If you have accidentally deleted the Windows 10 apps folders such as SystemApps, WindowsApps, or the Packages folder (in Local Application Data), here is how to restore them back.
Each sub-folder in the above locations stores your program files and settings for the modern Apps, and deleting those folders would prevent those apps from correctly. If the folder you deleted is for a third-party app, you can download a fresh copy via Microsoft Store.
What if you delete a folder containing a built-in Windows app? The best way to restore it would be to recover the folder from a recent volume shadow copy.
Download one of these shadow copy recovery tools:
Let’s use Shadowcopyview. Launch the utility, and select the Snapshot in the top pane. Make sure you select the most recent one so that you have almost the same version of the app package and settings as before.
Type the folder path in the bottom pane. Select the folder, press F8, and select the destination path where you want to copy it to.
If no shadow copy exists, then you have the following options:
- Use a file recovery tool such as Recuva.
- Get the ISO image of the version of Windows you’re using, mount the ISO, and copy the folder from there.
- If you have another Windows 10 system running the same configuration, copy the apps folder from there.
Note: Copying the folder from another computer is not a recommended way because the App’s data files may reference a Microsoft user account ID of the source computer (if one is set). In that case, the app may not work correctly when copied to another system unless you also clear those user-specific settings in the LocalAppData\Packages folder for that particular app on the target computer.
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.