Windows 8 is shiny and new, bringing an entirely new and different application model and ecosystem. No matter how experienced you are at troubleshooting previous versions of Windows, you won’t be fully prepared to start troubleshooting Windows 8 when you first sit down with it.
Aside from the classic “restart your computer” advice for troubleshooting Windows (seriously, try restarting your computer – it really does fix a lot of issues with Windows), we’ve gathered some Windows 8 app troubleshooting tips. This is all still new to everyone, so this isn’t the ultimate guide to troubleshooting Windows 8 apps. That will come later.
Check Your Email
Microsoft says they’ll email you if this occurs. If an app is refusing to run, check your email – you may find an email saying Microsoft has disabled the app.
Close & Restart The App
If an app isn’t behaving properly, restarting it might help. it’s not immediately obvious how to close a Windows 8 app, as there’s no X button. When you switch away from a Windows 8 app, it suspends itself. When you switch back, the app continues running as if you never left.
To close a Windows 8 app, press Alt+F4 while the app is running or middle-click the app in the app switcher. You can also move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen until it turns into a hand, grab the app, and drag it to the bottom of the screen.
You can also use the task manager – press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open it. Select a running app and click End task to close it. The task manager will also show you how much CPU, memory, disk, and network resources each Windows 8 app is using.
Run The Apps Troubleshooter
Microsoft offers an official troubleshooter that identifies potential issues with Windows 8 apps. Click here to download it. Run the troubleshooter, select Windows Store Apps, and see if the troubleshooter finds any issues with your system. The troubleshooter will try to fix any problems it finds – with any luck, this will solve (or at least identify) your problem.
Ensure Your Screen Resolution Is High Enough
If apps won’t run, you should ensure your screen resolution is high enough. The minimum screen resolution to use Windows 8 apps is 1024×768 – if your display is using a lower resolution, modern apps won’t launch.
To check your screen resolution, right-click your desktop and select Screen Resolution. If the current screen resolution is lower than 1024×768, try setting it higher – if you can’t, your display is just too small. Some displays, particularly netbooks with smaller screens, just won’t be able to use Windows 8 apps.
Note that the Snap feature, which allows you to use multiple apps at the same time, requires a minimum resolution of 1366×768. Your display must be 1366 pixels or wider or Snap won’t function at all.
Update The App
Let’s face it: it’s early days for Windows 8 and the majority of apps in the Windows Store aren’t very mature yet. They may contain bugs, but most apps are being updated frequently. If you’re experiencing an issue, make sure you have the latest version of the app. To do so, open the Store app, access the Settings pane from the charms bar, and select App updates. Use the Check for updates button to check for new versions of your installed apps and install any available updates.
You should also check that the Store is set to automatically download updates, which will ensure you have the latest versions in the future. (If you have limited bandwidth, you may want to leave this setting enabled to save on bandwidth.)
Sync App Licenses
If an app’s license is out of sync on your computer, the app might not work. Synchronizing the license data manually may fix a problem you’re experiencing with an app. Use the Sync licenses button on the App updates screen to perform a manual sync.
Reinstall The App
Reinstalling an app may help solve your problem. it’s possible that an app’s files became corrupted or the installation process may just fix an issue you’re experiencing.
To uninstall an app from the Start screen, swipe down on its tile or right-click it and select Uninstall. To easily reinstall the app, open the Store, right-click or swipe down from the top of the screen, and select Your Apps. Locate the app you uninstalled and reinstall it.
Contact The Developer
If you’re experiencing an issue with an app and want to report it directly to the developer, you can contact them directly from the Windows Store. First, open the Store app and locate the page for the app. Under the Learn more section, click the Support link. This will allow you to email the developer or take you to a support page for the app.
If you’re still experiencing issues with your computer, you may want to try refreshing your PC, which restores its programs and system files to the factory state without affecting your files. To do this, open the charms bar, tap Settings, and select Change PC Settings. On the General pane, you’ll find the Refresh your PC without affecting your files option.
For more Windows 8 tips, be sure to download our free guide to Windows 8. Do you have any other troubleshooting Windows 8 tips or solutions to problems you’ve come across? Leave a comment and share them!