[Solved] How to Fix “This App Can’t Run on Your PC” Error

[Solved] How to Fix “This App Can’t Run on Your PC” Error

/ Cris Mamon

Encountering the “This app can’t run on your PC” error message can be a frustrating experience for Windows users. This error message can occur when attempting to install or launch an application, preventing users from accessing the necessary software. The reasons for this error message can vary, but often it is due to compatibility issues between the application and the operating system or hardware of the computer. This guide will explore several solutions to fix the error, allowing users to successfully install and run their desired applications.

The “This app can’t run on your PC” error message can manifest in several ways, depending on when and where the error occurs. Listed below are the most common:

  • Error Message: The most obvious symptom is the error message, which usually appears in a pop-up window or notification. The message will typically say, “This app can’t run on your PC” or something similar, and may provide additional information about the cause of the error.
  • Application Failure: If the error occurs when you try to launch an application, you may find that the program fails to open or crashes immediately after launching.
  • Installation Failure: In some cases, an error may occur during the installation process for an application, preventing you from installing the software in the first place.
  • Limited functionality: In other cases, the application may still be able to run to some extent but with limited functionality or features due to the error.

11 Fixes to Resolve “This App Can’t Run On Your PC” Error

Numerous fixes are available to resolve this error and get your apps running smoothly again. Check them out below:

Make a Copy of the .Exe Files You Are Trying to Run

One potential solution to address the “this app can’t run on your PC” error involves creating a copy of the problematic file. This can be done by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Copy”, then right-clicking in the same location and selecting “Paste”. The copied file can then be opened to see if the error persists.

copy and paste the same file to the same location

Check if You Have the Correct Version of the Program You’re Trying to Run

Each Windows 10 has a 32-bit and 64-bit version, meaning that every third-party application built for Windows 10 that can utilize the 64-bit version has both a 32-bit and 64-bit version available.

If you receive the “This app can’t run on your PC” error message while trying to use a third-party application, one of the first steps is to verify that you have the correct program version installed for your Windows version 10.

For 32-bit versions of Windows, the 32-bit version of the application is required, while 64-bit versions of Windows require the 64-bit version. Here is a method for checking your Windows 10 version:

1. Right-click on the application and select “Properties”.

firefox properties

2. Navigate to the “Compatibility” tab.

3. Under “Compatibility mode”, check the box next to “Run this program in compatibility mode for:”

steam game compatibility options

4. Use the drop-down menu to select the version of Windows that the application was originally designed for.

5. Under “Settings”, tick the “Run this program as an administrator” box to select it.

set steam game to run as administrator

6. Select “Apply” to proceed, then “OK” to finalize the changes.

7. Restart your computer and try relaunching the application to see if the error message has been resolved.

restart computer

Create a New Administrator Account

One common issue that Windows 10 users encounter is the “This app can’t run on your PC” error, which can prevent basic applications like Task Manager from opening. If this issue is related to your user account on the computer, creating a new account may help. Here are the steps to create a new administrator account in Windows 10:

1. Open Settings and select the “Account” option.

2. Go to the “Family & other people” tab and click “Add someone else to this PC”.

3. Select “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”.

4. Click “Add a user without a Microsoft account”.

5. Create a unique username and password combination for the new admin account.

create local account

6. Once the new account is visible in the “Other users” section, click on it and select “Change account type”.

7. Choose “Administrator” from the drop-down menu and click “OK”.

change account type to administrator

After completing these steps, try logging in to the new account and opening the application that gave you the error message. If the application runs without issue, you may need to transfer your files and settings to the new account or continue using it as your primary account.

Disable SmartScreen

The SmartScreen utility is a tool that protects your computers from sophisticated malware. However, it can sometimes be overly sensitive, preventing certain apps from running on your PC and displaying the error message “This app can’t run on your PC”. Disabling SmartScreen temporarily can help diagnose the issue. Here’s how:

1. Open the search box by pressing Win + S and type “SmartScreen” in the box.

2. From the search results, select “App & browser control”.

3. The Windows Defender Security Center will appear. Check the “Off” option under the “Check apps and files” section.

disable check apps and files

4. Windows will ask for administrator approval to proceed. Click “Yes” to continue.

5. Reinstall the app you previously couldn’t open and see if the issue persists.

6. If the app fails to run in Windows 10, change the Windows SmartScreen setting to “Warn” and try the other troubleshooting steps below.

Change the User Account on Your PC

If the previous solutions listed earlier aren’t solving the problem, it could be because it is associated with your user account on your Windows 10 computer. If this is the case, creating a new user account on your computer is the best solution. Here are the steps to create a new Administrator account on a Windows 10 computer:

1. Open the Start Menu and click on the Settings icon.

2. Click on the Accounts option.

3. Click the Family & other users option in the window’s left pane.

4. In the window’s right pane, click the Add someone else to this PC option under the Other Users’ section.

add someone else to this pc

5. Choose “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” > “Add a user without a Microsoft account”.

6. Enter the name and password for the new user account.

7. The newly created user account will now appear in the Other Users section. Click on the new account and then the Change account type option.

select change account type

8. Open the Account type dropdown menu, select the Administrator option, and click OK.

change account type to administrator

9. Restart your computer and log in to the newly created Administrator user account when it boots up.

10. Check whether the “This app can’t run on your PC” error message appears while using the new user account.

11. If the new user account works fine, transfer all your files and data from your old user account to the new one and then delete the old user account.

Enable App Side-Loading

Enabling App Side-loading by turning on Developer mode is another effective way to resolve the “This app can’t run on your PC” error. Start enabling this feature by:

1. Go to Settings by clicking the Start button and selecting it from the list.

2. Click on Update & Security.

3. In the left panel, select For Developers.

4. Check the Developer mode option under the Use Developer features section.

enable developer mode

Once Developer mode is enabled, App Side-loading will also be turned on. Restart your computer and check whether the app can run successfully without the error message.

Use System File Checker

The System File Checker (SFC) is a useful built-in tool that analyzes all system files for any damages or corruption on your computer. When you run an SFC scan, the tool will repair or replace any corrupted system files with cached copies, ensuring the integrity of all protected system files. This makes SFC a valuable tool for fixing the “This app can’t run on your PC” error in Windows 10.

To use the SFC tool:

1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.

sfc scan

3. Wait until the verification process reaches 100% completion, then exit the CMD window and restart your PC to check if the “This app can’t run on your PC” error still occurs.

Update Your Windows 10 Operating System

To resolve the issue of certain apps not running on your PC, it is possible that your Windows Operating System is not up-to-date. Start the update by:

1. Click on the Start Menu and select PC Settings.

2. In the search bar, type “Windows Updates”.

3. Click on the “Check for Updates” button.

check updates

4. Install any available updates to ensure your Windows OS runs the latest version.

Disable Proxy or VPN

If you are utilizing this setting, it could be why your PC cannot connect to the Microsoft Store servers, resulting in your apps being unable to run on your PC. Disabling this setting could potentially resolve the issue.

1. Open the Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

2. Click on Internet Options.

3. Switch to the Connections tab.

4. Click on LAN(Settings).

5. Uncheck the box next to “Use a proxy server for your LAN”.

use a proxy server for your lan

6. Click OK to save the changes.

7. Sign in to your Microsoft Account again to see if it has been resolved.

Check for Disk Errors

If you’re experiencing issues with apps not running on your PC, disk errors could be the culprit. Running a disk check can help identify and remove these errors quickly.

To do this, you can use the command line chkdsk c: /f or chkdsk c: /r (where c is the drive letter) to fix disk errors or shield bad sectors, respectively. Simply open Command Prompt as administrator and enter the appropriate command.

chkdsk c f r

Run a Full Windows Defender Scan

Malware can cause errors and prevent apps from running or being installed. To check if your system is infected, perform a full system scan using Windows Defender.

  1. To do this, open the Start Menu and search for Windows Defender.
  2. Open the tool, select the shield icon in the left-hand pane, and select “Advanced scan” in the new window.
  3. Tick the “full scan” option to launch a full system scan.
select full scan and start

Get Your Apps Running: Tips to Fix “This App Can’t Run on Your PC” Error

After going through the various reasons why an app may not run on a PC and the different solutions that can be applied, it is evident that several factors can cause this error. From malware to disk errors to outdated Windows OS, these issues can prevent us from using the apps we need on our PCs.

It is important to be aware of the potential causes and to take the necessary steps to fix the problem. While some of these solutions may be more complex than others, each one plays an important role in helping us maintain our computers’ performance and functionality.

Cris Mamon
Meet the author

Chris has been writing professionally since the early 2000s. He has written articles for newspapers and magazines, books on Windows software development, and technical documentation on Microsoft products. He also has a passion for helping people get started with technology.