How to restore missing Microsoft Store and Apps on Windows 10 1903

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Has the Microsoft Store and other Windows Store Apps suddenly vanished from your computer after updating to Windows 10 1903? If so, you are not alone! Here is the detailed guide on how you can restore missing Microsoft Store and Apps on Windows 10 1903. This includes bringing back Microsoft Store, Microsoft Photos, Calculator, Groove Music, Windows Media Player, and many other apps.

restore missing Microsoft Store and Apps

Before I show you the procedures, let me tell you what exactly I went through after updating to Update 1903.

Windows 10 Update 1903 – The not-so-smooth experience

In May 2019, Microsoft released the Windows 10 Update 1903. Just after a few days, Microsoft announced that it will discontinue support for previous versions of Windows 10 forcing all the users to update to the 1903 version.

I got the notification to update my computer. For the first few days, I ignored the notification and when its pop-up frequency increased, I decided to finally upgrade my Windows from version 1809 to 1903.

I started updating my computer without reading about the bugs in version 1903. This is the only thing that went wrong on my end, but even If I had read about the bugs, I was still going to upgrade because Microsoft was all set to discontinue support for version 1809. Also, it’s always recommended to have the latest piece of software installed to prevent hackers and malware from infecting your computer. With my fingers crossed, I performed the update.

After a day of updating my computer, I tried opening a picture but the Photos application didn’t open up. Nothing happened at all. I used a third-party photo viewer at first and ignored this issue. Soon after that, I had to use the calculator. The calculator didn’t open up either. I realized that something was wrong.

I started searching on the internet about what was wrong and I got to know that many users were facing similar problems. Microsoft didn’t have any single word on this issue. All the queries on the Microsoft forums either have wrong answers leading the users nowhere, or no responses at all.

A few solutions that I found on various websites included resetting the applications that were having the problems or to update those apps using the Microsoft Store.

In the settings, I looked for the applications having issues and they did not appear there either. When I tried opening the Microsoft Store, that didn’t open either.

I did more research and found some methods to reinstall the application package of missing apps using PowerShell. This worked only for the Photos app. I was able to open and view the pictures in the Microsoft Photos app once again, but all other Microsoft apps failed again. I even tried downgrading to the update 1809 to no use.

All of this leads me to factory reset my computer and right now, I have all the Microsoft apps working once again.

Throughout this process, I wanted to avoid factory resetting my computer at any cost, but in the end, I had to opt for this option. I had to reinstall all the software & apps on my computer from scratch. Thankfully, the factory resetting the computer does not delete your files or data. It only uninstalls the third-party software.

Knowing the kind of pain a user can go through because of this bug in the 1903 update, I decided to make this guide. Down below, I’m going to list down all the possible solutions with the factory reset method in the end. You can apply the solutions one by one to see which one works for you. The whole idea of making this guide is to give you all the solutions in one place. Take a look and missing Microsoft Store and other Windows Store Apps on Windows 10 1903.

Restore missing Microsoft Store and other Windows Store Apps on Windows 10 1903

Our primary goal here would be to fix the Microsoft Store first of all. Because once you have the Microsoft Store working, all other apps can be downloaded from the store and they will start working too.

Solution# 1: Reset the missing Apps e.g. Reset Microsoft Store, Microsoft Photos and other apps

  1. In the search bar, type “Add or remove programs”.
  2. In the Add or remove programs, find “Microsoft Store”.
  3. Click on Microsoft Store and then click on “Advanced Options”.
    advanced options microsoft store
  4. Scroll down and find “RESET”.
  5. RESET the Microsoft Store now.
    Reset Microsoft Store
  6. Restart the computer and launch the Microsoft Store. See if it works or not.

You can use this procedure for all missing apps. Find them in the Add or remove programs and reset them one by one. If you cannot find the missing apps there either, it means that the apps are not on your computer anymore. In such a case, re-install the apps by following the procedure below.

Solution# 2: Reset the Windows Store Cache

  1. Go to Start Menu’s search bar.
  2. Type “WSReset.exe”.
  3. As you find the command, right-click on it and “Run as administrator”.
    wsreset to reset Windows Store cache
  4. The command will open a command window, run and close on its own.

If the command window doesn’t open up, it would mean that the Microsoft Store is not on your computer. You will have to install the Microsoft Store package manually in this case as well.

Solution# 3: Re-install your version of Microsoft Store

  • On your computer, go to Add or remove programs.
  • In the list, find the Microsoft Store.
  • Go to Advanced Settings of Microsoft Store.
  • Note down the Microsoft Store version.
Microsoft Store Version
Picture for reference only
  • Now add your MS Store version number to this command:
    • add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11712.1001.20.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml"
  • After replacing the version number, the command should ook like this:
    • add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11910.1001.5.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml"
  • Note: Replace this with your own version of MS Store. I have just demonstrated this for my version of MS Store.
  • Run PowerShell as administrator on your computer.
    Windows PowerShell
  • Execute the command in the PowerShell.
  • Restart the computer now.
    • Run the WSReset.exe once again.
  • Launch the Microsoft Store and it should be working.
  • Solution# 4: Re-install missing Microsoft Store and Apps

    • First of all, download the Windows Apps reinstall-preinstalledapps.zip package. Mirror is here.
    • Extract this zip to get its content.
    • Note down the location of the extracted content. If you haven’t changed the location, it should appear in:
      • C:\Users\yourusernamehere\Downloads
    • Now go to Start and find “PowerShell”, right-click and “Run as administrator”.
    • In the power shell, enter this command:
      • Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
    • This will ask you to change the execution policy. Type “Y” and press Enter.
    • Now enter the following command in PowerShell:
      • cd C:\Users\YourUserName\Downloads
    • Replace yourusernamehere with the username on your computer.
    • In the PowerShell, enter the following command to re-install the Windows Store: 
      • .\reinstall-preinstalledApps.ps1 *Microsoft.WindowsStore*
    • Now run the WSReset.exe as administrator from the Start Menu.
    • In the PowerShell, enter the following command in the end:
      • Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned
    • Restart your computer now.
    • Launch Microsoft Store or any other missing app.

    Solution# 5: Re-installing Microsoft Store

    • In the PowerShell, enter the following command:
      • Get-AppXPackage *WindowsStore* -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
    • After the logs run through, restart your computer.
    • Launch the Microsoft Store and see if it works now or not.

    Solution# 6: Reset your computer – the only way guaranteed to restore missing Microsoft Store and Apps

    Before applying this solution, backup all of your tools. Make sure that you are choosing the right settings while factory resetting. Again, you will lose all the software installation, nothing will happen to your files. The files on the desktop will stay on the desktop. The files in drives will stay in the drives.

    1. In the search menu in the Task Bar, type Reset.
    2. Open “Reset This PC”.
    3. reset this pc
    4. Click on Get Started.
      get started to reset this pc
    5. Now select “Keep my files”.
      Keep my files
    6. Follow the on-screen instructions and let it reset it everything.
    7. Your computer will be reset in 20-30 minutes.
    8. Set it up once again and check the Microsoft Store and all other missing apps. They will be working.

    You can now install all of your previously installed tools again. This is the solution that worked for me to get the Microsoft Photos, Calculator, Groove Music, Cortana, and other such apps working.

    Final Words

    That’s all. You would be really lucky if any solution from solution 1 – 5 restores missing Microsoft Store and Apps on your Windows 10 1903. It’s really unfortunate that factory resetting is the only guaranteed solution. It’s not that the first 5 solutions will not work at all. Those solutions have been tested by a number of users and many of them successfully restored the MS Store. Especially, the solution to re-install your own version of MS Store is what worked for me as well, but that couldn’t bring back other missing apps which is why I had to factory reset.

    Let me know if you have any questions or queries regarding this guide. I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible. 

    More: How to enable Windows 10 Tamper Protection

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