How to reinstall Windows Store apps after Win10 reset without download

  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    How to reinstall Windows Store apps after Win10 reset without download

    Good Morning/afternoon everyone

    I recently did a factory reset of my system, because of some file explorer issue (that particular issue by the way appears quite regularly on multiple computers, ie opening File Explorer takes forever - like 1min or so - and I get errors when trying to access network shares)

    Now all of my big size Windows apps are stored on my D: driver, around 400GB Worth of data (yes, games tend to be big).

    After the factory reset, I cannot access them anymore. They are visible with SpaceSniffer (launched in admin), I can see the folders, but I can't access them. If I try to access them through the store, it asks to redownload them…

    I have a second drive that I just setup (1TB SSD), but in any case I don't know how to move the relevant folders on the secondary drive, and have Windows recognize them.

    I could understand if I had to redownload a few MB of data (encrypted files and such), but all the media assets ? We're talking about 400GB of data here…

    Any pointer would be welcome

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 297
    Windows 10 - Ver: 20H2 - Build: 19042.804

    Let me get this right

    You have factory reset you computer, and now you would like to access the other drive with all your backup but you can't ? access it how by network? or are you trying to restore same game stuff from a backup disk? through store?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 27,184
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)


    Move your data or games folders to the old location on D: drive using the same technique as the first time.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    To clarify: I'm talking about Windows Store Apps, which reside into a special folder (aptly named "WindowsApp") at the root of a drive.

    I always store my application data on a secondary drive (ie D). For Origin/Steam/GOG/uPlay/Battlenet, it is straightforward to reinstall any game after an OS reinstall, it's just a matter of pointing these front ends to the folder where the game data was kept (D in my case)

    Not so much for Windows Apps, as the "WindowsApps" folder is seen as "belonging to another computer" (that's what Windows Control Panel reports). I can't access the content of this folder without changing it's ownership (see this link ). Even if I change it's ownership, Windows Store does not recognize any application present in this folder. If by mistake I click "Install" on one of the game, it will erase the original game folder (which has a very odd naming convention) - so it does know which one is what - and it re downloads everything again. And that is really a pain...

    Hence my question: how can I ensure WindowsApps are re-detected ?

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 27,184
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)

    I would proceed with exactly the same steps you did the first time (when you moved Apps to other location).

    You should describe the procedure you took with some more details.

    Do you have backup of data drive? Just in case something goes wrong...
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I did not move the Apps to another location. I installed them from the start on D: drive. It was possible in the past to redownload everything again, since I seldom used Windows Apps anyway, but recently I've had a few games from Windows Store (thanks to Game Pass Ultimate), and we are now at 400GB worth of data.
      My Computer


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