Even though the Apple Watch is a great tool and companion for your everyday life, it's not always the fastest Apple device out there. That goes double if you've had your Apple Watch for a long time.

Constant use of your Apple Watch, combined with new and more demanding apps or features, can make it run slow over time. If that's happening to you, here are a few fixes you can try to make your Apple Watch run as smoothly as a brand new one.

1. Update Your Apple Watch

Keeping your Apple Watch up to date is important if you want to fix any bug or issue that might make it run slower than usual. Not only that, but software updates often fix security issues as well. So constantly updating your Apple Watch, as well as your iPhone and other devices, should be a top priority.

You can use either your iPhone or the Apple Watch itself to update the software.

How to Check for Apple Watch Updates on your iPhone:

  1. On your iPhone, go to the Watch app.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Select Software Update.
Image Gallery (3 Images)

How to Check for Software Updates on Your Apple Watch:

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  1. On your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown to see the Home Screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon.
  3. Tap on General.
  4. Select Software Update.
Screenshots show how to check for software updates on Apple Watch.

If there's an update available, install it right away. You might also want to enable Automatic Updates, so your Apple Watch updates automatically.

2. Reduce Motions on Your Watch

The Apple Watch shows quick animations when you open an app or complication. Even though they're aesthetically pleasing, these animations can make your Apple Watch run slower than usual. Fortunately, you can turn them off with a feature called Reduce Motion.

How to Reduce Motion From Your iPhone:

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Reduce Motion.
  4. Toggle Reduce Motion on.
Image Gallery (3 Images)

How to Reduce Motion From Your Apple Watch:

  1. On your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown to see the Home Screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.
  4. Select Reduce Motion.
  5. Toggle Reduce Motion on.
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Screenshots showing how to reduce motion from Apple Watch.

This change is so subtle you might not see any difference at first. Still, your Apple Watch should benefit from it in the long run.

Related: How to Write Short Messages on Your Apple Watch With Scribble

3. Free Up Some Storage By Removing Apps

Since your Apple Watch might automatically install any available app you have on your iPhone, you can quickly fill up your storage space without realizing it. Freeing up your Apple Watch storage can help at reducing lag to make it faster.

Here's what you need to do, whether using your iPhone or Apple Watch.

How to Remove Apple Watch Apps From Your iPhone:

  1. Go to the Watch app.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom, and you'll see a list of the apps installed on your Apple Watch. Tap on the app you want to delete.
  3. If an app is still installed on your iPhone, disable Show App on Apple Watch. If you already deleted the app from your iPhone, then tap on Delete app on Apple Watch.
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Image Gallery (3 Images)

How to Remove Apps From Your Apple Watch:

  1. Press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.
  2. If your App View is set to Grid View:
    1. Press and hold any app until they all start shaking.
    2. Tap the X at the top of the app icon you want to remove.
    3. Tap Delete App to confirm you want to remove the app.
  3. If you're App View is set to List View:
    1. Press and slide the app you want to remove to the left.
    2. Tap the red Delete icon.
    3. Finally, tap Delete App to remove the app.
Screenshots showing how to delete apps from Apple Watch.

Pro tip: You can also stop your Apple Watch from automatically installing apps you download on your iPhone. Just go to General and disable Automatic App Install from either your Apple Watch or the Watch app on your iPhone.

Related: How to Take Screenshots on Your Apple Watch

4. Disable Background App Refresh on Your Watch

Background App Refresh is a feature that lets suspended apps run in the background so they can check for updates and fetch content for when you need it. Even though it's a useful feature, it can also affect your Apple Watch's performance and even its battery life.

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Fortunately, you can disable this feature by following the next steps.

How to Disable Background App Refresh on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Watch app.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Tap on Background App Refresh.
  4. Select which apps you want to disable or disable Background App Refresh for all of them.
Image Gallery (3 Images)

How to Disable Background App Refresh on Apple Watch:

  1. Go to Settings on your Apple Watch.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Background App Refresh.
  4. Select which apps you want to disable or disable Background App Refresh altogether.
Screenshots showing how to disable Background app refresh from Apple Watch.

5. Restart Your Apple Watch

If your Apple Watch is still running slow and showing signs of lag, you might want to restart it. There are two ways you can do it: a normal restart and a force restart. Although, it's worth mentioning that you should only force restart your Apple Watch as a last-ditch effort. Here's how to do both.

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How to Restart Your Apple Watch:

  1. On your Apple Watch, press and hold the Side button until you see the Power Off slider.
  2. Drag the Power Off slider to the left.
  3. Once your Apple Watch has turned off, press and hold the Side button again to turn it back on.
Screenshots showing how to restart your Apple Watch.

How to Force Restart Your Apple Watch:

  1. Press and hold the Digital Crown and the Side button on your Apple Watch for 10 seconds.
  2. Release both buttons once you see the Apple logo on your Watch.
Apple Watch Side and Digital Crown buttons.

6. Erase Your Apple Watch

If everything else fails, you can erase your Apple Watch and use it as if it were brand new. Keep in mind, though, this will delete everything on your Apple Watch, including your settings, watch faces, and installed apps. It's not something you should do lightly.

With that out of the way, here's what you need to do.

How to Erase Your Apple Watch on iPhone:

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  1. Launch the Watch app.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll all the way down and select Reset.
  4. Tap on Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings.
  5. Confirm that you want to Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings.
  6. Enter your passcode and confirm you want to delete all the content on your Apple Watch.
Image Gallery (3 Images)

How to Erase Your Apple Watch Using the Apple Watch:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap on >Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Enter your passcode and confirm you want to erase your Apple Watch.
Screenshots showing how to erase your Apple Watch.

In both cases, you'll need to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone again and set it up from scratch.

Gotta Go Fast

Now your Apple Watch should feel as good as new. All devices tend to run slow after a while, so try using these tips whenever you feel your Apple Watch is starting to run slow again.

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If everything else fails, you can erase your watch. Not only will your Apple Watch feel brand new again, but it'll also help with the lag, though it's not something you want to use as a first option.

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