Are some or all of your Windows 10 apps not working correctly? I used to write an article on how to fix the problem of missing Windows Store apps, and recently I had a customer who bought me a Windows 10 machine that had Windows apps to open but then close immediately.
If you’re having this issue where the app won’t load, it might be a permissions issue. There are many reasons why Store apps won’t launch, and one of them is that permissions for specific Windows folders and registry settings were changed manually or through Group Policy.
You can fix this problem by checking all permissions for these folders and registry settings and making sure they are all correct. In this article, I’ll show you how to do this so you can launch your apps from the Store again.
Windows 10 event log
You can confirm if this is the cause of the problem by opening the event log and checking event ID 5961 in the event log. You can open the event log by clicking “Start” and typing in the event log.
You will need to navigate to the next log file to see if this particular event exists or not:
– / Applications and Services Logs Microsoft Windows Apps Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI / Operational
Once there, you’ll see a whole bunch of events listed there, maybe thousands. You can’t actually do this manually, so click the Find button on the right and enter 5961. It will search this log and if it finds something, it will highlight that line. Double click the line and you should see some information like below:
Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI / Operational Source: Microsoft-Windows-Immersive-Shell Event ID: 5961 Level: Error Description: Application activation for Windows.Launch contract failed with error: Application did not start.
If the event does exist, you can be sure it is a permissions issue for a new group in Windows called All Application Packages. What are all app packages? Well, it looks like the built-in admin or user groups. All app packages include any store app installed on Windows 10. If this group does not have permissions to specific folders and registry settings, the store apps will fail to launch.
Repair file system permissions
First, let’s fix the file system permissions. In essence, this is a check of access rights to three folders: Program Files, Windows and Users.
Go to File Explorer, right-click C: Windows and go to the Security tab. This is how it should look with the correct resolutions.
If that’s not what your directory permissions show, click the Advanced button in the lower right corner. In the next dialog box, click the Change Permissions button.
Then you want to click the Add button. Note that if the Add button is grayed out, it probably means that all files are owned by TrustedInstaller. Read my previous post on how to change permissions so you can take complete control over files and folders.
Here, you need to click Select Principal and then enter all application packages in the object name field. Remember to click the Check Names button before clicking OK.
Make sure the Type is set to Allow and Applies to this folder, subfolders, and files. Make sure the Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, and Read check boxes are selected in the Permissions section. Then click OK.
You will be returned to the main permissions screen. Here you need to make sure that you have selected the Replace all child object permission entries check box with inherited permission entries from this object.
After you’ve done this for the Windows directory, you need to do the same for C: Users and C: Program Files. For C: Users, everything is the same, except that you give the All Application Packages group full control. Additionally, if you are using 64-bit Windows, you will need to do this for C: Program Files (x86) as well.
Fix registry permissions
For registry entries, open regedit by going to Start and typing regedit. After you open it, you need to check the permissions for HKEY_USERS. Right click on HKEY_USERS and select Permissions.
Make sure All app packages have read permission.
Now do the same for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Then expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and check HARDWARE, SAM, SOFTWARE and SYSTEM.
If you haven’t lost your mind yet, congratulations! The main issue I saw in this whole process is changing the permissions for the system folders, because you have to overcome the TrustedInstaller to make the changes to the permissions. Half the time when nothing works and then trying to get everything back to normal is just as risky.
You might be better off just resetting Windows 10, but this will require you to reinstall all third-party apps again. You can reset Windows 10 by going to Settings, clicking Update & Security and then Recovery. If you are trying to change permissions and encountering errors, please leave a comment and we will try to help. Enjoy!