Apple Watch is all about quick interactions — you lift your arm, tap and swipe, and drop your arm again. The Dock on your Apple Watch can help make your app interactions quick and reliable because your most-used and favorite apps are always at the ready!

Follow along to learn how to use the Dock on your Apple Watch.

What exactly is the Dock on Apple Watch?

Unlike your iPhone or iPad, the Dock on Apple Watch doesn't live at the bottom of your screen. Instead, you open it by pressing the side button. When you do, you'll see a vertically-scrolled list of cards that display shortcuts to your recently opened apps or favorites; you can pick which option you'd like to use with the Watch app on your iPhone.

These shortcuts will also display the latest information from each app on their card in case you want to quickly check a stock or your latest messages without opening the app.

If you're looking at the Recents View, you'll see up to 10 apps opened recently. If you're looking at the Favorites View, however, you'll instead see the apps you've denoted as Favorites displayed; if there are fewer than 10, the Dock will also display the most recently-opened app at the top of the list with an option to add it to your Dock permanently.

How to set up and organize your Dock to use either Recents or Favorites

By default, the Dock in watchOS 4 is set up to display shortcuts for the 10 most recent apps you've opened. You can change that behavior through the Watch app, however, and instead, pick up to 10 favorite app shortcuts to display instead.

Tip: If you choose to use the Favorites view, you can add the Now Playing screen as a shortcut; normally, this is only available from watch faces.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on the Dock option.

  4. Choose Favorites under the Dock Ordering section.
  5. Tap Edit to add or remove watch apps in your Favorites.
  6. If you want to switch back to Recents, you can do so at any time; your Favorites will be saved in case you want to return to that view.

How to use the Dock on your Apple Watch to quickly switch between apps

Once you've chosen how you want to view the Dock, here's how to use it.

  1. Press the side button on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll with the Digital Crown or swipe up or down on the screen to view your apps.
  3. Tap to open the app you want to use.

    Tip: Want to see non-Dock apps? Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap the All Apps button to go to your full app list.

  4. If you decide you don't want to view the Dock after all, you can press the side button or Digital Crown to return to your previous screen.

How to add, rearrange, and remove apps from your Apple Watch's Dock

While you can't switch between Recents and Favorites or completely rearrange your Dock directly on your Apple Watch, you can remove apps from your Dock — and, if you have fewer than 10 Favorites, be prompted to add the most recent app you viewed. And there are a bunch of things you can do on your iPhone through the Watch app.

How to add apps

If you're using the Apple Watch Dock in Recents mode, apps are automatically added in the order you've opened them, with the oldest apps falling off once you've opened more than 10.

If you're in Favorites mode, you can only add apps directly on your Apple Watch if you've recently opened them — and only if you have fewer than 10 apps. If so, you'll be able to add the most recently opened app to your Dock.

  1. Scroll to the top of the Dock list and hover on the top card for a moment; the card will expand under the Recent heading and display a Keep in Dock button.
  2. Press the Keep in Dock button.

You can also add new apps in Favorites mode through the Watch app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Select the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on the Dock option.
  4. Tap on Edit in the upper right corner.
  5. Scroll down to the Do Not Include section and tap the green plus button to add the app to your Dock. You're limited to 10 apps; try to add more, and you'll receive a warning.

How to rearrange apps

While you can remove apps from the Dock on your Apple Watch, you can only rearrange those apps on your iPhone, and only if you have Favorites mode enabled.

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Select the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on the Dock option.
  4. Tap on Edit in the upper right corner.

  5. Grab on the edit handles next to the apps in the Dock and move the app accordingly in the list.
  6. Release the edit handles to place the app in its new location.
  7. Press the Done button in the upper right corner.

How to remove apps from your Dock

You can either remove apps from your Dock directly on your Apple Watch, or from your iPhone.

On your Apple Watch

  1. Press the side button on your Apple Watch to open your Dock.
  2. Swipe or scroll to find the app you wish to remove.

  3. Swipe to the left on the app card to reveal the Remove button.
  4. Tap Remove.

    Note: This doesn't force quit or delete the app, just removes it from your Dock.

On your iPhone

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Select the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap on the Dock option.
  4. Tap on Edit in the upper right corner.

  5. Select the red minus button.
  6. Tap the Remove button to delete the app from your Dock.

Questions?

Having trouble getting your Apple Watch Dock just so? Need some further clarification? Give us a shout in the comments or over on Twitter and we'll see what we can do!

Updated September 2017: Updated for watchOS 4 and Series 3.

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