This app can't open - workaround

Once again let me thank all the people that have been trying out our Preview Apps.  We have identified the root causes of the problem that is causing the Office Apps to fail to open – sometimes with an error message saying “This app can’t open”.
There was an issue with the Store Licensing Service which meant that the Preview Apps were given a license that timed out far too quickly. This was fixed on 2/23.  Unfortunately, this exposed another issue whereby the Store would fail to acquire a new license if one already existed – regardless of whether the license had expired.  Removing an app and installing again doesn’t clear the cache, so even if you do this the app still fails to acquire a new license on startup.  So basically if you installed the app prior to 2/23 then you would hit this issue and removing and reinstalling the app won't fix the problem.
We’re currently working on getting a fix into a Windows update, and I will shortly be posting how you can manually work around this in the meantime.

Stay tuned, and once again thank you for taking part on the Office Preview program.

Here's how to work around the issue until a fix is available. This workaround will essentially purge all licenses cached on the device, and allow a refresh of all valid licenses.

If the app is showing the behavior exhibited from an invalid license it must be reacquired from the Store to get a new license.  In other words after you do this workaround you will need to remove Word Preview, PowerPoint Preview and Excel Preview and re-acquire them from the Store (and other Apps if they are also showing the same symptoms)


1. Open Notepad

2. Paste the following text into the blank doc

echo off

net stop clipsvc

if "%1"=="" (
 move %windir%\serviceprofiles\localservice\appdata\local\microsoft\clipsvc\tokens.dat %windir%\serviceprofiles\localservice\appdata\local\microsoft\clipsvc\tokens.bak

if "%1"=="recover" (
 copy %windir%\serviceprofiles\localservice\appdata\local\microsoft\clipsvc\tokens.bak %windir%\serviceprofiles\localservice\appdata\local\microsoft\clipsvc\tokens.dat

net start clipsvc

3. Save the file (somewhere easy to find) as "activelic.bat" (note the .bat extension)

4. Execute the batch file from an administrator privileged command prompt. (right click Start button (window logo) | select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’) - see screenshot for example

5. Go to the Start menu and uninstall the App exhibiting the behavior.

6. Go to the Gray Store and reacquire the App. Launch it and it should now open, reacquire a new, valid, license.

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Question Info

Last updated February 2, 2021 Views 16,853 Applies to: