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.
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
2. Reinstall the application
3. Run the Modern UI Apps troubleshooter
I would not recommend the following unless you experience issues updating or installing all apps in Windows 8.
4. The AUInstallAgent folder
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.
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.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.