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Microsoft Windows Store re-install impossible? RRS feed

  • Question

  • There are numerous "solutions" to the missing Windows Store app problem. I have tried ALL of them (really, all! See the list below), and variations of all of them. None of them work. The thing people giving the solutions don't seem to understand is that the Windows Store app is not installed AT ALL. None of the app's files are to be found on the system. The Powershell command commonly suggested:

    Get-AppXPackage *Microsoft.WindowsStore* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

    doesn't work (can never possibly work) because the WindowsStore AppXManifest.xml file does not exist. Not anywhere. Not in the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder (though other app files are there). Not in some hidden folder. Not in ANY folder anywhere on my system. It is gone. It is deceased. It is an EX-AppXManifest.xml file. It has shuffled off this mortal coil. It has gone to meet its maker.

    Without that file, there does not seem to be any way to (re-)install the WindowsStore app. This is a SILLY situation, a sort of Catch-22: In order to re-install the WindowsStore app, you have to have the WindowsStore app files - yes, the very files you are trying to install!!!

    The only remnant of the WindowsStore app I have been able to find is a subfolder in the C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Packages folder named Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe. That folder has several subfolders, but they are all empty. In the registry there are a few WindowsStore entries, all either referencing the Packages folder or the WindowsStore license.

    Given that the WindowsStore files are not there, is there any way to install the WindowsStore app? Is the folder containing the AppXManifest file available anywhere for download? For example the folder for solitaire (which is on my system, and has its AppXManifest file) looks like:

    Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection_4.4.8204.0_neutral_split.scale-125_8wekyb3d8bbwe

    So presumably there should be a similar folder for WindowsStore, like:

    Microsoft.WindowsStore_x.x.xxxx.x_neutral_split.scale-125_8wekyb3d8bbwe

    (which does NOT exist on my system). Is that folder available anywhere for download, and would it help if I had it? Or is there a .appx available for the app?

    What I have tried, in order of destructiveness:
    1. Reset WindowsStore cache with WSReset.exe. No store, so how can resetting its cache help?
    2. Run Windows Store Troubleshooter. Runs, but gets a vaguely defined error that it cannot fix.
    3. Run SFC and DISM with the suggested parameters. No problems found, and no store.
    4. Run the various PowerShell Get-AppXPackage commands. There is no AppXManifest file, so Get-AppXPackage can't do anything.
    5. Create a new local user account, restart, log in. The new account has no Windows Store. WindowsStore files not on the system.
    6. Create a new user account linked to my Microsoft account, restart, log in. No store.
    7. Do a Windows refresh. No errors, but still no store.
    8. Do a full Windows reset, the drastic kind that wipes all installed programs and settings. STILL NO STORE.

    Nothing left to try.

    Anyone have anything? Please? I can't believe there is no way to re-install the WindowsStore app in the above case!!!

    A very frustrated David
    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 5:21 PM

Answers

  • I have the store back!

    I was checking event logs after I tried to launch the store, and one of the events was:

    Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-AppModel-Runtime/Admin
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-AppModel-Runtime
    Date:          2019-10-02 11:36:37
    Event ID:      57
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Error
    Keywords:      Process
    User:          DRAGON\Beowulf
    Computer:      Dragon
    Description:
    Failed with 2147942402 to retrieve the trust state of the package Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe folder.
    
    Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Immersive-Shell
    Date:          2019-10-02 11:36:37
    Event ID:      5961
    Task Category: (5961)
    Level:         Error
    Keywords:      
    User:          DRAGON\Beowulf
    Computer:      Dragon
    Description:
    Activation for Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App failed. Error code: The system cannot find the file specified.. Activation phase: COM ActivateExtension
    
    

    So I went looking for the "Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe" folder, and it wasn't there, though it was registered (i.e. shown in Get-AppxPackage). There was an earlier version (26706), but that was not registered, and the WindowsStore app wanted version 27323. After much searching, I found version 27323 of VCLibs on GitHub:

    https://github.com/alanfox2000/realtek-universal-audio-driver/blob/master/Tool/Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx

    Downloaded the package, installed with PowerShell:

    Add-AppxPackage -Path "D:\Download\Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx"

    and the package appeared in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. Try again to start Windows Store - and it launched!!!!

    So my fix involved most of the steps in my September 21 4:52 AM post to install the WindowsStore appx, plus getting the right VCLibs package installed. I don't know if this will help anyone else, given the complexity of the solution.

    Bottom line: Microsoft could create an installer or diagnostic tool or program that would do this, without the complexity. They could do this easily and quickly, far more easily or quickly than I could do it, because it is Microsoft software created and maintained by Microsoft programmers who know in detail how all the internals work. Yet Microsoft has never done anything, despite dozens of posts on multiple forums over many years from many people wanting a simple way to (re)install the WindowsStore app. Why no action on this serious problem? I would think Microsoft would want people to be able to access their store and buy stuff. Does no one in Microsoft with the authority to initiate a project to do this ever read all these posts? Or do they just not give a damn? I really don't understand.

    Microsoft! FIX THIS MESS ALREADY!!!

    David

    Wednesday, October 2, 2019 8:05 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I have looked up some articles,here are methods may help you:

    Method1:

    Step 1: Open PowerShell with admin rights. To do so, type Windows PowerShell in the search box to see PowerShell in results, right-click on PowerShell, and then click Run as administrator option.

    Step 2: In the PowerShell prompt, type the following command and press Enter key.

    Get-Appxpackage –Allusers

    Step 3: Scroll down and locate the entry of the Store app and copy the package name. 


    Step 4: Finally, execute the following command:

    Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\<PackageFullName>” –DisableDevelopmentMode

    In the above command, replace PackageFullName with the package name of the Windows Store or any other app that you copied in Step 3 and replace “C” with the drive letter of the driver where Windows 10 is installed. Good luck!


    Method 2:

    repair upgrade:

    1. Download Windows Media Creation Tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

    2. Run Media Creation tool

    3. When the option for "Choose what you want to keep" appears, choose the "Keep my files only" (should be the middle option) - it will say that all your apps and settings will be reset/deleted. 

    4. Wait until it's done - it's like doing a refresh, so it does take awhile (it took about 30 minutes for me).

    5. Windows store should now be on your taskbar!

    Best regards,

    Charlotte Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:39 AM
  • Thanks for the attempt, but...

    As I said in my original post, I have already tried all of the suggested "solutions". None work.

    Method 1: WindowsStore is not installed, so it does not appear in the Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers list. The Add-AppXPackage command can't work because the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\<PackageFullName> folder does not exist. The error returned is:

    Add-AppxPackage : Cannot find path 'C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_2015.9.25.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe' because it does not exist.
    At line:1 char:1
    + Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Win ...
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        + CategoryInfo          : ObjectNotFound: (C:\Program File...__8wekyb3d8bbwe:String) [Add-AppxPackage], ItemNotFoundException
        + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PathNotFound,Microsoft.Windows.Appx.PackageManager.Commands.AddAppxPackageCommand

    Method 2: I already did a full Windows reset, wiping everything, and starting over. The WindowsStore app did not get installed. The WindowsStore app files still do not exist anywhere on my system.

    Please... The important thing to understand is that WindowsStore is not installed on my system. All of the suggested solutions assume that WindowsStore is installed but is just hidden or unregistered or broken. This is not the case. Neither WindowsStore or any of its components and files are anywhere on my computer. I need a way to install those files. I have not seen a single "solution" that starts with the assumption that WindowsStore is simply not installed at all, that the files are not available to be fixed or registered.

    So, assuming that the WindowsStore app files are NOT available to me, and that re-installing Windows does not re-install WindowsStore, and that I have already tried all of the things in the list on my original post, how can I get WindowsStore back???

    David


    • Edited by David Badke Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:47 PM
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:44 PM
  • Hi,

    You should download the .iso file from Microsoft office website.

    Best regards,

    Charlotte Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, September 20, 2019 6:14 AM
  • So, assuming that the WindowsStore app files are NOT available to me, and that re-installing Windows does not re-install WindowsStore, and that I have already tried all of the things in the list on my original post, how can I get WindowsStore back???

    David

    The short answer is that you can't unless you can get access to the files needed to install it - specifically the .appxbundle file.

    These are on the "Inbox Apps" ISO, for the relevant build of Win10, and available from the Volume Licensing Service Centre. Then you'd install it with a command line something like:

    dism.exe /online /Add-ProvisionedAppxPackage /packagepath:[path to extracted \iso]\Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appxbundle /skiplicense /norestart /quiet

    However, if you don't have access to VSLC, then I'm not sure if you can do this. In theory the files will be on the original ISO used to install Windows, but I don't think there on there in a form you can install from.

    Friday, September 20, 2019 8:33 AM
  • Well, progress, of a sort. I now have the Windows Store app installed. It just doesn't work yet.

    Here's how I did it. But first...

    <rant>The problem of being unable to reinstall Windows Store after removing it has been around for years now, and Microsoft has not done anything about it. This is ridiculous! Microsoft could easily solve the problem by providing a simple installer that downloads the required files and resources, puts them where they need to be, registers everything that needs registering, and cleans up any leftover mess. Instead we have to go through insanely complex steps to (sort of) get it done. Come on, Microsoft, get it together!</rant>

    WARNING: Do the methods below at your own risk. Create a restore point, back up any thing important, be careful. I take no responsibility for any disasters. If there is anything here you don't understand, don't do any of it!

    (Note: Sorry the links below are not clickable; this forum won't let me use live links.)

    First try a relatively simple method: There is a command script to install Windows Store. Go to https://github.com/kkkgo/LTSB-Add-MicrosoftStore, scroll down until you find a Download link, and click it to download the ZIP file. You should get a file called "LTSB-Add-MicrosoftStore-master.zip", which you can open with File Explorer. Copy the "LTSB-Add-MicrosoftStore-master" folder to someplace convenient on your disk and open it. Right click on the "Add-Store.cmd" file in that folder, and select "Run as administrator". A command window should open and a bunch of stuff should happen. When it finishes, close the command window and restart your computer. After the restart, open Settings->Apps and check in the list for for Microsoft Store. If it is there, the store app was installed. But will it work? Not for me, but your mileage may vary. To see if you got lucky, open the start menu and search for "Store". Click on Microsoft Store. If it opens, you got lucky. If it doesn't, well... I'm not surprised. This method did install the store app on my system, but it doesn't run and I don't know why. If I figure it out, I'll post the results here.

    If you want to get the apps files that should have been in the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder (including the elusive AppxManifest.xml file), here's the insanely complex steps to get them.

    1. Use the Media Creation Tool (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10) to download a Windows install disk image (ISO file).
    2. In File Explorer, find the "Windows.iso" file and right click on it, then select Mount. A new virtual disk will appear in File Explorer.
    3. Now you have to find the installer data file, which in my case was an ESD file. Look for it in <virtual disk>:\Sources (where <virtual disk> is the drive letter of the new virtual drive). The file should be called "install.esd"; it should be several megabytes.
    4. Of course an ESD file is in an unusable format, and can't be mounted, so you have to extract its contents. No, Microsoft does not provide a means to do that, but some nice person did. You will need to download "esd-decrypter" by following the links at https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/all/instructions-create-a-bootable-iso-file-using-esd/1d64c65c-f619-4193-9bce-d6ed5d3b66da.
    5. Once the download completes, you should have a file called "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4.7z". Can you open that file in File Explorer? No, of course not! You will need to download and install 7zip from https://www.7-zip.org/download.html (it's free). Once you have 7zip installed, you can use it to open "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4.7z" and extract the contents, which is a folder named "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4". Extract that entire folder to some convenient place on your local disk.
    6. Now you need to copy the "install.esd" file you found in step 3 to the "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4" folder. Yes, the entire multimegabyte file. Put it directly in the "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4" folder, not in a subfolder.
    7. Open the "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4" folder. Make sure your ESD file is there. Find the "decrypt.cmd" file. Right click on it and select "Run as administrator". A command window should open.
    8. Select option 2 - Create Full ISO with Compressed install.esd. The program should immediately start extracting the contents of the ESD to a subfolder of the "esd-decrypter-wimlib-4" folder, named "ISOFOLDER". This could take a while.
    9. The ISOFOLDER folder is not an ISO image, it is just an ordinary folder. You can open it with File Explorer.
    10. Within ISOFOLDER find the "Program Files" folder, and inside that the "WindowsApps" folder.
    11. You may need to persuade Windows to let you see the folder contents. This involves Windows security: Right click the folder, select Properties, select the security tab, and do what you need to do to get full control of the folder. Just what you need to do depends on several factors, so I can't tell you how to do it. If you don't know how to change permissions on a folder, you are in over your head and should ask a local techie to help you.
    12. Make a backup copy of your current WindowsApps folder (probably C:\Program Files\WindowsApps), just in case. You don't have permissions for that folder? See step 11.
    13. Once you can open the ISOFOLDER\Program Files\WindowsApps folder, you should see a long list of subfolders, at least one of which should be "Microsoft.WindowsStore_xxxxx_8wekyb3d8bbwe" where xxxx is a bunch of digits. If it's not there, you are doomed.
    14. Copy the CONTENTS of the "ISOFOLDER\Program Files\WindowsApps" to your current "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" folder. Copy EVERYTHING in "ISOFOLDER\Program Files\WindowsApps" directly into in the "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" folder. You may get errors about not being able to copy some files. Just skip those and let the rest copy.
    15. Are we there yet? No! Now you need to install and register the WindowsStore app. The instructions for using PowerShell and Get-AppxPackage didn't work for me (of course), with errors about dependencies. It might work for you, so try it.
    16. At least after all this you will have the WindowsApps files. Maybe still no working store, but that's progress, right?

    Good luck. You will need it. And Microsoft? FIX THIS MESS!!!!

    David


    • Edited by David Badke Saturday, September 21, 2019 4:53 AM
    Saturday, September 21, 2019 4:52 AM
  • Is it possible you simply have a Windows edition that does not include the store? (LTSB)
    Saturday, September 21, 2019 7:44 AM
  • I have Windows 10 Home version 1903 build 18362.356 with all current updates.

    David

    Saturday, September 21, 2019 4:55 PM
  • Then I don't understand how your store folder went missing in the first place.
    Saturday, September 21, 2019 5:22 PM
  • Neither do I, actually. Microsoft has made it easy to remove Windows Store and other pre-installed apps (intentionally or accidentally), but next to impossible to get the store back. It's like they don't want me to buy stuff from them...

    David

    Saturday, September 21, 2019 5:37 PM
  • when you found a way to easily removed the Store "by accident", you should report this in feedback hub.

    Saturday, September 21, 2019 6:31 PM
  • Hello,

    Reinstalling in place should work, but you may need to check for the existence of a registry key

    See this document, this was written so apps would not return during an upgrade, there were a lot of complaints about that.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/application-management/remove-provisioned-apps-during-update

    Examples of the registry key are in the article.

    If the registry key for the store exists, you should remove t and retry upgrading.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Sunday, September 22, 2019 2:21 AM
  • This unbelievably complicated mess reminds me of my programmer days, debugging someone else's badly-written code, following the problem deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole until it disappeared into some third party code where I couldn't follow. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the Windows UWP/Appx architecture, but I have still not fixed my original problem.

    Reply to Darrell Gorter:"this was written so apps would not return during an upgrade, there were a lot of complaints about that"

    I thought you were onto something there. The Appx\AppxAllUserStore\Deprovisioned key is in the registry, but it is empty. Having values there would explain why a "re-install Windows, keep apps and settings" install would not include Windows Store, but the "Re-install Windows, delete everything and start over" install I did should have wiped the registry, and it still didn't install Windows Store. So it is most likely true that something is preventing a Windows re-install from installing Windows Store, but I don't know what that something is. Any other ideas?


    Reply to EckiS: "when you found a way to easily removed the Store "by accident", you should report this in feedback hub"

    With Windows 10 versions before 1903, uninstalling the store was difficult to impossible. On the page linked in Darrel Gorter's post above, there is the note:

    "The Store app can't be removed. If you want to remove and reinstall the Store app, you can only bring Store back by either restoring your system from a backup or resetting your system. Instead of removing the Store app, you should use group policies to hide or disable it."

    As of version 1903, the store (or any store app) can be uninstalled by going to Settings -> Apps, clicking on the store app, and clicking uninstall (might have to terminate the app first if it is running). If Microsoft is going to make it possible to remove the app in Settings, they should also provide an equally simple method to get it back. This situation is ridiculous. Microsoft has many hundreds (thousands?) of clever programmers, and this is the best they can do? Not good enough!!!




    • Edited by David Badke Sunday, September 22, 2019 5:52 PM
    Sunday, September 22, 2019 5:51 PM
  • I can not reproduce this on my Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1903, build 18362.356: the uninstall button is disabled.
    Monday, September 23, 2019 5:46 PM
  • Hello,

    The uninstall option is disabled on Windows 10 Enterprise Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.356).  The uninstall option was removed to prevent this from happening.

    Reply to David: Are you stating you did a clean install and the Windows Store was not reinstalled?  There shouldn't be anything preventing the Windows Store from reinstalling.

    Could you run msinfo32.exe and make the NFO file available for download?


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, September 23, 2019 6:26 PM
  • Yes, I did a full reset (Settings -> Windows Security -> Recovery -> Reset this PC, Remove Everything option). Everything was wiped, but Windows Store was not re-installed.

    I have the NFO file, but I don't want to make it publicly available. How can I get it to you privately?

    Tuesday, September 24, 2019 12:09 AM
  • Hello,

    Compress the file and send to me via eamil

    Use my first name and the Last Name Initial, then append 55 @hotmail.com


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2019 7:18 PM
  • I have the store back!

    I was checking event logs after I tried to launch the store, and one of the events was:

    Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-AppModel-Runtime/Admin
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-AppModel-Runtime
    Date:          2019-10-02 11:36:37
    Event ID:      57
    Task Category: None
    Level:         Error
    Keywords:      Process
    User:          DRAGON\Beowulf
    Computer:      Dragon
    Description:
    Failed with 2147942402 to retrieve the trust state of the package Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe folder.
    
    Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational
    Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Immersive-Shell
    Date:          2019-10-02 11:36:37
    Event ID:      5961
    Task Category: (5961)
    Level:         Error
    Keywords:      
    User:          DRAGON\Beowulf
    Computer:      Dragon
    Description:
    Activation for Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App failed. Error code: The system cannot find the file specified.. Activation phase: COM ActivateExtension
    
    

    So I went looking for the "Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe" folder, and it wasn't there, though it was registered (i.e. shown in Get-AppxPackage). There was an earlier version (26706), but that was not registered, and the WindowsStore app wanted version 27323. After much searching, I found version 27323 of VCLibs on GitHub:

    https://github.com/alanfox2000/realtek-universal-audio-driver/blob/master/Tool/Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx

    Downloaded the package, installed with PowerShell:

    Add-AppxPackage -Path "D:\Download\Microsoft.VCLibs.140.00_14.0.27323.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.appx"

    and the package appeared in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. Try again to start Windows Store - and it launched!!!!

    So my fix involved most of the steps in my September 21 4:52 AM post to install the WindowsStore appx, plus getting the right VCLibs package installed. I don't know if this will help anyone else, given the complexity of the solution.

    Bottom line: Microsoft could create an installer or diagnostic tool or program that would do this, without the complexity. They could do this easily and quickly, far more easily or quickly than I could do it, because it is Microsoft software created and maintained by Microsoft programmers who know in detail how all the internals work. Yet Microsoft has never done anything, despite dozens of posts on multiple forums over many years from many people wanting a simple way to (re)install the WindowsStore app. Why no action on this serious problem? I would think Microsoft would want people to be able to access their store and buy stuff. Does no one in Microsoft with the authority to initiate a project to do this ever read all these posts? Or do they just not give a damn? I really don't understand.

    Microsoft! FIX THIS MESS ALREADY!!!

    David

    Wednesday, October 2, 2019 8:05 PM
  • Hi,

    I am glad to hear that your issue was successfully resolved. If there is anything else we can do for you, please feel free to post in the forum.

    Best Regards,

    Charlotte Tang


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.


    Monday, October 7, 2019 1:53 AM
  • I can't realistically call this a solution. The steps I followed were so complicated that I doubt I could reproduce them myself, so I think the only use others would have for this thread is to maybe get some idea of how they could fix their own problem. I am a retired programmer with decades of experience, and yet I just fumbled around until something worked; the average user would not likely understand what I did, or be able to do it.

    The only real solution would be for Microsoft to provide software to install/re-install/repair the Windows Store package, something they could do and should have done by now. I have little hope this will happen.

    I will mark the post where I reported success as an "answer" despite my doubts about its usefulness.

    Monday, October 7, 2019 5:15 AM