8 Ways to Fix Apps That Won't Start in Windows 11

edited July 8 in PC Tech

Are you struggling with apps that refuse to start on your Windows 11 device? Whether it's a crucial productivity tool or your favorite game, a non-responsive app can be incredibly frustrating. If you find yourself wondering, "how do I fix an app that won't open?" or "why is my application not opening?", you're not alone. Many users face this issue where nothing will open on their computer in Windows 11. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies you can employ to resolve these issues and get your apps running smoothly again. In this article, we’ll explore eight proven methods to fix apps that won’t start in Windows 11, from simple restarts to more advanced troubleshooting techniques. Read on to find the solution that works for you and regain control over your digital experience. 

1. Restart your computer

Why Restarting Helps: Restarting your computer can resolve many software issues by clearing out temporary files and closing background processes that might be interfering with the app. 

Steps to Restart

  • Click on the Start menu. 
  • Select the Power button. 
  • Click Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, try opening the app again.

2. Run the app as an administrator

Why Running as Administrator Helps: Some apps require administrative privileges to run properly. Running the app as an administrator can give it the permissions it needs. 

Steps to Run as Administrator

  • Right-click on the app’s icon. 
  • Select Run as administrator
  • If prompted by User Account Control (UAC), click Yes
  • Check if the app starts correctly.

3. Update Windows and the app

Why Updating Helps: Keeping your operating system and apps updated ensures you have the latest features and bug fixes, which can resolve compatibility issues. 

Steps to Update Windows

  • Open Settings by pressing Windows + I. 
  • Go to Windows Update
  • Click on Check for updates and install any available updates. 

Steps to Update the App

  • Open the app (if possible) and look for an update option within the app’s menu. 
  • Alternatively, visit the app’s official website to download and install the latest version.

4. Repair or reset the app

Why Repairing or Resetting Helps: Repairing or resetting an app can fix corrupted files and settings that might be preventing the app from starting. 

Steps to Repair or Reset an App

  • Open Settings by pressing Windows + I. 
  • Go to Apps > Installed apps
  • Find the app that won’t start in the list and click on it. 
  • Select Advanced options
  • First, try the Repair option. This will attempt to fix the app without affecting your data. 
  • If repairing doesn’t work, use the Reset option. This will reset the app to its default state, which may result in loss of app data. 
  • After resetting, try opening the app again.

5. Check for corrupt system files

Why Checking for Corrupt System Files Helps: Corrupt system files can interfere with app functionality. Running a system file check can identify and repair these issues. 

Steps to Check for Corrupt System Files

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator. Press Windows + X and select Windows Terminal (Admin)
  • Type sfc /scannow and press Enter
  • The System File Checker will scan your system for corrupt files and repair them. 
  • Restart your computer and try launching the app again.

6. Check compatibility settings

Why Checking Compatibility Helps: Some older apps might not run correctly on Windows 11 without adjusting their compatibility settings. 

Steps to Check Compatibility Settings

  • Right-click on the app’s icon. 
  • Select Properties
  • Go to the Compatibility tab. 
  • Check the box Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select an earlier version of Windows (e.g., Windows 10 or Windows 8). 
  • Click Apply and OK
  • Try opening the app again.

7. Disable antivirus or firewall temporarily

Why Disabling Antivirus or Firewall Helps: Sometimes, antivirus or firewall software can block apps from running. Temporarily disabling these can help identify if they are the cause. 

Steps to Disable Antivirus or Firewall

  • Open your antivirus or firewall software. 
  • Find the option to disable it temporarily. This is often found in the settings or system tray menu. 
  • Disable the software and try launching the app. 
  • If the app starts, consider adding it to the antivirus or firewall’s exceptions list. 
  • Remember to re-enable your antivirus or firewall after testing. 

Note: Disabling your firewall can expose your computer to potential cyber threats. Please proceed with caution and be aware of the associated risks. It is recommended to re-enable your firewall as soon as troubleshooting is complete to ensure your system remains protected. 

8. Uninstall and download the latest version

Why Uninstalling and Reinstalling Helps: Sometimes, the app installation might be corrupted or outdated. Uninstalling and reinstalling the latest version can resolve these issues. 

Steps to Uninstall and Reinstall

  • Open Settings by pressing Windows + I. 
  • Go to Apps > Installed apps
  • Find the app in the list and click on it. 
  • Select Uninstall and follow the prompts to remove the app. 
  • Visit the official website of the app and download the latest version. 
  • Install the app and try launching it again. 


Dealing with apps that won't start in Windows 11 can be a hassle, but with the right approach, most issues can be resolved quickly. By following these eight methods, you can troubleshoot and fix the underlying problems that prevent your apps from running. Whether you're facing an "application will not open" error or wondering "why is my application not opening," these steps cover a wide range of solutions. Remember, it's often the simplest solutions, like restarting your computer or updating software, that can make the biggest difference. However, if you still encounter persistent issues and nothing will open on your computer in Windows 11, don't hesitate to seek further assistance from the app's support team or consult online forums (e.g. Acer Community) for additional help. With these tips in hand, you'll be better equipped to keep your Windows 11 system running smoothly and efficiently.

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Patrick Yu is a Senior Project Manager at Level Interactive and has 8 years of experience writing business, legal, lifestyle, gaming, and technology articles. He is a significant contributor to Acer Corner and is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.


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