If you’re seeing app tiles on the Start menu or the apps list with an exclamation mark, you’re not alone. Other Windows 10 users seem to be getting it though the problem isn’t as common as most other Windows 10 bugs. The apps in question refuse to open but the problem is pretty easy to fix. Here’s how you can fix greyed out apps with exclamation marks on their tiles.
Apps with exclamation marks
I experienced this bug with the Skype app and it seems to happen only for UWP apps. If you have a greyed out app tile with an exclamation mark, you should click it. You will see an error message telling you the app cannot open and that you should reinstall it.
The first course of action should be to click the ‘See in Store’ link on the message. This will open the Microsoft Store app, and take you to the problematic app’s page. There will be a reinstall button that you can click to reinstall the app however, it may not work. In my case, it didn’t but it’s worth a try.
If the Microsoft Store app doesn’t reinstall the app, open the Start menu and go to the apps list. Right-click the app tile, and select Uninstall from the context menu. Once it’s been uninstalled, open the Microsoft Store app and download it again. When it installs, whatever problems it had will be resolved.
If the download doesn’t start, try downloading a second app in addition to the one you need to reinstall. This sometimes helps get the ball rolling.
This fix is easy but it does have one problem; there’s no way to back up data from an app. I had problems with Skype which doesn’t need any data backed up but if you’re facing this problem with an app that has data saved to it, you will likely lose it if you have to reinstall the app. At this point, there’s no work around available.
There’s no clear reason as to why this is happening and what’s causing apps to break at random. If you’re stuck with a stock app like Maps that you cannot uninstall from the Start menu’s apps list, you’re going to have to uninstall and reinstall it via PowerShell. The command is pretty easy though you will need admin rights to do this.
If you’re averse to using PowerShell, try resetting the app the app first. It may or may not fix the problem but it’s worth a try.