Starting Windows 10 "Store App" from the command line.

How do you start a the "new and improved"  Metro / Universal / Store (cr)App from the command line?

The original question was, when I'm running a 3rd party photo editor application, I have the option of starting other photo editor applications from inside it (because they have different editing features), so I need to provide a "command line" to start the Windows Store Photo application.

Store Apps are MS's "latest and greatest" take on application programming, primarily run from the Windows 10 start menu.  So they MUST be easy to start.  Not so much. They are designed to be started from the start menu only.  Even with a shortcut on the desktop you DO NOT have enough information to create the required command line.

So, tighten your seatbelts and take your anti-nausea pills, here it comes the rollercoaster ride of fun ...

(FYI: I had an issue running the Photos app, so I had to test with Weather instead)

  1. Open run dialog <WIN><R>
  2. Type:
  3. Find your app (Photos) in the folder
  4. Right click and choose "Create Shortcut"
  5. Say "Yes", to prompt to "place the shortcut on desktop"

  6. Right click the shortcut and choose "Properties"
  7. Make sure Shortcut tab is displayed
  8. Make note of the entry in the “Target” field (ie Microsoft.BingWeather_8wekyb3d8bbwe) 

  9. Open powershell command window (<WIN><R> and type powershell)
  10. Run command to generate a list of installed Store Applications, put output in file 123.txt by pasting the following command into the PowerShell window
    get-appxpackage > 123.txt

  11. Open run dialog again, <Win><R>  
  12. Display your user folder by pasting  %UserProfile% in the run dialog and hit <enter>
  13. Find the file 123.txt and double click to open

  14. In that folder, Open the AppxManifest.xml 

  15. Then your command line is : 

explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.BingWeather_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App

                                                 PackageFamilyName                              <APPLICATION ID>


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Thank you very much for this article with valuable information, it is very useful.

See also

The instruction to direct the output from the "get-appxpackage" PowerShell instruction to "123.txt" is too random to be coincidental.

Sorry, Chris, I don't understand.  What do you mean using "123.txt" as the output file name is "co-incidental"? Coincidental to what?   It is just a file name, you can make it anything you want.

Exactly, you can use any filename you want there. I'm just commenting that the other post on the other forum also used "123.txt". I'm just pointing out that these instructions must have been adapted from the ones in the other post. I'm not suggesting anything nefarious, just pointing it out as an interesting observation.

It's worth pointing out that once you have the target from step 8, there's no point doing any of the rest...

Your command line is simply explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\[TARGET]!App

Granted, this thing about other packages might mean it's not always that simple, but it's definitely worth thying out first.

And that instruction at step 20 makes no sense... However, in the original (pirated) instruction, it's perfectly clear.

This is EXACTLY why I hate Paint 3D. Need to grab a screenshot on a stock Windows PC (such as while cleaning a virus, or troubleshooting an error message)? Well, the Snipping Tool isn't mapped to any keyboard shortcuts, right? No Greenshot or SnagIt, etc... Well, simple answer:

1. Press "Print Screen" key.

2. Press the "Windows+R" keys at the same time to open the run dialog.

3. Type "mspaint" in the run dialog.

4. Press "Ctrl+V".

SUPER simple, 4 seconds. Until MSPaint becomes an app store app, then you're kludging around with the mouse cursor, or manually inputting custom scripts into machines you are working on to wrap the App syntax into easy to type commands.

The answers are out there

Well, the Snipping Tool isn't mapped to any keyboard shortcuts, right? 

Yes it is, Press Windows+Shift+S - the screen will go faded, and you can just left-click and drag to cut out part of the screen as a bitmap that's stored in your clipboard.

Thanks for the article,

It explans a lot and confirms my original opinion about MS that I got back when windows 95 came out. They have a unique ability to confuse something that could have been done so much easier. I'm sure the MS programmers Mom's are so proud of them.


Thanks tho...Really. I have tried to do this many times and just give up and tried something else.


Ms advocate for greater simplicity....

Perfect. Just what I wanted to do. Now I can call Store Apps using Rainmeter, or using my own scripts.

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Last updated October 22, 2020 Views 78,316 Applies to: