Windows 8.1 Store App Can’t Open Foo

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Windows continues to kick my behind. Out of the blue the Windows 8.1 installation on my workstation didn’t want to open the store app. Not that I really need or want it. But the same happened for the settings app, which was a little bit of a problem.

I should have taken a screenshot but the error message was something along the lines of “This app can’t open” and “Refreshing your PC might help fix it”.

It seems that I was not the only one with that problem there is even a Microsoft blog post about it. The reason seems to be that the affected apps are not registered anymore with Windows.

So here is how it can be fixed. In a command prompt that runs as administrator I ran the following commands. When you look at the blog post it seems that you don’t need administrative rights but you never know. Now enter the following commands to re-register the system apps:

Store app:

powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.XML

Camera app:

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

File Manager (One Drive) app:

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

Settings app:

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

These execution of these commands, especially for the store app, might take a while.

This would have been easy, but of course a Microsoft products never make things easy on me. So I hit the problem that the a registry key doesn’t have the right owner and I got the error 0x8007064A.

So you have to open the registry editor (Windows + R and then regedit) and navigate to the registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModel\Repository\Packages

And then change the ownership of this key to SYSTEM:

  1. On the Edit menu, click Permissions.
  2. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
  3. Under Change owner to, click the new owner, and then click OK.