Every week I'm spending time in Windows 8's store to discover new apps for my weekly column over at Betanews. I look through all new apps that have been released in the week, install those that sound promising to test them on the PC.
Yesterday when I tried to install two free apps from Windows Store Windows threw the error code 0x80073cf9 instead. The applications would not install at all, and the only options provided by the installation dialog was to try again or to cancel the installation.
After trying again three or four times, and noticing that some apps installed just fine, I made the decision to investigate the issue closer. I first thought that the error message may be related to country-locked apps that were offered to me in error, but once I started to read forum posts I came to the conclusion that this was not the cause. Some users received the same error code when they tried to update apps that were already installed on their system.
The full error message reads:
Something happened and this app couldn't be installed. Please try again. Error code: 0x80073cf9
Note that the message may be different if you are trying to update an application instead.
Resolve the issue
What worked for me right away was a restart of the system. Note that I did a full restart, and not a power down and power up which does not really change anything in regards to the situation. I restarted the PC, went back to Windows Store afterwards and clicked on the Try again button. This time data was downloaded almost instantly to the PC and the application installed just fine as a consequence.
While this worked fine for me, it does not necessarily mean it will resolve the issue on your end as well. There are other solutions that you can try to resolve the error code and install or update applications in Windows 8.
Here is a list of those solutions:
1. Sync the app license
- Press the Windows key to go to the start screen.
- Tap or click on Store to open Windows Store.
- Press Windows-i to bring up the settings.
- Select App updates from the options.
- Click on sync licenses here.
2. Reinstall the application
- Press the Windows key to open the Windows 8 start screen.
- Locate the application here.
- Right-click it and select uninstall from the options.
- Click on Store on the start screen.
- Enter the name of the application .
- Select it from the search results.
- Click on the install button.
3. Run the Modern UI Apps troubleshooter
- Download the program to your Windows 8 installation.
- Run it once you have downloaded it.
- On the first screen, select Advanced and uncheck Apply repairs automatically on the next page.
- Click next and follow the instructions.
- The program will check the system for app related problems to fix common issues that may cause the error message.
I would not recommend the following unless you experience issues updating or installing all apps in Windows 8.
4. The AUInstallAgent folder
- Open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Windows (assuming that this is the directory where you installed the operating system in.
- Check if the AUInstallAgent folder is present in the directory.
- If it is not, create it with a right-click and the selection of New > Folder. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-N for that.
- Reboot the PC afterwards.
5. Temporarily disable security software
Try disabling security software temporarily to see if it blocked the updating or installing of apps on the operating system.
6. System Restore
If updates or installations worked the last time but not this time, and you have made modifications to the system in the meantime - installation of new software, Windows updates - then you may want to consider using the operating system's system restore feature to go back to a previous system state.
- When on the desktop, press Windows-x and select System from the context menu that pops up in the lower left corner of the screen.
- This should open the System control panel applet.
- Select System protection on the left.
- Here you should see a System Restore button that you need to click on.
- Follow the wizard and select a system restore point that you want to restore.
- Note that software and updates that you have installed on the system after that date and time won't be available anymore. Reinstall them in this case.
7. Reset / Refresh
This is your last resort if you have tried all other solutions and they all failed to resolve the issue. You can refresh or reset a Windows installation. I would certainly wait at least one or two days before I'd refresh or reset the PC though, as it can very well be an issue on Microsoft's end as well or a routing related issue.Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.