Over the holiday I had a situation where one of my Windows 8 apps, ComiXology (yes, I'm a comic book geek), would stop downloading. Only an uninstall and reinstall of the entire app would fix the problem. Actually, this problem has gone on for some time, but since I was taking time off for the holiday season, I had more time to investigate and fix the issue once and for all. Who wants to uninstall and reinstall an app every time it needs to function, right? There are other Windows 8 apps that exhibit this same problem, but this was one I was focused on at the time.
What I determined was that the app's cache was not clearing, so I needed a way to automate dumping the cached files. I eventually used PowerShell to create a script I could manually run to erase the offending files, but the lengthiest part of developing the solution was not creating the script, but instead locating the Windows 8 Apps directory in the file store.
Windows 8 apps are located in a hidden directory called WindowsApps underneath the C:\Program Files folder, and to access them for viewing, and even utilize a script to make modifications, you have to adjust the folder permissions.
To make these modifications…
- Open up Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files
- On the Windows Explorer window menu, select the View tab, goto Options, and then select Change Folder and Search Options.
- In the Folder Options dialog box, select the View tab and change the Hidden Files and Folders option to Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives.
- Even after you make this change, you'll still get a warning about denied permissions. Click Continue past the first dialog warning, and then click the Security Tab link the next dialog box it provides.
- On the WindowsApps Properties dialog box, choose the Advanced button.
- The next dialog box, Advanced Security Settings for WindowsApps, requires you to continue with administrative permissions. Go ahead and choose that.
- Now, you'll need to change the folder Owner for the TrustedInstaller to your own name. Do this by first clicking the Change option…
- …and, then adding your name to the Object Name box.
Keep in mind, the TrustedInstaller account is a secure, system account. So, after you've done some perusing of the WindowsApps folder and completed what other business you have there, you might want to consider changing the permissions back.