watchOS 9.4 Lets You Delete Built-In Apps Right From Apple Watch

Monday, March 27, 2023 4:52 PM

The watchOS 9.4 update that came out today has a hidden feature that is designed to allow you to delete built-in apps directly from the Apple Watch. Apple did not mention this function in the release notes for the update, but a support document on deleting built-in apps from various devices has been updated.

According to Apple, the following apps can be deleted from the Apple Watch if you are running watchOS 9.4 or later:

  • Activity
  • Depth
  • Emergency Siren
  • Find My
  • Heart Rate
  • Maps
  • Wallet
  • Workout
  • World Clock

Prior to watchOS 9.4, you could remove an app from your Apple Watch by removing it from your iPhone, but the app needed to be deleted from both devices. With watchOS 9.4, you can delete an app like Activity or Maps on your Apple Watch, leaving it intact on the ‌iPhone‌.

Apple warns that deleting built-in apps can affect core device functionality. If you delete the Heart Rate app, for example, the Apple Watch is not able to send high heart rate, low heart rate, irregular rhythm, and cardio fitness notifications.

Apple has come under fire for requiring that its apps be installed on ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and Apple Watch devices, so it has been implementing tools for deleting the apps over the last several years. iOS 14 in particular added support for deleting a wide variety of built-in apps, which is useful for those who prefer to use third-party alternatives.