Troubleshooting steps to use when Windows apps won't start

  • November 16, 2012
  • Read 68,125 times

If you are having problems launching a Windows 8 App from the Start Screen, we have put together a list of troubleshooting steps you can try. Typically, if you are having this problem, when you double-click on a Windows app Windows will look like its doing something, but the app does not launch. You will not receive any errors or any other alert that indicates why the app has not started. When following the steps below, please do them in the order given.


Reboot your Computer

A closely held secret by many IT professionals is that rebooting Windows is the secret sauce for fixing most computer problems. Simply restart Windows and then try your apps again. If that does not work, then please proceed with the rest of the steps.


Check your Display Resolution

Windows 8 Apps will not run if your display resolution is lower than 1024x768. When your resolution is lower, you will be shown a message stating that your screen resolution is to low for the app to run.


Windows resolution too low alert


To fix this, simply type Resolution at the Windows 8 Start Screen and then click on the Settings search category. Then click on the Adjust screen resolution option. This will bring you to a screen where you can change the resolution settings for Windows.


Make sure User Account Control is enabled in Windows 8

If User Account Control is disabled in Windows 8 your Windows apps may no longer start. This does not appear to affect everyone, but as it is a security risk to disable User Account Control, you are better off enabling it to be safe.

To enable User Account Control, type User Account Control at the Windows 8 Start Screen and then click on the Settings category. Then click on the Change User Account Control Settings option. A screen will open where you can select the User Account Control level as shown below.


User Account Controll screen


Change the settings so that you it is set to the second from the top as shown in the image above.


Install the latest video drivers

Installing the latest video drivers may not only solve this issue, but will increase the overall performance of your computer. Newer video drivers typically contain enhancements that fix a wide range of issues from game performance to Windows compatibility. To update your video driver, determine what video card you have installed in your computer and then visit that manufacturers web site. From their web site you can then download the latest available drivers for Windows 8.


Switch to a local account

There have been some reports that if you are using a Microsoft account and switch to a local account, you will be able to start the Windows apps again. There is no loss of functionality by switching to a local account and any app that requires your Microsoft account credentials will just request them as needed.


Revert any changes made by 3rd party programs

If you have used a 3rd party program to customize Windows 8, they may have caused Windows Registry corruption or set values that are not valid for Windows. In some cases, there have been reports that these changes could cause Windows apps to no longer start. Therefore, if you have used one of these types of programs, please start them again and revert any changes you made back to the Windows 8 defaults.


Refresh Windows 8

If all else fails, you can try refreshing Windows 8. This will do a complete reinstall of Windows 8 while retaining your data and personal account settings. For more information on how to refresh Windows 8, please see this tutorial:

How to reinstall Windows 8 while keeping your data using Refresh your PC


If you have any questions regarding these steps, please ask us in the Windows 8 Forum.

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