[Guide] How to Fix Applications Not Opening Windows 10

[Guide] How to Fix Applications Not Opening Windows 10

/ James Masterson

Windows 10 is a popular operating system used by millions worldwide, but like any technology, it’s not perfect. One common issue that users may encounter is applications not opening or launching.

This problem can be frustrating and may prevent you from using essential software. Fortunately, there are several possible solutions to this problem that you can try.

In this article, we will explore some common reasons why applications may not be opening in Windows 10, as well as some practical solutions that you can use to resolve the issue and get your programs running again.

Why Are My Windows Apps Not Opening?

  • Corrupted or Outdated System Files: Applications may not open in Windows 10 due to corrupted or outdated system files. This can happen for various reasons, such as a recent wrong update, a virus or malware infection, or an unexpected shutdown. When system files become corrupted, applications cannot open or function correctly. Sometimes, you may see an error message indicating a particular system file is missing or corrupt.
  • Incompatible Applications: Another reason is incompatibility with the operating system. This can happen when you install an application designed for an earlier version of Windows or when an application is not updated to work with the latest version of Windows 10. Incompatibility issues can prevent applications from launching or cause them to crash or freeze.
  • User Account Permissions: When you install an application, it may require specific permissions to run correctly. If you don’t have the necessary permissions, the application may be unable to launch. Similarly, if you have recently changed your user account settings or installed new software that has altered your permissions, it can affect your ability to open specific applications.

Resolve Applications not Opening by Following This Easy-To-Follow Methods

Manually Start the Windows Update Service

The Windows Update service must be running for your applications to update correctly. You can determine if the service is running by accessing the Services MMC snap-in (services.msc). If the service is not running, you can manually start it by following simple steps.

1. Press Windows + R keys on your keyboard to launch the Run application.

2. Enter “services.msc” without quotation marks and press the Enter key to open the Services application.

run services msc command

3. Locate the Windows Update service by scrolling down the alphabetical list.

windows update service window

4. Once identified, right-click on the service you desire to access, “Properties”.

5. Adjust the Startup type to Enabled using the drop-down menu.

6. Click Apply to save your changes.

7. Close the pop-up window.

8. Reboot your computer to complete the process.

Reset the Specific Application

To resolve issues with a specific program not opening, reset it in Settings. However, it is important to note that resetting the application will erase all associated data. Therefore, make sure to back up all your files before proceeding. Additionally, resetting the application will remove the user account information, so you must log in again. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Press Windows + I buttons together to initiate the Settings app.

2. In the pop-up window, select “Apps.”

windows settings apps

3. Choose the application not functioning correctly and select “Advanced options.”

microsoft store advanced options

4. Scroll down and select “Reset” in the pop-up window.

reset app settings

After completing these steps, restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved. If resetting the application does not fix the problem, you may need to reinstall it. Check to see if the issue is resolved after reinstalling the program.

Run the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

If you are experiencing issues with Windows apps not opening, the built-in Windows Store Apps troubleshooter may be able to help. This tool is designed to automatically diagnose and repair common problems with Windows Store apps. Start executing by:

1. Open the Search bar by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the taskbar, or use the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.

2. Type “Control Panel” in the search box and click on it to open the application.

windows search control panel

3. Use the search box in the top right corner to find “Troubleshoot,” Then click on the “Troubleshooting” header in the search results.

control panel troubleshooting

4. Click the “View all” link in the left-hand pane to see all available troubleshooters.

view all troubleshooters

5. Navigate to locate the “Windows Store Apps” troubleshooter. Click on it once to launch it in a new window.

6. Click “Next” to begin the problem analysis. If any issues are found, the troubleshooter will attempt to fix them automatically. A full report will be available at the end of the troubleshooting process.

select microsoft store troubleshooter

Keep Your Apps Up-To-Date

There are two possible ways how you can keep your apps up-to-date. Check them below:

Update Your Apps in the Microsoft Store

1. To update your apps in the Microsoft Store, open the app by pressing the Windows Key + S and typing “Store” in the search box, then select the first result.

select microsoft store

2. Once the Microsoft Store app is open, click on your Microsoft Account icon in the top right corner (next to the Search box) and select “Downloads and updates” from the menu.

downloads and updates microsoft store

3. Click the “Check for updates” button and update all apps as needed.

Force App Updates Using the Command Prompt

To force app updates using the Command Prompt, search for “cmd” in Windows search and click on “Run as administrator” to open Command Prompt with full rights.

1. Once on the command prompt, enter the following line and press Enter. The command below will trigger automatic updates for Windows apps.schtasks /run /tn “Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\Automatic App Update”

schtasks run tn command

2. If a specific app is not opening in Windows 10, reinstallation may be necessary. To do so, open the Start Menu and locate the problematic app.

3. Right-click on it and choose “Uninstall.”

4. After uninstalling the app, open the Microsoft Store app and try to download it again.

Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus App

An antivirus program can sometimes conflict with other applications and cause them to malfunction or crash. This can happen when the antivirus software detects a false positive and blocks the app. If you suspect this to be the issue, you can temporarily disable your antivirus software to see if it resolves the problem. However, be sure to turn it back on once you’re done troubleshooting to ensure the security of your system. To start, follow the steps below:

1. Right-click on a space on your taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu.

opening task manager

2. Go to the Startup tab and find your antivirus program in the list.

3. Click on the program to select it, then click the Disable button in the window’s bottom-right corner.

disable icloud in startup

4. Restart your computer and check if you can open your applications without errors.

Reset Windows Store Cache

One reason for Windows 10 apps not working is a corrupted installation or the Microsoft Store blocking the latest version upgrade. To fix the problem, resetting the Microsoft Store cache may be necessary.

1. Follow these steps to reset the cache:

2. Type “Command Prompt” in the Windows search box and select the first result shown.

3. Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.”

4. In the open window, key in “wsreset.exe” and hit “Enter”.

wsreset command

5. Wait for the process to finish. Do not close the command line window until it is completed.

After the process is complete, the Microsoft Store will open automatically. Check for potential updates and verify if the issue of Windows 10 apps not opening is resolved.

Update Your Apps

When facing issues with certain apps, checking if an update is available is recommended, as many developers frequently release updates to address security concerns and bugs.

To ensure that your apps are up-to-date, you can visit the manufacturer’s website to check for updates manually. However, some apps enable automatic updating, making it easier to access new versions in certain instances.

Check Application Identity Service Status

To ensure that your Windows 10 apps can open properly, it’s important to check that the Application Identity Service is active. To do this, press the Windows key and the letter R on your keyboard, then type “services.msc” and hit enter.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to initiate the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “services.msc” in the box > press Enter.
  3. Scroll down to locate the “Application Identity” service.
  4. Double-click on the “Application Identity”. This will allow you to access its properties window.
  5. Check the “Service Status” field to see if it is running or stopped. If there is a stopped service, click the “Start” button to get it running.
  6. Once the service has started, click “OK” to close the properties window.
start application identity service

Try Another User Account

Your user account may be corrupted. In this case, you can try using a different user account to see if the problem persists. If no other user accounts are available, you can create a new one using the following steps:

1. Press the Windows + I keys to open “Settings”.

2. Choose Accounts.

3. In the pop-up window, select Family & other users > click Add someone else to this PC.

add someone else to this pc

4. Follow the wizard to continue and create a new user account.

Once the new account has been created, check whether the problematic app works in the new user account. If it is, transfer all necessary data to the new account.

Clear the Microsoft Store Cache

If you’re encountering problems with Microsoft Store apps not working, you can attempt to resolve the issue by clearing the Store cache. This will delete any temporary data and files that might be causing the problem.

Follow these steps to clear the Microsoft Store cache:

1. Close any Microsoft Store applications running in the background. Open Task Manager and go to Details, then terminate any Microsoft Store processes.

2. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking the magnifying glass icon, or use the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.

3. Type “wsreset” and select the first search result to run the command.

wsreset search

4. An empty Command Prompt window will open. Leave this window for about 30 seconds and wait for it to close automatically.

5. After the Command Prompt closes, the Microsoft Store will launch, having been reset. Test whether your issues with opening apps have been resolved.

Perform System Restore

Restoring your computer to an earlier point can be a solution, provided you have created a system restore point earlier. You should try other solutions if you haven’t created a system restore point earlier.

  1. Here are the steps to restore your computer to an earlier point:
  2. In the search box of Windows, type “Create a restore point” and select the best match.
  3. Go to the System Protection tab.
  4. Click on “System Restore…” to continue.
  5. Click “Next”.
  6. Choose a restore point. If there are multiple restore points, select one based on the creation time and description.
  7. Confirm the restore point settings and click “Finish”.
confirm system restore point

Once all steps are completed, restart your computer and check if the issue of Windows 10 apps not working has been resolved.

Repair or Reset the Problematic App

This method involves deleting temporary files and data and reinstalling the app from scratch. Many users have reported that this method has successfully resolved issues with apps not opening. Here’s how you can repair or reset an app:

1. Press the Windows + X keys simultaneously and select Apps and Features from the context menu.

select apps and features

2. Find the app you’re having difficulty opening, and if available, click on the Modify button. If the Modify button is unavailable, click the Uninstall button instead.

3. Select the Repair button if the app has a built-in repair function.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair installation. You may need to restart your computer to implement the changes before you can run the application on Windows.

Run the System File Checker

If you encounter issues with multiple apps, it may indicate corrupted system files on your computer. The System File Checker (SFC) tool can scan and repair corrupt files.

To run the SFC tool:

1. Click on the search bar in your taskbar by selecting the magnifying glass icon or pressing the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.

2. Type “Command Prompt” in the search box. When you see it in the search results, right-click and choose “Run as Administrator.” If your local account doesn’t have administrator permissions, you can find out how to grant admin access.

run command prompt administrator

3. When the User Account Control (UAC) is prompted, click “Yes” to launch the app with administrative permissions.

4. Type sfc /scannow in the command prompt and press “Enter” to roll out the command.

sfc scan

Wait for the SFC tool to complete scanning your computer. In case of discrepancies, the utility will restore system files and resolve errors related to them.

Get Back to Using Your Apps With These Easy Fixes: Applications Not Opening Windows 10

Problems with Windows 10 apps not working can be very disruptive to productivity. While there may be different causes for this problem, it is essential to understand the symptoms and take appropriate action to address them.

James Masterson
Meet the author

James is a software engineer and an information architect with a keen eye for detail. Among his key interests are enhancing the usability of our Windows 10 content, troubleshooting errors, and tech news.