Fix Missing Windows Metro Apps in Windows 8

If you recently upgraded Windows 8 Release Preview or Windows 8 Consumer Preview to Windows 8 RTM, you may have run into a couple of strange problems like missing apps and tiles. Some users have reported that the Desktop tile was missing from their Start Screen and a bunch of other preinstalled apps like Windows Store and Remote Desktop!

In some cases, upgrading to Windows 8 from a pre-release version of Windows 8 or even Windows XP or Windows 7 can corrupt some of the system files and cause some of the default preinstalled apps to simply disappear like Games, News, Sports, Travel, etc.

In this article, I’ll show you what to do in order to fix the corrupt system files in Windows 8 so that you can recover your preinstalled Metro apps and also the Desktop tile on the Start Screen if that is missing too.

missing apps windows 8

Run System File Checker

In order to fix this problem, you need to run System File Checker on Windows 8, which will check all the system files and replace any corrupt ones with new fresh copies. You can do this by opening an elevated command prompt in Windows 8. To do this, go to the Start Screen, then right-click and choose All apps.

all apps

Now scroll to the right until you see Command Prompt and right-click on it. Then choose Run as Administrator from the bottom command bar.

run as administrator

At the command prompt, type the following command:

sfc /scannow

Windows 8 will begin scanning all of the files and it could take some time to finish. If there are any corrupt or missing files, the results of the scan will display those files.

sfc windows 8

Use System Restore

If your Windows 8 install was working fine and then suddenly your apps disappear after installing a Windows update or something similar, then you can try performing a system restore. To do this, you need to go to the Start Screen, open the Charms bar and then search for Recovery. Then click on Create a restore point.

create restore point

This will open up the System Properties dialog where you can then click on the System Restore button.

system restore windows 8

Then you’ll be able to choose a date and restore Windows 8 to that time in the past. Obviously, try to pick a date when you know everything had been working fine and you weren’t missing any apps.

Refresh Your PC

When you type recovery in search, you also see Refresh your PC in the list. This will basically reinstall the operating system without losing any of your data. It’s kind of like a repair install in Windows XP and Windows 7. To do this, open the Charms bar while on the desktop or Start Screen, click on Change PC Settings and then click on General.

refresh pc

Hopefully one of these three methods will fix your Windows 8 installation and save you from having to perform a complete wipe and reinstall of the OS. If you’re still having issues with missing Metro apps in Windows 8, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

Comments [4]

  1. Hi,

    I did your first method, but i cannot access the “change pc settings” in the charms corner of windows 8. When i click on”change pc settings” nothing happens. Please help me, it’s frustrating.

    thank you for your time

  2. I have tried your fixes, but still cannot get the store tile, on pc settings nothing opens up. I have tried contacting microsoft help, but the girl gave up as she could not think of anyway to help and thought she would have to get more training and was sorry.

    I feel like Windows 8 is just a mess that I cannot do anything with.

    Hope you can help, I am desperate!

    Regards Bill

  3. I have the same issue. I installed Apple’s latest iTunes update today (12/6/12) and I also installed the Google Earth browser extension. After rebooting from the Google Earth install I lost my Desktop App, all my Office 2010 tiles, the Store app, and a large number of other apps.

    Microsoft…I really expected better from you! Especially given the choices I have available to me in OS’s and user experiences on different devices.

    (Mucho Frustrating!)

  4. It absolutely works! Thank you so much for your help! Everything came back.

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