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How to delete apps on an Apple Watch

An Apple Watch is a handy gadget that’s convenient to wear and acts as a mini version of your iPhone, Mac, or iPad. However, due to its small size, an Apple Watch doesn’t have as much space for apps, music, or photos as iPhones and iPads do, and if we’re honest, swiping through dozens of apps on a tiny screen isn’t ideal. And if you accidentally have Automatic App Install enabled on your Watch, you may also be needlessly cluttering up your Watch with all kinds of apps you’ll never use.

If you want to free up space or just make it easier to navigate through the apps you use most, you may want to consider deleting unused Watch apps.

The amount of storage space will differ from device to device, but either way, it’s a good idea to know how to delete apps you don’t use in order to free up space for other content. In this article, we’ll explain how to do just that.

How to check available storage on your Apple Watch

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

First things first, it’s useful to know how much storage space you currently have on your Apple Watch. This is really easy to find out. Your Watch can not only inform you of available storage space but also let you know which apps and content are using the most space so you know which are the best things to delete when you need to free up some storage.

To check your available storage space, open the Watch app on your iPhone. In the My Watch section, tap General > About. After a small pause, the app will display all the storage information, including the total storage and how much is remaining, as well as the data used up by music, photos, and apps.

To see which individual apps are eating up your storage go to General, scroll down to Usage, tap on it and wait for it to load. You can see in order which apps are taking up the most real estate.

How to delete apps from an Apple Watch

Now that you have an idea of which apps are taking up the most storage space on your Watch, you can decide which ones to delete. Remember, you can always re-download them later if you decide you need to use them again.

There are a couple of ways to delete apps from an Apple Watch. You can either do it via the Watch app on the iPhone or directly on the Watch itself.

To delete apps via the iPhone Watch app, open the app and go to the My Watch section. Swipe down until you see Installed on Apple Watch. Find the app you want to remove, and tap the name. You’ll then see a switch that says Show App on Apple Watch, which you should then switch to off. The app will then be deleted from the Watch, but fear not — it will still be in the Available Apps section, and you can re-download it to your Watch by tapping Install.

If you want to remove an app directly on the Watch itself, the great news is this works just like an iPhone: Press the Digital Crown to pull up the app cloud or home screen showing all your apps. If you’re in grid view, press down lightly on any app icon until they all start to shake, and you’ll see an X appear on the corner of each icon. Just tap this X, and when you’re prompted to confirm, touch Delete App. Then, press the Digital Crown to stop the apps from shaking. If you’re in list view, scroll through the list until you find the app you want to remove, then swipe it to the left until you see the Trash Can icon. Tap the trash can, and then confirm by pressing Delete App when prompted.

How to turn off automatic app install on Apple Watch

One big reason why an Apple Watch can run low on storage is because of automatic app install. This basically means that whenever you install an app to your iPhone, if it has a companion Apple Watch version, it will automatically be dropped onto your Apple Watch, too. You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by shutting off this feature. This means you’re in control of how much storage space you have — and which apps may be filling your screen.

To do so, simply open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to My Watch. Then, tap General, and you should see a switch called Automatic App Install. Simply swipe it off, and you will no longer have those automatic downloads cluttering the Watch. Later, if you want to manually install an Apple Watch version of an iPhone app, just look for it in the Available Apps section and tap Install.

Creating a clutter-free Apple Watch experience and staying in control of your Apple Watch storage space couldn’t be simpler. It’s just a question of managing which apps you choose to have on your Watch and making sure your automatic downloads aren’t limiting space you could otherwise use for more useful content.

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Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
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