How to Easily Free up Space on Your Apple Watch

All Series 7, Series 6 and Series 5 Apple Watches have 32GB of storage capacity. In comparison, the storage size on the earlier Series 4 Apple Watch was only 16 GB.

The quoted 32GB (or 16GB) of storage is not entirely available to the user. You should expect to ‘lose’ about 5GB or so of memory space to the watch’s operating system and to other files that are required for the watch to perform all its core functions.

Is 32GB Storage Enough for Apple Watch

Yes. A storage capacity of 32GB on the Apple Watch is more than sufficient to download dozens of apps, keep your workout history, download a lot of music, playlists, or podcasts, and see recent messages.

Out of the 32GB, approximately 26.6GB is available upon purchase of the watch (for the reasons stated earlier). That leaves you about 25GB. An app like Runkeeper uses only 25MB of storage, Messenger less than 10MB, etc. However, the more you use each app, the more attached data and documents each app will have. These will take storage space.

Why Would an Apple Watch run out of Storage

Apple Watches from Series 4 and earlier are more likely to run out of storage, due to having less memory space. An Apple Watch may run out of storage if you download a large volume of offline music, podcasts, audiobooks or sync a large number of photos.

How to Check Your Apple Watch Storage and Capacity

There are two ways to check how much storage space you have left on your Apple Watch. The first one is via the watch itself. The second one is via the Watch app on your iPhone. Both the watch and the iPhone app will show the exact same information. Here’s how to do it.

On the Watch itself:

  1. Press on the digital crown, scroll down and tap on ‘Settings’.
  2. Tap on ‘General’.
  3. Tap on ‘Storage’.

Your apps will appear in decreasing order of size. You can click on each individual app to see how much space each app uses (and how much space its data uses versus the app itself).

Apple Watch Settings
Apple Watch General
Apple Watch Storage

In the Watch app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Make sure you have your watch nearby.
  3. In the ‘My Watch‘ tab (generally the default tab), tap on ‘General’.
  4. Scroll down, find, and tap on ‘Storage’.

The largest apps will show at the top of the list.
Apple Watch App General
Apple Watch App Storage
Apple Watch App Storage Details

How can I Free up Space on my Apple Watch?

To free up storage on your Apple Watch, you should first check out the watch’s current storage by following the steps in the prior section. Next, identify what makes up a large proportion of your storage allowance. Generally, it will be photos, music, messages, or the ‘Other’ category. WatchOS is the operating system and you can’t delete that.

To free up space on your Apple Watch, try one or several of the following solutions:

Unpair and Re-Pair Your Apple Watch

This is relatively easy to do and may well save you from having to go into the details of what apps to delete, what music to keep and which photos to sync.

On your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. In the ‘My Watch’ tab (generally the default tab), tap on ‘All Watches’ at the very top of the screen.
  3. Tap on the “i” button of the watch you want to unpair.
  4. Tap on the ‘Unpair Apple Watch’ button.
  5. Go back to the ‘All Watches’ page.
  6. Tap on ‘Add Watch’.
  7. Follow the steps to pair an iPhone again, making sure you do not pair back using a backup.

Read this article for step-by-step photos of how to unpair and re-pair your watch.

Remove Music From Your Apple Watch

Music can take up a lot of storage space. To select what songs to delete from your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the ‘My Watch” tab (generally the default tab), tap on ‘Music’
  3. Tap on ‘Edit’ in the top-right corner (if the watch doesn’t offer you an option to edit, it means you don’t have any music synced to your watch)
  4. Tap on the ‘Delete’ button (red circle) of the items you want to delete, tap ‘Delete’ again.
  5. If you have selected to automatically add purchased music on your watch, you might want to deactivate that feature to avoid music taking up more space on your watch.

Remove Photos From Your Apple Watch

You can remove photos from your Apple watch by changing your syncing selection.

On your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. In the ‘My Watch‘ tab (generally the default tab), tap on ‘Photos’.
  3. To free up space, the best thing to do is to stop syncing photos altogether.
  4. If you’re not willing to do that, you may stop syncing memories or set a smaller limit of photos to sync.
Under ‘My Watch’, Tap on ‘Photos’
Sync Off Photos Apple Watch
Disable Photo Sync Altogether
Limit Number of Photos to be Synced

Delete Applications From Your Apple Watch

You should delete apps you no longer use, as this can be a painless way to clear up a little bit of extra storage.

However, users often find that applications are relatively small. You may not be able to free up a lot of storage space by deleting applications unless you delete those that were ranked high when you checked your current storage.

From your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the ‘My Watch‘ tab (generally the default tab), scroll down to the sub-section called ‘Installed on Apple Watch‘.
  3. You can remove an app, by tapping on its specific arrow, and disabling the feature ‘Show App on Apple Watch‘.
Apple Watch Apps List
List of Installed Apps
Slide Green Bar to the Left

Or, from your Apple watch:

  1. On Grid View mode:
    Press on any icon for a few seconds until the app icons start to jiggle. Delete chosen apps by taping on their “X” button.
    When done, press on the digital crown to exit the deletion mode.
  2. On List View mode:
    Press on the digital crown, scroll down to the app you want to delete, and swipe that app’s row to the left.
    Tap the trash icon to delete the app, and confirm by pressing “Delete App”.

Delete Podcasts or Audiobooks

Podcasts and Audiobooks can be quite voluminous. If you have synced podcasts or downloaded audiobooks on your Apple Watch, you should delete or unsync them once you have finished listening / reading.

From your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the ‘My Watch‘ tab (generally the default tab), tap on ‘Podcasts’ or ‘Audiobooks’.
  3. Select the material you want to unsync.
Apple Watch Podcasts
Under ‘My Watch”, Tap on ‘Podcasts’
Apple Watch Audiobooks
Under ‘My Watch”, Tap on ‘Audiobooks’


If you’re like most people and have an Apple Watch Series 5 or up, then you likely don’t have to worry about storage space. These models come with 32GB of storage, which is enough for most users. But if your watch does start to fill up, there are several things you can do to free up some space. You can unsync photos, delete music, try to pair your iPhone again, and more. So don’t panic if your watch starts to feel a little cramped – there are plenty of ways to make some extra room!

Similar Posts