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File System Error (-2147219196) in Photos or Other Store Apps

With the Photos app set as the default in your Windows 10/11 computer, when you double-click on a JPG, PNG, or any other image file, the error -2147219196 may occur, and the app may crash. Here is the full error message verbatim:

File System Error -2147219196

And, repairing or resetting the app via “Apps and Features” may not help. This issue may occur especially after installing a Cumulative Update; some users reported this incident after installing the July KB4345421 (17134.167) Cumulative Update.

Fix for Error “-2147219196” (0x80040904) in Photos or other Store Apps

To fix the File System Error -2147219196 in the Photos app, follow these steps:

Step 1: Update the Photos app

First, see if an update exists for the Photos app at the Windows Store.

If an update for Microsoft Store is available, it will start installing automatically. If that doesn’t help or you’ve already got the latest Photos app, proceed to the next step.


Step 2: Uninstall Photos, Remove Leftover Files, and Reinstall

  1. Start PowerShell as administrator
  2. Run the following command to get the Photos app folder path:
    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos -allusers | select InstallLocation

    Note down the folder path shown in the output. You may copy it to the clipboard or Notepad. Let’s say the install path is as follows:

    C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2022.30060.30007.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

    You’ll need to use this path in Step 7 below.

  3. Run the following command to uninstall the Photos app.
    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage
  4. Download PsExec (part of the PsTools package) from the Windows Sysinternals website.
  5. Extract the contents of the archive to a folder, say d:\tools
  6. Open Command Prompt as administrator (elevated), and run this command:
    d:\tools\PsExec.exe  -sid  c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe

    This spawns a new Command Prompt process launching it under the SYSTEM account.

  7. In that (new) Command Prompt window, run the following command and press ENTER:
    rd /s "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2022.30060.30007.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe"

    Important: Note that the version number in the folder name will vary according to the version of the Photos app installed in the system. In Windows 10 v2004, the folder name maybe Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2020.20070.10002.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe. In v20H2, it could be Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2021.21090.10008.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.

    Tip: You can also use the Command Prompt autocomplete feature to get the correct folder name in Command Prompt, press the TAB key when you complete typing the command partially, till rd /s "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos. Pressing the TAB key auto-completes the right folder path.

  8. After issuing the above command, press “Y” when prompted for confirmation. This deletes the Photos app package folder.
  9. Once done, open Microsoft Store, search for “Microsoft Photos” and install the app.

More information on removing and reinstalling the Photos app can be found in the article How to Uninstall & Reinstall the Photos App in Windows 11/10


Step 3: Run the Microsoft Store Apps Troubleshooter

The Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter helps you identify the problem(s) with the store apps and fix them automatically.

The “Windows Store app troubleshooter” fixes problems that may prevent Windows Store apps from working correctly. You can download the troubleshooter from here, or run it via Settings or classic Control Panel. For detailed information, check out the article Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter in Windows 10 Fixes Apps Download and Install Problems.


Step 4: Reinstall All Built-in Windows Apps

Start PowerShell as administrator and run the following command:

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

This reinstalls all the UWP apps. It’s to fix any missing or damaged components that the Photos app might need. This method is especially useful if you can’t open Photos, Groove, Movies & TV, Calculator, and many other built-in Windows apps.


Step 5: Fix the “Program Files” Folder and Registry Permissions

This issue with Windows Store apps can also occur if the read permission is missing for the “ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES” group, for some registry keys, and/or the “Program Files” folder. The All Application Packages group, a well-known group with a predefined SID, must have specific access to certain registry and file system locations for Microsoft Store Apps to function correctly.

Make sure the “All Applications Packages” group has the Read permissions to the following registry paths:

Also, the All Application Packages group must have the access rights for the folders, as indicated below:

For more information, refer to the Microsoft article Microsoft Store Apps fail to start if default registry or file permissions are modified to rectify the Permission entries for those registry keys and the Program Files folder.


Additional Information

By the phrase “file system error”, in a rough sense, we generally run the Chkdsk repair command (CHKDSK C: /R command from an admin Command Prompt). But this doesn’t seem to be the case here. The error message is misleading, as, in reality, it may be referring to a file access permissions error. Going by user reports, the error -2147219196 (0x80040904) can occur due to incorrect folder or registry permissions.

Opening this event log file will reveal some information about the error.

%SystemRoot%\System32\Winevt\Logs\Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI%4Operational.evtx

Also, the Windows Error Reporting log for that crash can reveal the exception code. For instance, exception code 0x80070005 means “Access is Denied”, and code c0000005 means “Access Violation.” These errors are most likely caused by incorrect file system or registry permissions.

You can use Nirsoft’s AppCrashView to view the application crash (WER ) logs.


Editor’s note: If none of the above steps fix the problem, you may have to run a repair installation (also known as “InPlace Upgrade”) of your Windows 10 system.

Of course, to preview image files, you can use the excellent Windows Photo Viewer classic app as an alternative. To restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10, see the article How to Restore Missing Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 11/10)


I hope this guide helped you fix problems with the Photos app or any other Windows Store app for that matter.

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