As a general statement, apps on WatchOS generally play nice. The fact they are small in footprint and generally are limited in functionality helps with app stability and performance. But, like any platform, there are times were apps on your Apple Watch don’t play nice. Usually you can simply swipe them away but sometimes, a force quit is required.
Force quitting an app isn’t ideal but just like on your Mac or iPhone, it is require sometimes to get a misbehaving app to start over. Fortunately Apple has made it easy to force an app on your Apple Watch to stop but it isn’t well documented. That’s where this tutorial comes in for everyone.
First, make sure that you have the app open that you are needing to force quit on your Apple Watch. In other words, it needs to be on the display of your Watch. In my example, I’m using the Timer app that is built into WatchOS.
With the app open, press-and-hold the side button on your Apple Watch down until you see the power screen. This is the exact same power screen that you see when you are shutting down your Apple Watch.
DON’T SWIPE ANYTHING! There is no need to shut down your watch. Instead, when you are on this screen, you need to press-and-hold the Digital Crown. Hold the Crown down until you see an animation of the app fading away into the watch face.
That’s it! The app will have been forced to stop and you should be able to reopen it or continue working with your Watch in other apps.
For more tutorials like this one, head over to the Tips & Tricks section.