Unable to delete windowsapps folders created after changing location of microsoft app installation.

Before the 1511 update I wasn't able to set the default app location anywhere apart from my small ssd C: drive. After the update I was able to change the installation location. I managed to delete the C: windowsapps folder using by giving my self system access in a file manager, admin level powershell commands and other third party programs. However I was unable to do the same in my other drives using the same method after I decided to change the location again and I now had redundant windowsapps folders I couldn't delete because I didn't have permission . So I tried setting all the default locations to my F: drive to see if having a default location of music, pictures ect in the same drive allow me to delete the windowsapp folder and it didn't work.

I would like to delete windowsapp folders that my computer isn't using and if that is not possible find a way to hide them (which I have already tried.)

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Hi,

Thank you for being part of Microsoft Community.

  1. What is the exact error message that you get when you try to delete the folders?
  2. Are you logged in as the administrator?
  3. Did you try to give full permissions to the folder?

Please reply to the questions in order to assist you in a better way.

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I've run into the same issue as the original post.

I run into a couple of different prompts and messages. When I right-click the folder and choose the delete option in the drop-down menu, I get this prompt.

I click 'Yes' and then get to this dialog box:

I click 'Continue' (I was already logged into the Windows 10 system with an account that has all Admin privileges - there is literally only one account on this computer and I am using it). I then (briefly) see the file operation progress dialog box which then unceremoniously dumps me into this final dialog box:

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Hi,

Apologize for the difficulties that you're experiencing regarding this issue and also for the delay in getting

back to you.

I suggest you to take the ownership of the folder and then try to delete. Here's how:

1. Right click on the folder that you want to take ownership and select Properties.

2. Click the Security tab, under Group or user names menu, select your user name and click on Edit.

3. Click on Full control check box under Permissions for authenticated users and click on Apply and OK.

4. Select Advanced under Security tab and click on Change. If you are prompted for an administrator

    password or for confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

5. Type the name of the person that you want to give ownership to, and then click Check Names.

Note: The account name for the person that you are assigning ownership to is displayed.

6. Click OK.

7. If you want this person to be the owner of the files and subfolders that are contained in this folder, select

    the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects check box and click OK.

Click here for more information on assigning the Ownership to folder.

Note: References to Windows 8 also apply to Windows 10.

Please post back with the status of the issue and we will be glad to assist you further.

Thank you.


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I've been having the same problem and have tried to follow your instructions. However, under the security tab i see this:

So i click on Advanced and it brings me here:

I click continue and it shows this:

Even though I am set to the Owner of the folder, I can't change the permission entries (note the grey add/remove buttons) and clicking view shows this:

Everything greyed out under basic permissions and advanced permissions:

Any suggestions on how to proceed?

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Same here...

Any solution?

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The windows apps folder has some insane security on it.

I found out via a personal experience and some googling after that experience on a computer with a working OS that the windowsapps folder is used by windows 10 to create new users. Without it some windows 10 apps don't install properly and the UI and other processes become buggy. 

Edit* I somehow deleted one version of the windowapps folder which caused chaos. (Shenanigans occurred with changing default file locations and moving directorys and file locations)

I messed up quite badly trying to fix my problem and ended with a desktop in legacy/fastboot mode with completely blank hard drives.

I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get my desktop up and running again without the help of someone who actually knows what there are doing.

I'm guessing that the sets similar sets of problems and situations that the people on this forum have experienced are not very common so there isn't much trouble shooting advice.

My advice as someone who bumbled through fixing it is that if the windowapp folder is causing you trouble and is becoming to much of a hindrance and you can't figure it out or no one can help you then just bite the bullet and find work arounds to sync as much settings and other stuff as you can, back up the rest and the fully reset your pc. 

I reset my windows tablet last week and windows created a file with all the names of all the apps it removed during the reset (I choose to keep my documents) so that might be handy.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the advice.

Resetting the computer is always an option, but now I want to find out why the solution postet above does not work for me and UnassumingGuy. (Even other solutions with the "icacls" and "takeown" commands in the console did not work....).

We do not have any permissiones even though we are the owner of the folder. That makes no sense.

It is also strange, that there are a lot of solutions to get the permissions to find in the internet and it seems that they work fine for the most users but not for us. One reason could be, that both of us changed the drive for the installation of new apps (?).

Now I am curious - someone can help?

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So I managed to delete the windowsapps folder.

I downloaded a version of linux, burned it to a disc and set the DVD drive as the boot device. Linux booted off the disc without installing anything, so none of my files were touched. I just went into the location where windowsapps was and deleted it with no fuss. Windows cant stop you from deleting a system folder if you're not using Windows! I'll admit, there was plenty of cursing at the windows OS for trying to "protect" me from doing something it perceived as reckless.

Quick tip for this method: turn off fast boot, or else linux wont be able to access the hard drive due to the hibernation files on the drive.

As for being unable to grant myself permissions to delete the folder in windows, that remains a mystery. Having the user be the principal for the folder does absolutely nothing and there's no reason for it not to i this case. Could be a security thing, I don't know, but it's very frustrating.

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I should probably mention then that I deleted the original windows apps folder in my C: Drive (Drive with OS installed) by using some third party programs to give me some kind of permission or system access. Sorry it was back in November so I can't exactly remember what I did but I could find out if you want. The one I couldn't do anything with was the copy on my D: drive after changing the install location a few times. Edit* I had a copy of the windowsapp folder on my external but I formatted it.

I also went the Linux route via Ubuntu but I had a blank computer so I didn't have grub1 or grub2 installed and I didn't have any bootable storage devices. I think I made my external hard drive bootable and did some iso stuff with Ubuntu using the partition manager on my tablet. There where a few more dead ends after that but there are not really relevant.

I'm trying to avoid putting on the tin foil hat but I don't think that the windowsapp folder is that secure to protect us. There are a lot easier ways to unintentionally mess up a PC and you need at least some level of computer literacy to find it and then a bit more to know what it is and do things with it. The security might have something to do with privacy. However windows 10 kinda outright states what its doing and people would of probably said if they found anything too sinister in the folder and store apps.

I'm guessing that as the windows apps are probably are a mix of clientside and severside that microsoft made the windowsapp folder that secure on the main drive and even more so other drives is to try to prevent things like windows store, xbox and other places where you buy things from being exploited.

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Same here...

Any solution?

ME TOO! UGH! I only got the WindowsApps folder because I went and bought a 5TB secondary internal HDD. And went to move the folders over to that drive and now im stuck with this "WIndowsApps" folder, that says it's EMPTY! SO WHY CAN I NOT DELETE IT?! SMH. I guess there's still no fix!? Smh. It's one thing after another with this dang Windows 10.. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't! It's really starting to get quite frustrating. I'm honestly about to just go back to windows 8.1 at LEAST that was stable. I only upgraded because I read online that the windows insiders will be the first few to get the OFFICIAL last build version of windows 10. So I really liked windows 10 when I first upgraded to it, but there was just wayy too many problems. So I went back to 8.1 and then that's when I read about the insiders getting the first OFFICIAL version of 10. So I went back to 10, and found a lot of fixes for most of the problems I previously had on the last time I upgraded then had to roll back. This is going to  be very hard to decide what I want to do. I really like the way windows 10 looks and the layout, but there is just way too many unstable features. Ugh, decisions, decisions. 

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Last updated September 14, 2021 Views 195,700 Applies to: