How to Remove Apps from Apple Watch

How to easily get those third-party apps off your wrist

Once you’ve installed apps on your Apple Watch, there are two simple ways to delete them should you decide you no longer want them on your wrist. You can use your iPhone’s Watch app or you can delete directly from your Apple Watch itself.

How to Delete Apps on Apple Watch Directly

When you’re ready to delete apps from your Apple Watch, simply head to the app grid on your wrist gadget. 

  1. Click the Digital Crown to bring up the apps on your Apple Watch. If you’re using List View, you’ll see a list instead of a grid.

  2. Find the app you want to delete. You can swipe around the face itself with a finger or turn the Digital Crown to shrink or enlarge the app icons. If you’re in List View, simply scroll up and down the list to find the app you want to delete.

  3. Once you can see the app you’re deleting, tap and hold its icon (or its name in List View) until it starts to wiggle and you see a big X in the upper left-hand corner of the icon. This will look familiar if you’ve deleted apps from your iPhone or iPad before.

  4. Tap the X to delete the app, then confirm the action with a tap on the Delete App button. 

    Swipe, X icon on an app, Delete App on Apple Watch

You can then delete other apps the same way, or you can click the Digital Crown to take the Apple Watch out of this mode. If you want to move apps around, you can do so while the icons have an X on them. 

You cannot remove stock apps from Apple Watch at this time.

How to Remove Apps From Apple Watch on your iPhone

This used to be the way you had to manage your apps for Apple Watch. Now it’s just a different way to do so. 

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone. 

  2. Scroll down past the Apple-supplied apps to the third-party apps section.

    You cannot uninstall first-party Apple apps from your Apple Watch. 

  3. Tap an app you want to delete.

  4. Toggle the Show App on Apple Watch switch to Gray/White. 

  5. A little message will appear underneath saying Uninstalling.

    Starbucks app icon in Watch app, Show App toggle, Uninstalling message
  6. When the message disappears, the app is deleted from your Apple Watch. 

  7. If you want to put the app back on your Apple Watch, simply return to the Watch app, scroll past the apps that are already on your watch to the Available Apps section.

  8. Tap the Install button to the right of the app you want to reinstall on your Apple Watch. Wait for the familiar circle around a square icon to finish spinning. If you change your mind while reinstalling, simply tap the square to stop the reinstall.

Turn off Automatic App Install

If you’re finding that you don’t want all the Apple Watch-enabled apps from your iPhone ending up on your Apple Watch (the default setting), you can turn it off and install apps manually, via the new Apple Watch App Store or your iPhone. 

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.

  2. Make sure the My Watch tab is selected at the bottom left.

  3. Tap General to go to the settings you need.

  4. Tap the toggle switch to the right of Automatic App Install to turn it off. The green button will turn to gray/white.

    General tab, Automatic App Install toggle ON, toggle OFF

Now you won’t have every app you put on your iPhone appearing on your Apple Watch, saving you clutter and space (for apps you want, music, or photos).