Good morning AskPerf! David Alessi here from the Windows 8 client team. One of the biggest support issues we’ve seen is with Windows 8 Store (formerly Metro/Modern) Apps failing to start. This post is going to cover some of the most common issues that users run into, and how to troubleshoot them.
When troubleshooting Windows 8 Apps, first establish whether or not the App is starting at all. When a Windows 8 App is first clicked the first thing that appears is the splash screen for that particular App. For example:
The splash screen is a solid color page typically with the App’s logo on it. When the App is first clicked, Windows is responsible for running the splash screen while the App gets ready to run. If the splash screen is briefly displayed and then closes, this means that Windows is opening the splash screen but the App is not starting.
Now that I’ve laid out some common causes I’ll go over how to fix each of issues above.
To start there are a few logs that can help you narrow down on the issue. I typically start with logs when only a certain app or apps are acting up (as opposed to all of them). If this is the case, make sure to give uninstall/reinstall a shot, or at least update to the latest version of the application.
The uninstall option is accessed by right clicking an app,
And updates are managed through the store.
The first log I’ll mention is %TEMP%\winstore.log
Winstore.log tracks update and install information for your applications, if you are having issues after an install or update this would be a good place to look first.
The other logs that can be helpful are located in your event log, easiest way to get there is to type “eventvwr” with your start screen open. Run it as an administrator.
With event viewer open navigate to: Event Viewer>Applications and Services Logs>Microsoft>Windows
Logs of interest
There are more logs that track Windows 8 app information, I’m not going to go over them because I have not found them helpful but to name a few: All-User-Install-Agent, AppHost, AppxPackagingOM, PackageState-Roaming, PushNotifications-Platform, and Store-Licensing.
The easiest way to test if group policy is the issue is to test behavior of a fresh machine. That is, using the image and deployment process where you determined there was an issue in the first place (MDT, PXE, etc.).
If you suspect that a group policy setting is breaking the App, then the following steps should be performed on the problem machine and/or user session:
When applocker is responsible for blocking an application, the user is typically presented with the prompt “This app has been blocked by you system administrator” however, this is not always the case.
To verify whether applocker is causing you issues open your event log and open:
Application and Services Logs>Microsoft>Windows>Applocker
As mentioned above, file system permissions, whether in the image, in a logon/startup script, or in group policy, can affect Windows 8 Store Apps.
In Windows 8, there is a new principle used to run Windows 8 Apps - ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES. To check for this principle: right-click on a folder or file in the file system>Properties>Security Tab>Advanced.
Here you can see a list of all security principles on that location and their permissions. Notice ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES at the bottom.
ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES need the following permissions to execute properly:
The other major issues with Windows 8 Store Apps are authenticated proxies. Windows 8 Apps do not have the architecture built in to pass credentials, cookies, certificates or any other authentication methods to proxies – which will fail when loading. Some of these symptoms include the following:
This issue has been fixed in 8.1 but if you really want to know before committing to an upgrade collect a netmon trace from the client while attempting to access internet resources in a Windows 8 App.
Here is the KB detailing this known issue and it’s workarounds: Using authenticated proxy servers together with Windows 8.
Lastly, the Windows Firewall service needs to be set to automatic and running for Windows 8 Store Apps to work. It’s also required for a lot of other functionality in Windows 8 and so should not be turned off for any reason.
If you use a 3rd party Firewall product, then we recommend to configure Windows Firewall to not block any inbound or outbound traffic.
Finally, if all other steps fail, you can try clearing the Windows Store cache by running the following command: