Top 6 Ways to Fix Default Apps Missing on Windows 11

Windows 11 brings the improved versions of native apps. You can get most of the basic work get done with them – viewing photos or checking emails. But, what happens when those default apps go missing from your Windows 11 PC?

If you can’t find the default apps on your Windows 11 PC, here are some troubleshooting tips that will help. Of course, there’s no need to reinstall the Windows 11, unless things are beyond fixing.

1. Run Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

Windows 11’s built-in troubleshooters can help you with most system-level issues. So, if the default apps are missing, you can start by running the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type in troubleshoot settings, and press Enter.

Step 2: Click on Other troubleshooters.

Step 3: Click on the Run button next to ‘Windows Store Apps’ and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the troubleshooting process.

After running the troubleshooter, check if the default apps are back.

2. Repair Missing Apps

If Windows 11 is only missing one or two apps, such as Microsoft Store or Photos, you can try repairing those problematic apps to see if that helps.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Settings from the list.

Step 2: Navigate to the Apps tab and click on Installed apps.

Step 3: Locate the app you want to repair. Click the three-dot menu icon next to it and go to Advanced options.

Step 4: Scroll down to the Reset section and click on Repair.

If the problem persists, you can also Reset the app from the same menu. Note that this will remove all the app data.

3. Reinstall Apps Using PowerShell

If repairing the app doesn’t work, you can use Windows PowerShell to reinstall all the default apps on your PC. Here’s how.

Step 1: Click the search icon on the Taskbar, type in windows powershell, and click on Run as Administrator.

Step 2: Paste the following command in the console and press Enter.

Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"

This might take a while. Wait for the process to finish and then restart your PC. Your default apps will appear again.

4. Try Clean Boot

There’s a chance that a recently installed program or a third-party service running in the background is interfering with Windows. So, if the issue remains even after reinstalling default apps, you can boot your PC in a clean boot state.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog, type msconfig, and press Enter.

Step 2: Under the Services tab, mark the box that reads ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and click on Disable all button in the bottom-right corner.

Step 3: Next, switch to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.

Step 4: In the Startup tab, select a third-party program and click on Disable at the top. Repeat this step to disable all third-party apps and programs.

Restart your PC to boot Windows without third-party apps and services. Check to see if you can find your default apps. If this solves your problem, then you’ll need to remove any recently installed apps or programs individually to fix the issue.

To boot in normal mode again, use the above steps to enable all Startup apps and services, and then reboot your PC.

5. Create a New User Account

If the default apps are still missing, there could be an issue with your user account. In that case, you can create a new user account by following the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Start menu and click on the gear-shaped icon to launch the Settings app.

Step 2: Switch to the Accounts tab and click on the Family & other users.

Step 3: Under Other users, click on the Add account button.

Step 4: Click on ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information’ and follow the on-screen instructions to create a new user account on Windows.

After that, sign in with the newly created user account, and your missing apps will appear again.

6. Reset Windows 11

Lastly, if none of the above solutions work, you’ve no option but to reset your PC. Thankfully, you can reset Windows 11 without losing any of your personal data. However, this process will remove your installed apps and reset all the system settings.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + I to launch the Settings app. In the System tab, go to Recovery.

Step 2: Click on Reset PC.

Step 3: Select ‘Keep my files’ and then follow the on-screen prompts to finish resetting Windows 11.

After Windows 11 resets everything, your default apps should be back.

Retrieve Your Apps

When important apps go missing from Windows 11, your productivity takes a hit. In most cases, repairing or reinstalling should help you recover them. You may need to resort to drastic measures such as resetting your PC. In any case, let us know which one of the solutions worked for you in the comments below.

Last updated on 14 July, 2022

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