centralized hub for managing apps on your Apple Watch. To do this, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap the “My Watch” tab. Scroll down to the “Installed on Apple Watch” section to find the apps you want to manage.

The Removal Process:

To remove an app, tap on it and then turn off the “Show App on Apple Watch” option. This will remove the app from your watch but keep it on your iPhone. You can also reinstall it later if you change your mind.

Apple Watch third-party apps: What they are and how they work:

The World of Third-Party Apps:

Third-party apps for the Apple Watch are essentially mini-versions of iPhone apps, designed to provide quick information on a smaller screen. Developers are constantly releasing updated versions of these apps, which can include features like quick news headlines, music streaming remotes, or even act as second screens for your iPhone.

The User Experience:

These apps offer a range of functionalities, from quick glances at news headlines to serving as remotes for streaming music on your Apple TV. They’re like tiny widgets that enhance your Apple Watch experience, giving you quick access to features and information.


Understanding “How to Delete Apps on Apple Watch” goes beyond just maintaining a tidy home screen or freeing up storage space. It raises questions about how we interact with technology today and how much of it we actually need. Do more apps enhance our lives or merely clutter our digital space and minds? As a powerful tool, the Apple Watch is designed to improve convenience and track essential metrics, but it’s worth pausing to consider what each app contributes to that end goal. In an age where ‘more is better’ often prevails, sometimes less is more efficient, meaningful, and peaceful. Deleting an app may be a small act, but it’s a mindful step towards intentional technology use.

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