Fix Modern UI apps in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10

Microsoft Store (aka Windows Store) has been causing problems with apps since Windows 8 was released. Luckily there are pretty easy ways to fix Modern UI apps, such as the Store or Photos or some other app not opening, working or crashing.
Many of us have seen the infamous 0x803F8001 error (Try that again, See error details) while updating apps in Windows 10 Store? Or just errors while updating apps?

Windows 10, Store error 0x803f8001

Before you start, you might want to run a full virus/malware scan.

Resetting Windows Store or Microsoft Store

First, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+X to open the Quick Links menu and click or tap Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin). Both Command Prompt and PowerShell work fine.
Alternatively, right-click or tap and hold on the Windows logo/Start button in Windows 8.1/10, or move the mouse pointer to the bottom left of the screen and right-click on the small Start screen button in Windows 8.

Windows 10, Quick Links menu
Windows 8.1, Quick Links menu

Another method is to open Start, type cmd (that’s right, you do not even need to open Search charm or Cortana in Windows), right-click or tap and hold on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Windows 8, Start screen search
Windows 8.1, Start screen search

If you are having problems with Windows or Microsoft Store only (such as the app not running, or unable to check for or install app updates), type wsreset and press Enter key. This clears the Store cache and the app should open in just a few seconds. The simple solution might also fix Live Tiles permanently showing some number of updates.
Anyway, despite the problems your modern apps in Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 are facing, this should always be the first step.

Windows 8, Administrator Command Prompt, wsreset

Resetting or repairing an app in Windows 10 Settings

Sometimes an app’s data gets messed up and it either refuses to start, does not display its name properly (especially in Windows 10 Creators Update), or its Live Tile stops functioning.

Since Windows 10 Anniversary Update from August 2016, there is the ability to reset apps completely, later Windows 10 versions added the Repair button. Repairing is the preferred method because resetting often deletes all user data related to the app.

Here’s a common example from Windows 10 Creators Update – the Mail and Calendar app shows ms-resource:// and mumbo-jumbo instead of the proper name.

Windows 10 Start menu, no proper app name visible

In Windows 10 Creators Update and newer, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+X to open Quick Links menu and choose Apps and Features from the top. Alternatively, right-click or touch and hold the Start button.
In older versions of Windows 10, open the Settings app (Windows Key+I) and navigate to System, Apps & features.

Windows 10 Creators Update, Quick Links menu. Choose ‘Apps and Features’.

Completely broken apps are usually on the top of the list if their names start with letters or numbers, or in this case, on the bottom of the list as no name is available (blank name). Click or tap the app you want to fix.
Alternatively, if app updates fail, locate the broken one in the alphabetically sorted list.

To see the repair and reset options, click or tap the Advanced options link below the app’s name.

Windows 10 Creators Update, Settings, Apps, Apps & features. Choose the broken app and click ‘Advanced options’.

In newer versions of Windows 10, try using the Repair button first.
If this does not help, then tap or click the Reset button.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update, advanced options for an app
Windows 10 Creators Update, Settings, Apps, Apps & features, Advanced options. Click ‘Reset’ to fix the broken app.

After a few seconds, the app should start behaving as expected: try opening or updating it again.

Resolving the inability to install, repair or turn on Microsoft Edge extensions in Windows 10

After upgrading to Windows 10 Anniversary Update (August 2016), many users experience problems while adding or enabling extensions in Microsoft Edge (either inside the browser or via Windows Store). Extensions just crash and their status in Store becomes “Repair”, and the repair does not really help.

To fix issues with Edge extensions, open the Settings app from Start and navigate to System, Apps & features. Find the problematic extension(s), click or tap them and choose Uninstall. Then reinstall the extensions from Windows Store, while Edge is not running.

Repairing Windows Store, Camera, File Manager, and Settings apps

In case when Windows Store still does not launch, or your Photos app, PC Settings app (aka Immersive Control Panel) and maybe some other apps never finish loading or just keep crashing, it is time to run some more powerful repairs.

Type or copy-paste the following commands (right-clicking or tapping and holding inside Command Prompt window opens a menu with Paste command) and press Enter key after each one:

  • powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.xml
  • powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\camera\AppxManifest.xml – not needed in Windows 8, there is no such app there
  • powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\FileManager\AppxManifest.xml – not needed in Windows 8, there is no such app there
  • powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\ImmersiveControlPanel\AppxManifest.xml
Windows 8.1, Administrator Command Prompt

While PowerShell is resolving the problems, a state-of-the-art 3D progress bar runs. Wow, remember the good old days of MS-DOS? 😀

Windows 8.1, Administrator Command Prompt, PowerShell running

The fixes do not take very long to complete – even stone age PC-s should finish each one in less than a minute or two.

In case the process ends with one or more “file not found” errors, run System Files Checker first to attempt restoring missing system files. If this does not help, you can reinstall Windows without losing your files, installed programs/apps/drivers and settings.

Fixing all installed apps at once with PowerShell

Warning:  Windows 10 version 1511 (build 10586.36) has known problems with the following PowerShell command: it will mess up most Windows Store apps. Do not use this solution on Windows 10 build 10586.36!
To check Windows version information, open Start, type winver and click the result.
This problem has been resolved in newer Windows 10 builds.

Now, if you are still having trouble running some apps while the others seem to work just fine, or some third-party apps do not run, you might need to use PowerShell to redeploy all installed packages. This is also the fix to use for Windows 10 Store 0x803F8001 error.

To do this, open Start screen, type powershell, then right-click or tap and hold Windows PowerShell and choose Run as administrator.

Windows 8.1 Start screen, Search results

In the PowerShell window, type or copy-paste the command Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”} and press Enter to run it.

Windows 8.1, PowerShell

This process will take some more time as it locates and reinstalls all currently installed Windows Store/Modern UI/Metro apps. Five or more minutes is absolutely normal.

Windows 8.1, PowerShell fixing installed apps

You might see several red error messages during the process, but do not worry – these are expected and relate to wrong hardware architecture or version conflicts.

After the process completes, close the Windows PowerShell window (it is probably full of red errors as described above). And guess what: you’ve just repaired the whole Modern UI app mess!

Windows 8.1, PowerShell, common errors in Add-AppxPackage results

While errors about newer versions and hardware architecture are normal here, the “file not found” errors still require a different approach. First, run System Files Checker to attempt restoring missing system files.
If SFC does not help, you can reinstall Windows without losing your files, installed programs/apps/drivers and settings.

Resolving the dreaded 0x80073cf9 error while updating or installing apps

The “This app wasn’t installed” error usually appears after upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1 and the reason is very simple – the AppReadiness folder is missing. In Windows 8, the same folder is named AUInstallAgent.

Just open File Explorer (keyboard shortcut is Windows Key+E) and navigate to the C:\Windows\ folder. Then either right-click or tap and hold in an empty space, expand New and choose Folder, or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N.

In Windows 8, type AUInstallAgent and press Enter.
In Windows 8.1 or 10, type AppReadiness and press Enter.

That’s it – open Windows Store and retry the app installation or upgrade. If you still get the same error, restart your device.

Recovering from the 0x80073CF6 errors while removing, adding or updating apps in Windows 8, 8.1 or 10

The 0x80073CF6 error in Windows Store and PowerShell is the nastiest one you can find. It has many probable causes, therefore it is pretty difficult to get rid of it. This error might also prevent apps from opening properly.

You can locate the cause of problems by opening the Event Viewer and navigating to the Application and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\AppXDeployment-Server\Microsoft-Windows-AppXDeployment-Server/Operational log.

Apply a filter that displays the error, warning, and critical events (see the linked tutorial above) and check the general descriptions of the entries.

Here are common entries related to the 0x80073CF6 error in Event Viewer:

  • Event 306 – error 0x80070005: While processing the request, the system failed to register the windows.fileTypeAssociation extension due to the following error: Access is denied.
  • Event 316 – error 0x80070005: Cannot register the request because the following error was encountered during the registration of the windows.fileTypeAssociation extension: Access is denied.
  • Event 300 – error 0x80073CF6: Cannot register the Microsoft.Windows.Photos_8wekyb3d8bbwe package due to the following error: Package could not be registered.
  • Event 401 – Deployment Register operation with target volume C: on Package Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2016.526.12150.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe from: (AppxBundleManifest.xml) failed with error 0x80073CF6. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=235160 for help diagnosing app deployment issues.
  • Event 6801 – AppxManifest.xml(107,10): error 0x80070005: Cannot register the Microsoft.Windows.Photos_16.526.11220.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe package because the following error was encountered while registering the windows.fileTypeAssociation extension: Access is denied. Try again and contact the package publisher if the problem persists.
  • Event 5502 – Deployment failed with HRESULT: 0x80073CF6, Package could not be registered.
    Merge Failure : error 0x80070003 : Cannot register the Microsoft.Windows.Photos_15.1120.13270.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
    package because there was a merge failure with the following file: C:\Program
  • Event 303 – AppXDeployment-Server error 0x80070003: While preparing to process the request, the system failed to register the windows.MRT extension due to the following error: The system cannot find the path specified
  • Deployment failed with HRESULT: 0x80073CF6, Package could not be registered.
    error 0x80070003: Reading manifest from location: AppxManifest.xml failed with error: The system cannot find the path

The first thing to try in this case is to open elevated (administrator) Command Prompt as shown in the very first solution (Resetting Windows Store).

Type the following commands and press Enter key after each one:

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

The first command cleans up outdated components and makes the Windows Component Store a little smaller. The second command locates errors in the Component Store and fixes them. Reboot your computer after this.

Resolving Windows or Microsoft Store error 0x80131500 with Windows Repair Free

This section deals with multiple problems, including Microsoft Edge, Windows Store and all modern apps not being able to connect to the Internet. Microsoft Store probably displays the “Try that again. Page could not be loaded.” message and the error code 0x80131500.

If DISM did not help, download the installer version of Windows Repair Free by Tweaking.com. After installing and launching the program, accept its license agreement, click Jump to repairs and then click Open repairs. This will first create a backup of your computer’s Registry.

Although Windows Repair Free suggests using Safe Mode, it is not really necessary. Click the I understand the risks button to continue.

Click or touch the All Repairs checkbox to clear all selected items. Then select the following items (if the numbers change in future releases, please use the descriptions instead):

  • 01 – Reset Registry Permissions
  • 10 – Remove Policies Set By Infections
  • 25 – Restore Important Windows Services
  • 26 – Set Windows Services To Default Startup
  • 27.02 – Repair Windows 8/10 App Store (Completely Reset App Store)
  • 29 – Restore Windows 8/10 COM+ Unmarshalers

Items with numbers 10, 25 and 26 in the list are just in case your device has been hit by malware; 01, 27.02 and 29 must be selected to resolve the errors.

Hit the Start Repairs button. The fixes take quite some time to complete, keep calm. After the process is complete, you probably need to restart your device. This should take care of the 0x80073CF6 and 0x80131500 errors in Microsoft Store.