Fix: Windows 10 apps won’t open [Full Guide]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If the Windows 10 apps won't open, you're probably missing some updates.
  • One way of fixing Windows 10 programs not opening is to start the Apps troubleshooter as shown below.
  • You can also solve this problem by using a third-party app as recommended our guide.
 
Windows 10 apps not opening

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Apps are an important part of any OS, Windows 10 included. While they are fundamental to the overall experience, some users have reported that Windows 10 apps won’t open on their computers.

We were intrigued by the prospect of Windows 10 programs not opening and started digging around to see what could cause this abnormal behavior.

The program won’t open when I click on it in Windows 10 is merely the tip of the iceberg.

It turns out, there are numerous circumstances that can facilitate the appearance of this glitch, so let’s get straight to it.

Why are my Windows apps not opening?

Most common scenarios Error description
Windows 10 apps not working after update – Many users reported programs not working after installing a specific Windows update
– Such errors are not uncommon, but you can easily fix them with a dedicated Windows update repair tool
Windows 10 apps won’t open from the Taskbar – Applications won’t start by using the Taskbar shortcut or they won’t show / won’t maximize
– Programs are running in the Task Manager but not opening in Windows 10
– The issue usually occurs on dual monitor setups
Windows 10 apps won’t open after System Restore – If a System Restore does not complete successfully or if it encounters any type of file corruption, it can cause this and other problems to appear
Windows 10 apps open and close immediately – Windows 10 apps won’t stay open
– Constant crashing / crashing on launch
Windows 10 Settings apps won’t open – It may be greyed out or missing completely
– If the Windows 10 Setting app is constantly crashing, all related programs will be impacted
Windows 10 apps won’t open (Administrator) – This issue appears when trying to run applications while using an administrator account
Windows 10 apps won’t open from the Start menu – This issue is closely linked to cases where the Start menu disappeared altogether (and it can arrive in all Windows versions)
Windows 10 apps won’t open after a restart – Programs stop working following a system restart
Laptop apps not opening – From File Explorer to browsers, your laptop won’t open anything
– The issue can be caused by software as well as registry conflicts

So, what is usually the easiest way to fix an application which won’t start anymore? Don’t worry, we made sure to include all the steps and make things as easy as possible.

How do I fix apps not opening in Windows 10?

1. Make sure that Windows Update service is running

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. When the Run dialog opens, enter services.msc and press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 apps won’t start
  3. Locate Windows Update on the list of services. Make sure that Startup Type is set to Manual or Automatic.
  4. If it’s not, double click the Windows Update service to open its properties.
  5. When the Properties window opens, find the Startup Type section and select Manual or Automatic from the list.
    Windows 10 apps won’t run
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Sometimes, these types of problems can be fixed by performing a Windows Update, so make sure that you have the latest updates installed.

  1. Open Settings App and go to Update & Security.
  2. Go to the Windows Update section and download the latest updates.

2. Run the troubleshooter

  1. In order to run this troubleshooter, you will need to type troubleshooter in Windows search and click on Troubleshoot settings from the results.
  2. Next, click on Additional troubleshooters.
  3. Scroll down to select the Windows Store Apps and click on Run the troubleshooter.
  4. It will take a while if you have many apps installed but in the end, try to open the apps that are not opening and see if the issue has been fixed.

If Windows 10 apps won’t open, you might want to run the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter. However, this procedure is now guaranteed to work and you will also lose some precious time in the process.

It’s a lot better to use qualified third-party tools such as Restoro. The process is entirely automatic and safe. Moreover, the results are a lot more consistent.

3. Make sure that your apps are up to date

3.1 Update the apps in Microsoft Store

  1. Open Microsoft Store app, you can do that by pressing Windows Key + S and type Store. From the list of results choose Store.
  2. When the Windows Store app opens, click on your Microsoft Account icon in the top right corner (next to the Search box) and choose Downloads and updates from the menu.
    Windows 10 apps won’t run
  3. Click Check for updates button and update all apps.

If the Store app isn’t working, you can try the same steps from a different user account on your computer, or you can use the Command Prompt to force updates.

3.2 Force app updates using Command Prompt

  1. Search cmd in Windows search and click on Run as administrator to open Command Prompt with full rights.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter the following line and press Enter: schtasks /run /tn "Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\Automatic App Update"
    Windows 10 apps won’t stay open

The command will trigger performing automatic updates for Windows apps so give it a try right now.

If a specific app is not opening in Windows 10, you may need to reinstall it. To do that, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Start Menu and locate the problematic app.
  2. Right-click it and choose Uninstall.
  3. After the app has been uninstalled, open Store app and try to download it again.

4. Perform Store cache reset

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, type wsreset.exe and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 apps stopped working
  3. Close Command Prompt and try launching the Store app and updating your apps.

If you can’t open the Store app, and there’s no way to update your apps, you might want to perform a cache reset by following the steps above.

In most cases, that should suffice. However, the issue can be bigger than that and you might need to perform some additional steps in case the Microsoft Store still does not work properly.

5. Make sure that Application Identity service is running

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 apps won’t install
  2. When the Services window opens, find Application Identity service and double click it.
  3. When Application Identity Properties window opens, find the Service status section.
    Windows 10 apps won’t download
  4. If the Service status is set to Stop, click the Start button to start the service.
  5. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
  6. Close the Services window and restart your computer.

6. Change ownership of your C: drive

6.1. Change C: ownership

  1. Open This PC and locate the drive where Windows 10 is installed. By default, it should be in the C:/ partition.
  2. Right-click the drive and choose Properties.
    Windows 10 apps won’t stay open
  3. Go to the Security tab and click the Advanced button.
    Windows 10 apps won’t show
  4. Find the Owner section and click Change.
    Windows 10 apps won’t maximize
  5. Select User or Group window will appear. Click the Advanced button.
  6. Click the Find Now button (A list of users and user groups will appear).
  7. Select the Administrators group and click OK.
    Windows 10 apps won’t launch
  8. In Select User or Group window click OK.
    Windows 10 apps stopped working
  9. In Advanced Security Settings window owners should be changed to Administrators and the Administrators group should be added to the Permission entries list.
  10. Check Replace owner on sub containers and objects.
    Windows 10 apps won’t install
  11. Click Apply and OK. Wait for the process to complete.

Sometimes Windows 10 apps won’t open due to ownership problems, but you can easily fix that. To change the ownership of a folder, or a hard drive partition, perform the steps from above.

6.2. Add Full Control permissions for ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES group

  1. Open your disk partition Properties and go to the Security tab.
  2. Click the Edit button.
    Windows 10 apps won’t download
  3. Permissions for the Local Disk window will open. Click the Add button.
    Windows 10 apps won’t update
  4. Select User or Group window will appear. Click the Advanced button, and then click Find Now.
  5. Locate ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES on the list, select it, and click OK.
    Windows 10 apps won’t load
  6. Click OK again.
  7. ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES will now be added to the list. Click it and select Full Control. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
    Windows 10 apps won’t start
  8. If the issue still persists, open disk partition properties, go to the Security tab, and add Full control to the Users group.

7. Change FilterAdministratorToken in Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows Key + R in order to open the Run dialog.
  2. When the Run dialog opens, type Regedit and press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 apps crash on launch
  3. When Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following key in the left pane: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
    Windows 10 applications keep closing
  4. On the right pane find the 32-bit DWORD called FilterAdministratorToken  (If FilterAdministratorToken DWORD doesn’t exist, you can create it by right-clicking in the right pane and choosing New and selecting the DWORD (32-bit) Value.)
  5. Now change the name of the new value to FilterAdministratorToken.
  6. Double click FilterAdministratorToken DWORD. In the Value data field enter 1 and click OK to save the changes.
    Windows 10 apps don’t work
  7. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

8. Use PowerShell

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type PowerShell. Find PowerShell on the list of results and right-click it. Choose Run as administrator.
  2. When PowerShell starts, enter the following lines. Press Enter after each line and wait for it to finish before entering a new line of code: Get-appxpackage -packageType bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + "appxmetadataappxbundlemanifest.xml")}$bundlefamilies = (get-appxpackage -packagetype Bundle).packagefamilynameget-appxpackage -packagetype main |? {-not ($bundlefamilies -contains $_.packagefamilyname)} |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + "appxmanifest.xml")}

If the Store application cannot launch, you won’t be able to update any apps that won’t open, so it’s advised that you use PowerShell in order to fix this problem.

You can also try this command.

  1. Start PowerShell as administrator.
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter to run it: ren %windir%System32AppLockerPlugin*.* *.bak
  3. Close PowerShell and restart your computer.

9. Move the Database folder from one profile to another

  1. Start Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to execute it: net user "TempAdmin1" "password1" /addnet user "TempAdmin2" "password2" /addnet localgroup administrators "TempAdmin2" /add
  3. Log out of your current account by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and clicking on Sign out.
  4. Log in to the TempAdmin1 account. Users enter password1 as a password.
  5. Log out of the TempAdmin1 account as you did in Step 4.
  6. Log in to the TempAdmin2 account. Use password2 as a password.
  7. After you’ve logged in to the TempAdmin2 account, open File Explorer.
  8. Click the View tab and click on Hidden items. This will reveal hidden files and folders.
    Windows 10 apps won’t uninstall
  9. Navigate to the following location on your hard-drive: C:\Users\Temp\Admin1\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer
  10. Find the Database folder, right-click it, and choose Copy.
    Windows 10 apps won’t load
  11. Now you need to paste that folder to your main profile. Navigate to this folder: C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\AppData\Local\TileDataLayer
  12. Find the Database folder and change its name to Database.BAD.
  13. Right-click on the empty space and choose Paste from the menu.
  14. Restart your computer and go back to your main profile.
  15. Press Windows Key + S and type User Accounts. Choose User Accounts from the list.
  16. Click Manage another account, select TempAdmin1, and TempAdmin2 accounts and click on Delete Account to remove these accounts.
    Windows 10 apps crash on launch

To complete this solution, we’ll need to create two new profiles and move the Database folder from one profile to your main profile.

Although this process might look a bit complex, just follow the steps above carefully and you should be able to complete it.

10. Create a new local account

  1. Open Settings and go to Accounts.
  2. Go to Family and other users and click Add someone else to this PC.
    Windows 10 applications keep closing
  3. Click I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Windows 10 apps don’t work
  4. Now click Add a user without Microsoft account.
    Windows 10 apps won’t start
  5. Enter the username and password for the new user.
  6. Go to Settings, select Accounts and click on Your Account.
  7. Click Sign in with local account instead.
  8. Enter your current password and click Next.
  9. After you’ve done that, enter username and password for your local account and click Sign out and finish.
  10. Switch to a new local account and move your personal files to it.
  11. Go to Settings, select Accounts, click on Your Account and click Sign in with a Microsoft account instead.
    Windows 10 apps won’t run
  12. Enter your username and password and click Sign in.
    Windows 10 apps won’t stay open
  13. Now you can delete your old account and continue using this one.

If Windows 10 apps won’t open, you might have to create a new account and transfer all your personal files to it. This solution can prove just as effective for situations when Windows 10 default apps go missing.

Problems with Windows 10 apps that won’t open aren’t that common, but some programs are more likely to be affected than others:

  • WhatsApp for desktop
  • Slack app
  • Office 365 programs such as Microsoft Word and more

One more thing before we wrap it up – Microsft’s freshest OS is not exempt from this erratic (yet occasional) behavior. In case you’re already struggling, we prepared some equally comprehensive steps to help you out when Windows 11 apps won’t open.

That’s all from us. How would you force an app to open in Windows 10? If you happen to know of any other solutions, feel free to drop us a line in the comments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Make sure that the Windows Update services are running. If that’s not causing the problem, follow our step-by-step guide to fix the Windows 10 apps not opening issue.

  • This problem can be caused by file corruption. You can use the Windows 10 apps troubleshooter or you can use a third-party dedicated troubleshooter.

  • If Control Panel is not opening it’s probably because of file corruption issues. Luckily, we have an excellent guide that will help you fix Control Panel.

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