How to Switch Between Apple Watch Apps on watchOS 5 or Earlier

Despite the relatively tiny screen, switching between apps on Apple Watch is dead simple. And the due credit for the smooth switching should be given to the super handy “Dock.”

For those unfamiliar, Dock is designed to enhance multitasking in watchOS. It lets you quickly access most recent apps or your 10 favorite apps. Depending on how you’ve customized this nifty feature, you will be able to navigate through the apps on your Apple Watch.

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How to Switch Between Apps on Apple Watch running watchOS 5 or Earlier

Step #1. First off, you need to press the side button of your smartwatch to bring up the Dock.

Press Side Button on Apple Watch to Access the Dock

Step #2. Once you are in the app switcher mode, you can swipe up or down to navigate through the most recent or favorite apps.

Switch Between Apps on Apple Watch

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Alternately, you can also rotate the Digital Crown to scroll through the apps that are in the app switcher.

Rotate Digital Crown to Switch Between Apps on Apple Watch

Sticky Notes:

  • One important thing worth noting is that even if you’ve selected Favorites, the most recently used app will still show up right at the top. watchOS does it to let you easily go back to the last opened app.
  • If you have chosen Recents, your apps will show up in the order you launched them. Hence, you can instantly jump over to the last two used apps as they would appear right at the top.

Step #3. Tap on the app you want to use.

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Use App Switcher on Apple Watch

While you are in the Dock, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on All Apps to head over to the Home screen. To close the app switcher, simply press the Digital Crown.

That’s how you can bolster multitasking on your smartwatch!

Wrapping up…

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Prior to watchOS 3, pressing the Side button would allow access to quick contacts. But the tech giant thought multitasking needed a bit more push on Apple Watch. So, it locked the Side button with Dock–much to the appreciation of users (including me) who found it well timed.

You might want to snap a look at these posts as well:

What’s your take on app switching in watchOS? Is it easy or complicated? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Stay connected with us via Facebook and Twitter as well as give a try to our app so that you never miss our latest tutorials.

Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.

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