Today I learned: When Windows 8 fails to install store apps

I ran into an interesting error this week. I was trying to install free apps from the Windows Store on my 8.1 system (this issue affects Windows 8.0 systems, too) and it would always fail, giving me a standard-seeming Windows error code: 0x8007064A.

Note: There are lots of other reasons why Windows Store apps will fail to install; this happens to be one of the more obscure and undocumented.

The first thing I did was to look up the error code, and I found it was ERROR_BAD_CONFIGURATION. At first, it occurred to me that maybe there was an error with the store (not likely, but possible),  my communications link to the store (very possible, my internet service has been awful, lately), or something was wrong with my machine (also very likely because I had just gone through a round of forced hardware changes due to an electrical storm). To narrow down the problem, I tried to install a different app from the store, and I got the same error code. OK, this is looking like a problem with either my internet connection or my machine.

Next, I decided to search the web, thinking that somebody had to have run across this before. I couldn’t find anything. Hmm. I searched in earnest on the Microsoft web site and found the MSDN article “Troubleshooting packaging, deployment, and query of Windows Store apps.” “Awesome!” I thought to myself, “here is a list of error codes and troubleshooting tips, that I can use to solve my problem.”

Yeah, not so much. While there is a lot of good information on that page, my particular error code isn’t listed. Bummer.

So, to make a long story short, here’s how to fix the problem. This particular error is caused by the ownership of a specific registry key not being set to SYSTEM. The key in question is:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\

I have no idea how the ownership on this key was changed. Presumably it was some third-party software, but it could have been me when I was exploring all the changes Win8 made to the registry.

In any event, to set the ownership of the key back to SYSTEM:

  1. Navigate to that key in RegEdit
  2. Right-click on the key, select Permissions from the context menu
  3. On the Permissions dialog box press the Advanced button near the lower-right corner, and a new Advanced Security Settings dialog box will appear. At the top of the dialog box the owner is listed. If it is not SYSTEM, then this is your problem.
  4. Next to the owner name is a blue link labeled “Change”. Click on Change, and another dialog box appears. In the large open area labeled “Enter the object name to select”, type SYSTEM, and then click on OK, and OK on all of the rest of the dialog boxes.

At this point, you should be able to install apps from the store. 

25 responses on “Today I learned: When Windows 8 fails to install store apps

  1. Kristian Väisänen

    Thank you very much, I had pretty much given up before I tried your solution, it worked, didn’t even have to reboot.

    1. RAR

      Did you right-click on HKEY_CURRENT_USER or follow the key to Packages and right-click on Packages?

      1. Brian Catlin Post author

        Yes, navigate all the way down and change the permission on Packages

  2. Stephan

    Great, it worked! How could this happen… changing the ownership of a registry key.

    Anyway, thanks so much!!

  3. And

    Hey you guy, I have absolutely no idea what kind of brain you must have to find solutions like this but let me state this: You are a genius and you saved my live.

    And the explanation was put exactly into a nutshell. No time wasting hints like reboot, kill all 2nd tear software, replay last backup (the last backup I made was on a Windows 3.1 computer…), sfc /scannow etc. This may all be helpful somehow, but the problem is so often that wrong hook, which indeed I set while trying to fix another problem.

    So I knew at the moment I read your hint to check the registry entry that I have seen the finish line.

    Thank you 🙂

  4. Laurence

    I spent about 5 hours wading through bullshit until I came to your link! This fixed my problem immediately!!!!! THANKS!

  5. Hommer

    Brian Catlin,

    Thanks so much for sharing, it worked great.Perfect troubleshooting,bull’s eye. You sure are a genius, what tech support of Acer and Microsoft couldn’t solve, you did that. and internet is filled with useless solutions like -reinstall windows to change ISP etc.


  6. JamesRiot

    Succeeding where Microsoft Help fails! This post fixed my problem, wish I had found it a few days earlier.

  7. Pete

    Worked great after I refreshed back to 8 and made sure SYSTEM was the owner.
    Did the 8.1 upgrade and I’m back at the same spot.
    Triple checked my permissions and they’re right on.
    Maybe I should have owner wait for W-10?

  8. Ivar

    Thanks very very much! I alsoo spend a lot of time finding a solution before I found your clean explanation! proficiat!

  9. Carlos


    1. Brian Catlin Post author

      There have been significant changes to Win10. I’m sorry you’re having a problem, but I don’t have a fix for Win10