As watchOS is being updated, more and more features are added. And for users using previous generations of Apple Watches, the slow down is affecting essential daily tasks more severely. I am not using many apps or advanced features on the watch. Basically, I read most notifications on my iPhone, allowing only selected apps to ping my watch.

I wonder what are some of the functionalities that I can turn off, to make the watch more responsive. For example, I can unload some apps, and switch to a simpler, less computational expensive watch face. Are there more?


The older watches are constrained with RAM and CPU.

To help with RAM - be brutal and remove every app you can. Only install things you need. I still have my original Apple Watch and it is a bit painful when I swap it in instead of my Series 4 - but it’s still sentimental in a way my original iPhone is.

You can’t really change the CPU time it takes for apps and complications to run, but by removing things and not running them, the RAM can get used for the things you need.

  • Do you think turning off Background App Refresh should also help? I have always been confused about how that background refresh works. I mean, I don't see a difference when I tested it out by turning it on and off on my iPhone. And I don't know how that differs on watchOS. – jackxujh Nov 19 '19 at 21:50
  • Help what? If you want to see correct data, background refresh is always best. You have to get the data to the device, so you might as well do it in smaller chunks rather than tap and wait for all the data to refresh. the trade off there is battery life - you spend a little power each time a network connection is made. If you have enough battery and want fast - enable background – bmike Nov 19 '19 at 22:13

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