Fix Windows Store apps not working

This article provides some of the possible solutions to the issue where some or all of your Windows Store apps refuse to load, or simply hang at the splash screen. Applies to apps in both Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.

windows store metro universal apps

Running the Windows Store Apps diagnostics tool

Before trying any the more tedious solutions, the first option is to run the Windows Store Apps diagnostics tool provided by Microsoft. This tool will check and fix the basics, and it’s essential to discard these issues first.

Windows Store Apps Diagnostics Tool

Windows Store Apps Diagnostics Tool can fix some of the errors related to your Windows apps.

If the Microsoft Store does not launch

If the only Windows app not working is the Microsoft Store, you can try some of the proposed solutions from Microsoft. Step 5 (wsreset.exe) is the most widely accepted solution in this case, but check all steps anyway.

You can also refer to the Fix Problems with apps from the Microsoft Store article. In my case, it solved nothing, because I had a registry-related permission issue.

Fixing filesystem permissions

Check the folders listed below. Determine if the ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES group has the access indicated. Most but not all sub directories of Windows, Program Files and WER also grant permissions to this group.

  • Program Files
    1. Read
    2. Read and Execute
    3. List folder Contents
  • Windows
    1. Read
    2. Read and Execute
    3. List folder Contents
  • Users\<userName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER
    • Special Permissions:
      1. List folder / read data
      2. Create Folders / Append Data

Notice: AppData is a hidden folder, you must enable the option to show system and hidden files to locate and check out its properties.

Program Files user permissions

Program Files folder user permissions.

Fixing registry permissions

Make sure the  ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES  group has the Read permissions to the following registry paths:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM
  • HKEY_USERS

To check these permissions, press the Windows + R keys and run regedit. Right click each of the folders from the list and select Permissions. Use the Add button to add the ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES  group, click Check Names to ensure it is correct, and select the Read permission at the Allow column, as follows:

Permissions for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

Permissions for the registry folder HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

The permission solutions were taken from Microsoft Store Apps fail to start if default registry or file permissions modified. Be warned that the article, at the Registry Keys section, incorrectly refers to the group as “All Applications Packages”, the correct name is ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES.

More aggresive system-wide solutions

Running the System File Checker (as administrator) to repair missing or corrupted system files:

If you get the Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them error message, you can try running the System Update Readiness Tool as administrator:

This process could take several minutes to complete. DISM creates a log file (C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log) that captures any issues that the tool found or fixed.

Last resort: Refresh Windows

If none of the previous solutions solved your problem, you could do a System Refresh, but this will essentially remove all your installed software… and this is not limited to your Windows Store apps, as it will delete ALL installed programs from any sources.

Notice: This option is only recommended when you have tried absolutely all options from this (and other) pages. However, it’s most likely that there’s a solution that would fix the problem without the refresh. Leave your comment below to let me know if you tried all options here.

Leave your comments or suggestions

You can add your comment below if you managed to solve your problems with Windows formerly Metro, then Modern, then Universal apps, or if you have tried all the possible solutions but none worked. To avoid extending this article, I left out some of the other common options like the Powershell or the Accounts method.

Personally, I’ve tried all these and other options until I found the right page at the Microsoft site regarding registry permissions, which is a generally ignored option in most articles.

All product names, logos, and brands in this website are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.