How to Troubleshoot If Windows 8.1 Apps Won’t Open or Install

Aaron Couch 20-05-2015

The Windows 8.1 upgrade Is Windows 8.1 Done After This Unspectacular August Update? The much anticipated August Update for Windows 8.1, formerly known as Update 2, has arrived and it's not what we expected; but then we already knew that. Is it even worth bothering? In short: YES! Read More created several issues 7 More Issues With Windows 8.1 That Can Be Fixed Want to get rid of the Charms bar, restore libraries or lost your Administrator account? Lots of things can go wrong in Windows 8.1! Here's how to fix the most annoying issues. Read More  for many users, myself included.


One problem was Windows Apps becoming unresponsive How To Fix Unresponsive Native Apps After Updating to Windows 8.1 Wondering how to fix 'dead titles' on your start screen after upgrading to Windows 8.1? We got you covered! Read More , not opening or not even installing. This included PC Settings and the Windows App Store. Users have reported various symptoms, but the most common was the app “flashing” open and then immediately closing. The app remained “open”, but would never load past the initial “flash screen”. Some have even reported error messages saying the app can’t open.

0 Windows Apps Problem

The following are the steps I took to solve my problem. Some helped while others didn’t. They are listed in the recommended troubleshooting order, starting from very basic to slightly more complicated and in depth. The idea is that you won’t have to do all of these steps, but that one or some of the initial troubleshooting tips will solve your problem sooner. Good luck!

Step 1: Download and Run Microsoft’s Apps Troubleshooter

Microsoft has provided a tool to fix various issues with the Windows Store and Apps alike. Click the title of this section for more information and to download it by clicking Apps troubleshooter in the text.

1 Window Apps Troubleshooter


Once it’s downloaded, run it and follow the instructions, pressing Next to continue through the troubleshooter. In the next window, click Reset and open Windows Store.

1.2 Windows Apps Troubleshooter

Once complete, it will display the results of what it attempted to fix and what it couldn’t fix. You can view the details by clicking the blue View detailed information link and save it for later reference.

1.3 Windows Apps Troubleshooter


Step 2: Clear and Reset Windows Store Cache

If the App Troubleshooter didn’t do the trick, the next step is clearing and resetting the Windows Store Cache. Tab or click the Start button and type WSreset. Right-click it and choose Run as administrator.

2 Reset Windows Store Cache

It should then launch the Windows Store and allow browsing. Now try downloading a new app or opening an existing app.

2.2 Windows 8 App Store


Step 3: Test for Corrupted “Package Repository”

Now we have to dig a little deeper. Think of this process like “file surgery”. Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\AppRepository. You’ll be notified you don’t have permission to access the folder and files.

3.1 Package Repository - permission needed

This process can be a hassle, but we’ve previously covered how to take ownership of files What Is TrustedInstaller & Why Does it Keep Me From Renaming Files? TrustedInstaller is a built-in user account in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. This user account "owns" a variety of system files, including some files in your Program Files folder, your Windows folder, and... Read More . There are several sections to that article, so scroll down to the section titled “Taking Ownership of Files”. Additionally, you can also refer to Microsoft’s instructions on how to do this.

Once you have completed this step, a box will pop up letting you know you’ve taken ownership of the folder and to close and reopen it. Just paste the previously mentioned folder directory in a Windows Explorer address bar.


Now the surgery begins. You will want to delete all files containing edb” in the name. These are associated with the Package Repository file. I found a fast way to find these files scattered throughout the folder is to click the Type field, and most if not all of the files you need to delete will be at the top. Just to be safe, though, scroll through the rest of the folder to make sure you didn’t miss one. Here are the files you want to look for:

  • PackageRepository.edb
  • edb.chk
  • edbtmp
  • edb.jrs or edb.log (edbXXXXX.log and edbXXXXX.jrs files)
  • edb.txt and edbXXXXX.txt

3.2 Delete log files - package repository

Reboot your computer and Windows will automatically recreate the files you deleted, except they won’t be corrupted. For many, this is the step that will do the trick.

Step 4: Run this Command Prompt

At this point, you may have some apps working, such as the system apps, like PC Settings, but other apps still aren’t opening. Go to Start and type “cmd” and run it with administrator privileges by right clicking and choosing Run as administrator.

4.1 Start screen Cmd prompt

You can then copy the following command and paste it into the command prompt window (right click > paste).

powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\ImmersiveControlPanel\AppxManifest.xml

4.2 Cmd prompt

Once it has finished, try opening the apps that weren’t previously working. You don’t even need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Step 5: Run System File Checker / Replace Corrupted Files

Darn! It’s still not working… I feel your pain. This step can only work for some if you have access to non-corrupted system files from another PC running the same operating system. I, unfortunately, did not, so I can’t vouch for this step personally, but others have found it to solve the problem after completing the steps.

  1. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges (as shown previously)
  2. Type sfc /scannow

This scan will take some time, but afterward you will get a message telling you if any system files are corrupted or damaged.

5 Cmd prompt scannow

If there are still corrupted files, despite all previous steps, you can start down the path of fixing them. To view the details of the System File Checker process and find the corrupted file, type the following in the command prompt:

findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >"%userprofile%\Desktop\sfcdetails.txt"

This will create a log file on your desktop called Sfcdetails.txt.

Below is an example of the log file format from my results:

2015-05-08 11:25:04, Info CSI 0000090d [SR] Could not reproject corrupted file [ml:520{260},l:114{57}]"\??\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Diagnosis\DownloadedSettings"[l:24{12}]""; source file in store is also corrupted

In my case, there were several corrupted files, all of which needed to be replaced. The steps to do this are illustrated well on the Microsoft website. Scroll down the page and find the link in the article that says “manually replace the corrupted file with a known good copy of the file.” This will open and take you directly to a “minimized section” of the article.

Step 6: Create a New User Account

6 Create New Account

If nothing else works, your last resort is creating a new user account Fix Windows Issues by Creating a New User Account Have you been troubleshooting a Windows issue to no avail? Creating a new user account could be your last resort. It's tricky, but we'll show you how to do it right. Read More , which I recently shared how to properly go about doing. It’s a big pain, but it will get your apps on the new account working properly.

What Worked for You?

This is only one of the many issues to emerge after upgrading to Windows 8.1 7 Windows 8.1 Upgrade Issues & How To Fix Them Windows 8.1 is more than a Service Pack. The significant Windows 8.1 upgrade has been reported to cause several issues during and after the update. We show you how to fix the most common ones. Read More , but hopefully you never experienced multiple problems simultaneously.

Did you have this problem too and solved it yourself? Which one of these steps worked for you? I researched this issue thoroughly and couldn’t find any other solutions, but if you discovered a solution not mentioned in this article, please share it in the comments below for everyone else to learn from!

Related topics: Windows 8.1, Windows Upgrade.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Johan
    May 27, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I cannot believe that I have to jump through all of this hoops simply for making a Microsoft app from the App Store run on a Microsoft computer!

  2. Emily
    January 30, 2018 at 3:39 am

    You may also try Dataownerclub Windows Error Repair to fix this issue

  3. Mohsen
    June 8, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Hello I tried every step here and nothing worked so I searched the net and found this
    go to Windows (C:)---Windows---SoftwareDistribution---Download. Select all the files and delete them. Done.
    now the app downloading so its working
    thanks for the useful post :)

  4. Edgar
    January 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    As to the "apps-troubleshooter": I loaded it down but when the program should start I get the message: "Troubleshooter cannot run because of a technical problem"... No more text, no explanation about the "technical problem", nothing... I am working now 48 hours on this problem but I cant get it fixed.

  5. Hari Prasad
    October 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the help, but none of the above helped solve my problem.
    I found that ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES was missing under permissions in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, in registry edit (regedit)
    I added it, and granted READ permission, and everything is working fine.

    • Bruce
      January 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Just read your note and mine is missing. Can you give details of what you did?
      I added: ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES to the directory but other similar files have no spaces between the words. Also what data did you put in it?

      Thank you,

      • BH
        March 20, 2019 at 7:42 pm

        @Bruce I had the same question reading @Hari Prasad 's post.

        Found this from Microsoft that is also about this "flashing" Store apps issue:

        "Microsoft Store Apps fail to start if default registry or file permissions modified"

        One example step to take granting ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES permission:

        "Fixing registry permissions that have been changed manually
        Open regedit.exe
        Right click on HKEY_Users and select properties
        Make sure that All Application Packages has Read
        Repeat for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
        Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Check the subkeys HARDWARE, SAM,SOFTWARE,SYSTEM. Make sure that All Application Packages has the Read permission."

  6. Mohamed Harris
    July 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    this regards the same problem they discussed, i did the sfc scannow and it shows some files corrupted. but i cannot do the replacement of files pls help me to solve this problem. Then i have two doubts, pls reply your answer,
    The Doubts are,
    1.when i upgrade my lap from windows 8.1 to windows 10 , will i get rid of this problem?
    2.My speakers are also not working , is this a symptom associated with this problem?

    Awaiting your answers....,

  7. Rahul
    December 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    It shows that powershell is not recognised as internal or external command how to solve it

  8. Anonymous
    September 30, 2015 at 10:00 am

    The first step fixed my store, but my other windows apps arent working still. Thanks though with the help of the store

  9. Anonymous
    September 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Hi, I tried till step 5 using the file checker and it still didn't work because the file checker did not find any corrupted files. However, I did a system restore to an earlier point with no success because upon completion it stated that my anti-virus might be interfering with it.

    Fair enough, I restarted my PC but strangely after that the problem went away. My Windows store apps could open again so actually I am not sure which step you posted which really helped. Thanks a lot though.

  10. Anonymous
    August 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Oh My GOD !
    Believe me I have tried to solve this problem for 2 months !!!

    At last ? processed youcomendaition that powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\ImmersiveControlPanel\AppxManifest.xml

    Now It works !

    Thanks ! thanks ! Thanks ! Really Thanks ! :)

  11. Anonymous
    August 8, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Hello Aaron,

    Thanks for useful post! Step 1 to 4 worked for me. :) But, Whenever I hibernate or Restart I need to do Steps 1,2,4 again every time. Can you shed further light here? I am running Windows 8.1 (64-bit) on a Lenovo Z580.

    Thanks in advance.

  12. Joy thomas
    May 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    i specifically don't know which step helped but ,PC setting started working.. Thank you.

    • Aaron Couch
      May 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Oh good! What was the final step that seemed to work? Keep me posted if anything changes.

  13. Dennis Primm
    May 22, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    I am running Windows 8.1 (64-bit) on a Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 and...

    Just today, I had apps that had a circled "X" on the tiles in the Start page. I clicked on one of them and it wouldn't open, but it gave a warning message (in a ribbon) that the app wouldn't start and I noticed dark blue text that said something about going to the Windows Store, so I clicked on that text and it took me to the store and the page of the app I was having problems with. A ribbon appeared across the page and it said that the app needed to be repaired, so I clicked on "Repair" or "OK" and it started the repair process. After a minute or so, a small tab appeared on the right side of the screen telling me that the app had been installed, so I clicked on it and it took me directly to the app and it worked perfectly!!! This was the best experience I've had on a Windows OS!!! After I found that this actually would fix the error or problem, I then went on to fix about ten or so other problem apps! I am so happy that Microsoft has implemented this into their OS. I don't know if this is what your readers are seeing, but if it is, then there's an easy way to fix them as I can attest to!

    • Aaron Couch
      May 26, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      That's great, Dennis! I love hearing about troubleshooting done right. I wish the solution to the issue I had and described in the article would have been that easy! Thanks for sharing and hopefully it can help other readers.