Error 5973 crashes Windows 10/11 apps? Here’s how to fix it

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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If any of your Windows 10 apps aren’t opening, or are crashing after launching them, that could be due to a 5973 event error. Event 5973 errors are fairly widespread and crash apps in a few ways. However, it’s usually the case that the apps don’t start; and there are never any error 5973 dialog windows that provide potential fixes or further details about what happened. However, the Event Viewer lists the errors under event ID 5973.

Error 5973 crashes Cortana

Cortana is one of the more unique Windows 10 apps that integrates with the OS. Thus, it isn’t exactly a standard Windows Store app; and some users have had event 5973 errors for Cortana. Then Cortana might still work for simple queries, but usually passes them to Bing.

Error 5973 crashes the Mail App

Some Windows users have also had event 5973 errors for the Mail app when running it in standard (non-admin) user accounts. The Mail app opens ok, but it crashes soon after. That error could be due to the Mail app’s integration with Cortana. One potential fix might be to open the Mail app in an admin account instead, but there isn’t any fixed resolution for it.

Error 5973 prevents Windows Store Apps from opening

The usual consequence of an event 5973 error is that one, or more, apps don’t open. The apps’ windows might briefly open but then close again. In the worst instances, no Windows Store apps open at all. This 5973 issue could be due to a corrupted user application cache.

Open Event 5973 Error Logs in Event Viewer

Event Viewer logs all 5973 errors and provides further details for them. So it gives you a little extra insight for the 5973 error. As such, Event Viewer is the first Windows utility to open if one, or more, of your apps aren’t working. This is how you can open error 5973 app logs.

  • First, open the Win + X menu by pressing the Win key + X hotkey.
  • Select Event Viewer to open its window as in the snapshot directly below.

  • Click Windows Logs on the left of the Event Viewer window.
  • Select Application to open a list of app events.
  • Red exclamation marks highlight the event 5973 errors. Click any event with the error ID 5973 to open further details for it.

The General tab provides most details for the event error. For example, the error details might be something like: “Activation of app Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App failed with error: The application cannot be started. Try reinstalling the application to fix the problem. See the Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational log for additional information.

How to fix error 5973

The Event Viewer sheds some light on the errors but doesn’t help fix the apps. Alas, there are few specific fixes for 5973 issues. However, Microsoft does have an official fix for Windows Store apps that aren’t opening with 5973 errors logged in Event Viewer. This is more specifically for 5973 errors with logs that state,  “This app does not support the contract specified or is not installed. The fix requires that you set up a new Windows user account and back up the previous user data as follows.

  • Press the Cortana button, and then enter ‘user accounts’ in the search box.
  • Select Add, edit or remove other people to open the window shown directly below.

  • Press the Add someone else to this PC option to open the window below.

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  • First, select the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information option; and then click the Add a user without a Microsoft account option.
  • Enter the login details for the new account, and click the Next button.
  • Now log in to the new account just set up, and run the same apps that weren’t opening. If they now open, the new account has effectively resolved the 5973 error.
  • If you want to back up your profile data from your old user account, log back in to the original account.
  • Enter ‘files and folders’ in the Cortana search box. Select Show hidden files and folders to open the Explorer Options window directly below.

  • Click the View tab, and select the Show hidden files, folders and drives option.
  • Deselect the Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) options if they’re currently selected.
  • Press Apply > OK to close the window.
  • Open the C: Users folder in File Explorer. Then open your old user account subfolder from there.

  • Select and copy almost every file and subfolder in the user account folder. However, do not copy the NtUser.dat, NtUser.ini and NtUser.log files in that folder.
  • Paste the copied files and subfolders to a backup folder from which you can retrieve the former user account profile data.
  • Log out of the old user account.
  • Delete the old user account by selecting it in the Settings app and pressing the Remove button.

Windows 10 includes troubleshooting options and tools that might resolve 5973 issues. Each app has a Reset button that you can press to reregister it. That’s an option which can feasibly fix lots of Store apps that aren’t working.

  • To reset an app, first enter ‘apps’ in Cortana’s search box.
  • Select Apps & features to open the window shown directly below.

  • Select a Windows Store app listed there. Click Advanced options to open the window below.

  • Press the Reset button to reregister the app. Click Reset again on the small dialog box that opens to confirm.

Aside from the Reset option, Windows also includes an app troubleshooter that might come in handy for fixing 5973 event errors. To open that troubleshooter, enter ‘troubleshoot’ in the Cortana search box and select Troubleshoot. Scroll down to Windows Store Apps as shown in the shot below. Press the Run the troubleshooter button to open the app troubleshooter’s window.

Overall, event error 5973 is a somewhat mysterious app issue. There aren’t many specific fixes for resolving 5973 errors. However, you can check out this guide for some more general Windows 10 app fixes.


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