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How to Download and Install Apps on Your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is not a standalone device, which means that you can’t set it up without an iPhone. However, starting with watchOS 6, you can install and delete apps on the watch without the help of your smartphone.

We put together a quick guide that allows you to download and install apps on your Apple Watch through the App Store that has now moved from the iPhone straight to your wrist.

How to Install Apps on an Apple Watch with watchOS 6 or later

  1. Press the Digital Crown of your Apple Watch and open the Apps screen. Look for the “App Store” and tap on it.
  2. The Apple Watch app store lists all the specific apps for watchOS. Scroll to them to find the app you want to install or tap “Search” to enter a category or an app name by writing on the screen with your fingertip or by voice.
  3. Tap on the app you want to install to see information about it.
  4. To add it to your Apple Watch, tap the “Get” button.
  5. Double-click the side button on the watch when prompted to download and install the app.

If the app that you want to download in the App Store has a “Get” button, it means that it’s free to download, even if it may have in-app purchases available. If the app is not free, you’ll see the price instead of the “Get” button and you’ll be charged to download it.

All the apps on your iPhone that have a watchOS app available are downloaded and installed automatically on your watch and you’ll be able to see them on the home screen.

The above guide is compatible for WatchOS6 and WatchOS7. Still need help, see the full guide at Apple.com

WatchOS 6 is compatible with all Apple Watch models, WatchOS 7 is compatible with: Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 6

How to Install Apps on an Apple Watch with watchOS 5 or earlier

If you have watchOS 5 or earlier, you’ll need to download and install apps on your watch with the help of your iPhone.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure your Apple Watch is paired to your iPhone and located close to it.
  2. Tap the Watch app on your phone to launch it.
  3. Scroll down until you reach the Available Apps section, where you’ll see all the apps on the phone that have a companion for the watch that you haven’t installed yet.
  4. Choose the app you want to install and click on the Install button.
  5. When the app is installed, you’ll be able to see it on your watch. The app will also move to the Installed on Apple Watch section in the Watch app on the iPhone.

Still need help? View the support article at Apple.com


If you run into any issues when trying to download and install apps on your Apple Watch, such as a spinning icon that never stops spinning, for example, check whether the Wi-Fi is turned on.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, perform a hard reboot of your Apple Watch and iPhone, then try again.

The final solution for app installation issues on the Apple Watch is to unpair the watch and then set it up from scratch. Make sure you have a backup in place before unpairing the watch.

Looking for the best apps for your Apple Watch? See our Best List.