Windows 8 Metro Apps Fail to Run or Open?

As you can probably see by the number of posts on Windows 8, I’ve been playing around with the it lately ahead of the final release at the end of the year. Today I ran into an interesting problem. I loaded up Windows 8 on a netbook just to see how well it would run and when I tried to launch one of the Metro apps, nothing happened. It just would not load the app.

I figured maybe Windows had crashed or something, so I restarted the computer, but I still was not able to run some of the Windows 8 apps. It was getting very annoying because there was no error message or anything; you just clicked and nothing happened.

windows 8

In this article, I’ll walk you through a couple of troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the problem. If none of the solutions below fix your issue, go ahead and post a comment and I’ll try to help.

Method 1 – Run the Troubleshooter

Microsoft is aware that certain apps won’t run in Windows 8 because of an incorrect resolution, incorrect permissions, or incorrect security or account settings. You can download the troubleshooter here:

Windows 8 Troubleshooter

The troubleshooter will automatically fix common problems that can cause apps to not load in Windows 8. This is the easiest way to fix the problem if you’re having it. If you’re still having issues even after running the troubleshooter, keep reading.

Method 2 – Run Windows Update

If the troubleshooter didn’t find any issues, then the next thing you can try is to run Windows Update and install all the updates. Microsoft is constantly releasing fixes and updates to drivers, etc., so your problem may be solved by simply performing an update.

windows update

Make sure to go ahead and restart the computer after installing any updates. See if the problem goes away.

Method 3 – Remove an Update

On the other hand, if you just installed some Windows updates and now you can’t open Metro apps, you may have to uninstall those updates. You can do that by going to Control Panel and then going to Programs and Features.

view installed updates

Click on View installed updates and you’ll see the list of updates show up on the right hand pane.

uninstall update

Remove the updates and then see if you can open your Metro apps now.

Method 4 – Log in Using Local Account

If you notice certain apps not loading like Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, it might be because of a problem with the Windows Live login system. In Windows 8, you can log into your PC using your Windows Live ID, which they really want you to do or login using a local ID like you have in all previous versions of Windows.

Obviously, anything new is going to have bugs and this is one of those new features. Go to the Metro UI Settings and then click on Users. If you don’t know how to get to Metro UI settings as opposed to Windows settings, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Read my previous post on how there are two sets of settings in Windows 8, one for Metro and one for Windows.

switch to local account

Go ahead and click on the Switch to local account button. Now go ahead and try to open the Mail, Calendar or Contacts app and see if you can get in. If so, it’s a problem with the Live ID system and you may have to try it again later on. You’ll see the option change to Switch to Microsoft Account.

Method 5 – Connect to External Monitor

The problem I had was the fact that I installed Windows 8 on a netbook and apparently the resolution on that netbook was not high enough to support Metro apps! Go figure! Anyway, I connected it to an external LCD monitor and then opened the Charms bar and clicked on Devices and then chose Second Screen Only. This turned Windows 8 off on the small netbook screen, but displayed it on my 22-inch LCD monitor.


After that, I changed the resolution to the highest possible and all the apps started loading fine even though they were running off the netbook! Kind of pointless to have a system setup like that, but it works!

Method 6 – Uninstall/Reinstall Metro App

The next thing you can try is to uninstall the app and then reinstall it. You can do this by going to the Start Screen and right-clicking on the app. You’ll see a few icons pop up at the bottom Click Uninstall.

uninstall app

Now to reinstall, go to the Start Screen again and click on the Store tile. Once you’re in the store, you have to open the Charms bar and click on the magnifying glass to search. Type in Mail or Calendar, etc and you’ll see one item under Recommendations.

mail calendar people

Basically, Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging all get installed together. So if you had to uninstall one of those apps, just click Install once to get all the apps. I’m guessing if the others are still installed, it won’t reinstall those again, but not sure.

Method 7 – Refresh Your PC

The last thing you can try is to refresh your PC. You can do this by going to the Metro settings again and then clicking on General. Here you’ll see an option to refresh your PC.

refresh pc

Of course, the last resort is to reinstall Windows, but that’s not a very good choice. If you’re still having issues with Metro apps not opening in Windows 8, post a comment here and we’ll help! Enjoy!