SOLVED: Reinstall Windows Store app, if it has been removed during post OOBE

I had previosly an interesting use case at the customer, I had to reinstall a built-in application on a Windwos 10 client :

  • Windows Store app has been removed in the post OOBE phase when W10 v1709 has been installed. After the W10 v1803 upgrade process, this application won’t be installed (again) automatically.

If you remove these kind of built-in applications to “early” during the OS installation phase or even during the upgrade, it’s not so easy to reinstall again.

Microsoft comments especially this Windows Store use case so:
The Store app can’t be removed. If you want to remove and reinstall the Store app, you can only bring Store back by either restoring your system from a backup or resetting your system. Instead of removing the Store app, you should use group policies to hide or disable it.
I read lot’s of articles about solutions and workarounds like:

  • Just run the following PowerShell commands:
    Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11606.1001.39.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppXManifest.xml”
    Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11606.1001.394.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxMetadata\AppxBundleManifest.xml”
  • If you wish to reinstall Windows 10 Store, you can also open an elevated PowerShell windows, type the following command and hit Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage *WindowsStore* -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

These commands could work for sure, if ‘only’ as AppXPackage will be removed. But if these apps will never be provisioned, it won’t work, like in my case.

That’s why I had to find another solution: Microsoft has an ISO on VLSC (search for “Windows 10 Inbox Apps“) containing all of the pre-installed apps. Download this ISO and use these source files.

IMPORTANT: be careful, these ISO are depending on your Windows 10 versions. Download and use the correct one.

The ISO also contains the ‘NET.Native‘ and ‘VCLibs‘ appx files, they should be required for the Windows Store installation.

My one-line PS script to reinstall the Windows Store app looks very simple:

Note that the this command can reinstall not just the Store app but also all other default apps that ship with Windows 10 which have been removed for some reason.

Just let me know in comments, if is works for you too…

Happy reinstalling respectively re-engineering 🙂

7 Comments


  1. Thanks so much, this saved my bacon!!

    Reply

  2. Do you know the commands in powershell to reinstall the NET.Native and VCLibs appx files?

    We have problems after the sysprep to install them and other native apps.

    Reply

    1. This ISO contains these required files too. You can just use the same one-line script for the installation as well.

      Reply

  3. Hi,

    We succesfully restored the Mail and Calender app by your guide.

    Great article!

    Thank you!

    Reply

      1. One last question, we have W10 1803 x64 and we now used the Microsoft.WindowsCommunicationsApps_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appxbundle
        Microsoft.WindowsCommunicationsApps_8wekyb3d8bbwe.xml
        from the x86fre folder. What is the difference with the same files from the amd64fre folder on the Inbox ISO? Just to make sure we use the right files.

        Reply

        1. It’s just like for other application scenarios:
          – which one are you supporting,
          – which one are fitting to your operating system,
          – do you have other dependency packages/applications?
          I would definitely recommend to use amd64/arm64 for your W10 x64 architecture. But for sure it’s working with x86 apps too.

          Reply

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