If you’ve updated your 2015, first-generation Apple Watch to watchOS 4, you may have noticed the software acting a bit sluggish. Here’s a few tips to help speed it up.
Begin By Restarting
This may be obvious but after updating to watchOS 4 make sure to restart your Apple Watch. I can’t remember the last time I did a restart so this step alone helped tremendously. To restart simply press and hold the side button until the power off slider appears. It takes a good 15-30 seconds for the watch to completely power down. When it’s off, hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears to turn it back on.
On your phone, open the Apple Watch app and go to General - Accessibility - Reduce Motion. Turn on the “Reduce Motion” option. This will limit the amount of animations on the watch which will make navigating watchOS 4 much quicker. You’ll especially notice the speed improvement when switching apps and swiping down for notification center.
Again on your phone, open the Apple Watch app and go to General - Accessibility - Reduce Transparency. Turn on the “Reduce Transparency” option. This will turn off any view that uses a blurring effect which again will help speed up navigation on watch OS 4. Most notably the blurring effect will be removed in notification center and any app that uses the effect.
Your speed improvements may vary but after I did these few adjustments my original Apple Watch felt much quicker. This should hold me over until I can get my hands on Apple Watch Series 3.