How to add and remove apps on your Apple Watch


apple watch apps

  • You can add new apps to an Apple Watch using a few different methods on your iPhone.
  • An Apple Watch comes pre-loaded with basic apps, just like an iPhone.
  • Install new apps on your Apple Watch by using the iPhone Watch app and tapping “Install” on Available Apps already on your iPhone, or by browsing the Watch App Store.
  • You can remove third-party apps directly on Apple Watch or on the Watch app.

When you’re trying to get the best use out of your Apple Watch, it’s all about the apps.

Like the iPhone, Apple Watches come pre-loaded with set apps, including Activity (the app that tracks your progress toward daily, weekly, and monthly move, stand, and exercise goals), Breathe (a mindfulness app), Calendar (peek at events scheduled for the day and week ahead), and Messages (read and respond to texts without having to take out your phone).

The preset apps are great for getting started, but unfortunately take up a good amount of space in the Apple Watch, and you’re not able to delete them. On my Apple Watch, these default apps take up 3.2 GB, leaving 2.1 GB free.

But in the remaining space you have available, you’ll likely want to add apps that don’t come with the Apple Watch automatically. Here are few ways to accomplish that. 

Add apps manually or install them automatically

Beyond the default apps, you can add additional apps manually or have compatible iPhone apps automatically installed by turning on Automatic App Install on your iPhone’s Watch app.

1. Open your iPhone Watch app.


2. Find Automatic App Install in the My Watch tab under General.

3. If you want to add apps manually, switch off Automatic App Install.

Install compatible Watch apps already on your iPhone

If you choose to install apps manually (as I have), you can see a list of Watch compatible apps already installed on your iPhone through your Watch app.

1. Scroll to the bottom of the My Watch tab in the Watch app to find the Available Apps section.


2. To install any of these apps on your Watch, simply touch the Install button to the right of the app name.


3. Once the installation is complete, the app will appear in a section titled Installed On Apple Watch.


Browse for new apps in the App Store

To add new apps outside of what’s already installed on your iPhone, head to the App Store tab in your iPhone’s Watch app. If you know the name of the app you’re looking for, go to the Search tab to find it faster.


In the Watch App Store there are promoted apps at the top, then different sections like Great on Apple Watch (a diverse list with everything from streaming music apps to a stargazing app), Listen with Apple Watch (meditation, podcast, and sleep sounds apps), Take a Moment (mindfulness, relaxation, and focus apps), and Never Miss a Headline (apps by major news outlets like The New York Times, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal).

To install an app, tap Get. After the app is installed, it will appear in the Installed On Apple Watch section as well as on your iPhone as a separate app.

Remove apps from Apple Watch (and your iPhone)

To remove apps from your Apple Watch, you can do so from your iPhone’s Watch app or the watch itself.

1. Go to the My Watch tab of your iPhone’s Watch app.

2. Tap the app you want to remove and switch off “Show App on Apple Watch.”


3. Alternatively, you can remove apps right on your Apple Watch by touching and holding the app icon on the home screen until you see an X, then tapping the X.


Note: Switching off “Show App on Apple Watch” will remove the app from your Apple Watch but not your iPhone. To remove the app from both devices at the same time, touch and hold the app icon on your iPhone until you see an X, then tap the X.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech: 

  • How to close apps on the Apple Watch, and other troubleshooting tips

  • How to change the activity goals on your Apple Watch

  • How to change and customize the face of your Apple Watch

  • How to charge an Apple Watch, and how long it takes to fully charge

SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches you can buy

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