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How to Clear Apple Watch Storage

Storage on your Apple Watch may not be something you usually think about. But if you’re hitting up an error message when attempting to update your wearable, but knowing how to clear Apple Watch storage is extremely important.

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Apple Watches can run out of storage, depending on how you use your device. This usually causes problems for owners of older Apple Watch devices when it comes time to update them. Without enough free storage space, an Apple Watch won’t be able to update.

How to Clear Apple Watch Storage: Delete Apps

The most obvious way to clear Apple Watch storage is to simply delete any apps that you don’t use on a regular basis. We admit that it’s pretty awesome to have the ability to download and use apps on our write, as opposed to just on our iPhones. However, while developers do a great job at keeping file sizes low, if you have a bunch of apps installed, you can run out of storage in no time. Here’s how you can delete apps on your Apple Watch:

Open the Watch app on the iPhone paired with your Apple Watch.
Tap the My Watch tab in the bottom left corner.
Scroll down to the Installed on Apple Watch section.
Locate any apps that you don’t want to have installed on your Apple Watch.
Tap the toggle next to Show App on Apple Watch to the Off position.

If you want to make sure that there are no cached data hanging around after deleting an app from your Apple Watch, you can always restart your smartwatch. This should clear any extraneous data or cruft left behind an app that you just removed.

How to Clear Apple Watch Storage: Photos Limit

Following the addition of the Photos watch face, this has opened the floodgates to a lot of storage being taken up by your favorite pictures. However, even though the images are optimized to be used on your Apple Watch, it’s still possible that you are storing too many pictures. Apple allows you to store up to 500 photos on your Apple Watch, so here’s how you can reduce the limit:

Open the Watch app on the iPhone paired with your Apple Watch.
Tap the My Watch tab in the bottom left corner.
Scroll down and tap Photos.
Scroll down until you reach the Album section.
Tap Photos Limit.
Select one of the following options:
25 Photos
100 Photos
250 Photos
500 Photos

Tap the < Photos button in the top left corner to save your changes.

Something that we recommend before going down this path is double-checking your various watch faces to see which photos are being used. Then, create a new Photos album that you can use for your watch faces, just be mindful of the Photos Limit that you just set. Chances are, you really don’t need 500 photos rotating through on your watch face.

How to Clear Apple Watch Storage: Remove Music

The Apple Watch is a handy companion to an iPhone, letting users control music playback on their primary device. But users can also add playlists to their Apple Watch for listening without an iPhone nearby. However, the first thing that you’ll want to do is stop new music from being automatically added to your Apple Watch. While this is great in practice, you could end up finding that there are multiple gigabytes of music just chilling on your Apple Watch.

Open the Watch app on the iPhone paired with your Apple Watch.
Tap the My Watch tab in the bottom left corner.
Scroll down and tap Music.
Under the Automatically Add section, tap the toggle next to Recent Music and any other albums or playlists that you have listed to the Off position.

Now that you don’t have to worry about music being automatically added to your Apple watch from the Recent Music playlists, you can go through and actually clear Apple Watch storage by removing the existing music. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

Open the Apple Music app on your Apple Watch.
Tap Library.
Select one of the following:

Locate the content that you want to delete.
Swipe left to right on the song, album, or artist.
Tap the three horizontal dots that appear to the right of the listing.
Tap the Remove button.
Confirm that you want to remove the content by tapping the Delete button.

These steps only remove the stored music from your Apple Watch and don’t actually remove the songs, albums, or playlists from still being accessible. So you’ll still be able to view them in the Apple Music app on your watch, along with accessing them from the Apple Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or any other Apple device.

How to Clear Apple Watch Storage: Delete Health Data

Your Apple Watch, by default, collects a lot of data on your health, fitness, and activity. It will then share this data with your synced iOS device.

This data is eventually deleted from your Apple Watch if it has a chance to offload it to your iPhone (charging and connected via Bluetooth). But you can also remove the Apple Watch’s fitness tracking entirely.

Keep in mind that this may cause issues with the Watch tracking your health and fitness data, which is obviously a core feature of the platform. With that being said, if you really need to clear Apple Watch storage, here’s how you can remove the saved health data:

Open the Health app on your iPhone.
Tap Summary in the bottom left corner.
In the top right corner, tap your profile image.
Under the Privacy section, tap Devices.
Locate and select your Apple Watch from the list of devices.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap Delete All data from [Your Apple Watch].
Tap the Delete button to confirm.

Once confirmed, all of your Health data will be removed from your Apple Watch. We can’t stress enough that this should really be a last-ditch effort to clear Apple Watch storage. Your Apple Watch is an incredible piece of hardware capable of helping you to keep track of a wide variety of health and fitness metrics. And the data collected can be used in the event that you need to make a visit to your doctor, providing “evidence” or proof of an issue that you’re dealing with.

Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.

He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.


How to Clear Apple Watch Storage

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