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14 Best Fixes for Microsoft Store Won’t Download Games/Apps

by Gaurav Bidasaria
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Microsoft Store (previously Windows Store) has become a one-stop destination for all games and app installation. However, as with all things Windows 10 and 11, many users are not able to download games and apps from Microsoft Store for one reason or another. Here’s what to do when Microsoft Store doesn’t download games and apps on Windows 10 or 11 PC.

1. Before You Begin

Some common reasons why you may not be able to download apps or games from Microsoft Store and what you can do about it.

  • Disable VPN or proxy if using any.
  • Check you have a working internet connection, good speed, and enough bandwidth to download from Store.
  • You have enough storage space on the drive you are trying to install that app or game. Open My Computer or This PC folder and view all existing drives. By default, Store installs apps and games in the same drive as your Windows OS which is usually the C drive by default but you can change Store’s installation location.
check windows drives for left storage space
  • Reboot your computer and try again to check if you can download and install apps/games from Microsoft Store.
  • It is possible that the app or game is simply not available in your region and so you can’t download it.
  • If you have family settings enabled, talk to your parent. There should be a good reason why they are not allowing you to download that app or game from Microsoft Store.
  • The app/game is incompatible with your PC’s hardware. Check specifications.
  • You have to restart your computer after an update is installed before you can install apps and games from Microsoft Store.

2. Sign In

You need a Microsoft account to be able to download apps and games from Microsoft Store. Microsoft did allow some free apps to be downloaded by local account users, but that is no longer possible. Now, all downloads require you to have a Microsoft account. If you don’t have an account, simply create one. You can also create an Outlook email account and use that to access Microsoft Store.

3. Sign Back In

Unlike the above method, this is a simple yet effective troubleshooting step to try if Microsoft Store is stuck on downloading apps or games.

1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for and open Microsoft Store.

open microsoft store in windows

2. Click on your profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen and then select the Sign out option.

sign out from microsoft store on windows

3. Now repeat the same steps and click on Sign in option and then follow the on-screen instructions to sign in to Microsoft Store using your Microsoft account. Note that if you have enabled 2FA, you will need to enter the code.

4. Download Executable File

While Microsoft Store hosts a number of apps that you can install and update in the background, that’s not the only way. Long before Store, Windows users simply downloaded the .exe or executable file of the app and installed it manually. Visit the app’s official website to download it as most providers still host these files. If it is a game that Microsoft Store is not downloading, you can get it from Steam. We have done an in-depth comparison between Steam and Store.

5. Update Installed Apps/Games

Microsoft Store won’t download new apps and games if it is busy updating existing ones on your Windows 10/11 computer. Be patient and let it do its job. In fact, we recommend you update all apps first before trying again.

To do so, simply open Store and click on the Library icon in the lower left sidebar, and then click on the Get updates button.

microsoft store update apps and games

Now try again and see if Store is downloading new apps and games or not.

6. Clear Store Cache

Cache files help apps reload and function smoothly and faster. But it may also cause issues. Let’s clear Store’s cache files to see if that helps. Doing so won’t delete any data.

1. Press Windows+I to open Settings. Click on Apps in the left sidebar and select Installed apps on the right.

list of installed apps on windows settings

2. Search for Store using the search bar. When Store appears, click on the kebab menu (three-dot icon), and select Advanced options.

microsoft store advanced options in windows

3. Scroll a little to find the Reset button. Click on it.

clear microsoft store cache on windows

Doing so will delete Store’s cache files saved on Windows.

You can also use the wsreset.exe command in the Command Prompt to clear the Microsoft Store cache.

7. Clear Local Cache Folder

Some cache files are stored in the local cache folder. Try deleting them to fix Microsoft Store not downloading apps and games on Windows 11.

1. Press Windows+R to open the Run prompt. Copy-paste the below command and hit Enter.

opening the run prompt

2. A new file explorer window will open. Navigate to the folder structure below.

Packages> Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe > LocalCache folder

Select everything inside this folder (Ctrl+A) and delete it (Del).

delete local cache folder contents

8. Repair Store App

This function will try and fix Microsoft Store. Simply go back to Settings > Apps > Store Advanced options and click on the Repair button. You will find it in the same menu where you reset the app in the above method.

9. Run Windows Store Troubleshooter

Windows 10 and 11 OS comes with a set of troubleshooters that help solve some common and known problems. There is one for Microsoft Store that may help resolve bugs that are preventing Store from downloading apps and games.

1. Reopen Settings (press Windows+I) and search for Find and fix problems with Windows Store Apps. Click to open it.

running microsoft store troubleshooter

Note: While Microsoft has renamed Windows Store to Microsoft Store, the name still appears in some places within the Windows OS.

2. In the pop-up that follows, click on Next and follow the on-screen instructions after that.

3. Now run the Find and fix problems with Windows Update troubleshooter.

run windows update troubleshooter

10. Reinstall Microsoft Store

Like all Windows apps, you can reinstall Microsoft Store to remove any inconsistent and buggy files.

1. Press the Windows Start button and search for CMD. Now select Run as administrator option.

open CMD with admin rights on windows

2. Copy-paste the command below and press Enter to execute it.

PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Command "& {$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage *WindowsStore*).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest}"

Let it finish running.

11. Re-Register Microsoft Store

If resetting Microsoft Store doesn’t work and it is still not installing apps and/or games, try re-registering it on Windows OS.

1. Re-open CMD (Command Prompt) with admin rights as you did in the previous step.

2. Copy-paste the command below and run it.

& {$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + ‘\AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest}

3. Wait for the command to finish running and then reboot your computer.

12. Restart Windows Explorer

Save all open work before you do this as it will close all open apps and windows.

1. Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open the Task Manager.

2. Right-click on Windows Explorer and select the Restart option from the context menu.

restart windows explorer in windows

The screen may blink a few times. Wait a few moments and then check if Microsoft Store still won’t download apps and games or not.

13. Restart Windows Update Service

1. Press the Windows Start menu icon and search for PwerShell. Then open it with admin rights.

open powershell with admin rights

2. Copy-paste the commands below, one at a time, and execute them. Again, one at a time.

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
net start wuauserv
net start bits

Reboot your computer once all the commands have finished running to check if Microsoft Store is allowing downloading apps and games or not.

14. Integrity Check

Microsoft has a long list of what they call the Integrity Check for the Windows operating system. It is too big to cover here and deserves a separate post. If nothing else worked and Microsoft Store still won’t download apps and games, try these.

Ditch Store

Microsoft Store is not the only way to download apps and games. Many apps can be directly installed from the developer’s website and for games, there is the mighty Steam.

Did you buy something from Microsoft Store and don’t know how to claim a refund? We have got you covered.

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