Windows 10 Pro Photos App Not Working

I have a brand new Windows 10 Pro laptop (Thinkpad X1 Carbon) - almost brand new - which started having a problem with the Photos app that comes with Windows. As of yesterday, when I opened a jpeg or any other image type of file, it opened and displayed without a problem in the Photos app. Now, suddenly, when I attempt to open a jpeg, I get an error message informing me that "the app didin't start". I've attached an image of the message to this question.

I've googled a few things about this and tried a few things that would supposedly fix this but nothing has worked.

Any ideas?

The things that have changed since this problem surfaced are:

- I downloaded and installed a windows 10 update yesterday morning
- I downloaded the latest version of Adobe Reader, which I then uninstalled because I wasn't crazy about the extra security stuff that came with it
- I attempted to restore the system to the pre Win 10 update to see if maybe the update messed Photo up. The restore failed due to Windows Firewall blocking something ... at least that's what it said.

Any ideas?
App-Didnt-Start.PNG
cbridgmanAsked:
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
That is the last in place step you can do. Back up all your data and email, make sure you have your apps at hand and do a fresh install of Windows.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
No issue with Photo Apps on my own X1 Carbon, but then I did not make all the changes above that you have done.

Try running DISM to see if that corrects the issue.  Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run:

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Restart after this and test.

If that fails, you may need to run a Windows 10 Repair Install from the Microsoft Media Creation Link.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Windows 10 is running, so click on the Download button (not Upgrade Button, select Open (Run) but NOT Save. Allow the program to run. Allow drivers to update. Then select Keep Everything.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Before doing much, try right clicking and using "open with."      
 I'm guessing g that the file association got pointed to an app that got ubinstalled instead of the photos app, so the associated app indeed "did not start." It is an easy test to see if you just need to change file associations.
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Jason CarsonFreelance Computer TechnicianCommented:
Can you open the windows photo app by itself?

If you can then give cliffs suggestion a try.

You can also try changing the default image app to something else, then back to photos app, see if that resets it.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I have tried the right click approach. It lists 4 apps, one of which is Photos. When I choose Photos from that list, I get the same error message. When I try another app from that list (e.g., Paint), the file opens and is displayed without a problem
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I've also attempted to open the Photo app from the Start Menu and nothing happens at all.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try the two large steps in my first post here.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I changed the default app to paint and it works images open correctly. When I switched the default back to Photo, I ran into the same problem.

I also ran the DISM. No luck there either.

I have not yet tried the Win 10 Repair Install. Should I do that? Does it take a long time to run?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Repair takes download time (about 30 minutes or a bit more) plus 60 - 90 minutes of install time.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
John, does that repair step take a long time to run? Do I need to back anything up before I run it?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have my data backed up all the time and my applications at ready hand, but I have done a few Repairs and so long as I Keep Everything, nothing has ever been lost.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
John, I will start the repair download now and then start the actual repair up later this evening. I will let you know what happens. I'm pretty good on backups.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I am going to work on this problem over the weekend. Too many things going on right now and need to use my computer.
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nobusCommented:
it is Always wise to have a backup before running anything on the OS
you never know the cause!
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
John, a question for you about the repair that you've suggested. Does it leave all programs in place that I've installed or does it reset Windows to a "repaired state"? I'm guessing the latter but wanted to make sure that I knew what I was in for before getting started.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you use Keep Everything (two check marks for this question in the Repair process), ALL Data is kept, ALL Applications are kept and ALL settings are kept. You come out where you started.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply
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McKnifeCommented:
Don't worry if you don't see "keep everything" - it is selected by default and you will only see it if you click on the small "select what will be kept".
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I ran the Windows 10 Repair Install last night. Unfortunately, the problem remains. I am still unable to open images with the Windows Photos app.

Any other ideas?
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Not what I wanted to hear but I guess I don't have a choice. I won't be able to do this until the weekend. Can I do the fresh install from that same link that you provided earlier or do I have to do something else?

Let me know.

Thanks
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McKnifeCommented:
Does the photo app start at all?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can try Keep Nothing and that is very close to a fresh install or you can make a bootable USB stick from this link and install that way
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
No, it doesn't. Whenever I right click on an image and use "open with" Photos. I get the error. When I simply attempt to open Photos, nothing at all happens.
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McKnifeCommented:
"attempt to open Photos"=attempt to open the Photo app?
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
That is correct, when I open the Windows Start menu and click on the tile labeled "Photos", nothing happens.
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nobusCommented:
if i understand you correct - youcan't even open it with another photo app, like paint ?
look if there's any help in this article :  https://www.howtogeek.com/225844/how-to-make-windows-photo-viewer-your-default-image-viewer-on-windows-10/
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I can open all image files with Paint. I can open paint by clicking on its tile in the Windows Start menu or I can open it by right clicking an image file and choosing "open with ... Paint".

I can't open any image files with Photos. I can't open Photos by clicking on its tile in the Windows Start menu and I can't open it by right clicking an image file and choosing "open with ... Photos".

I've changed the default images app on my laptop to Paint instead of its original default of Photos. I changed it back to Photos to see if that would do the trick but it didn't. Photos just doesn't work.
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McKnifeCommented:
Uninstall that app and reinstall it. Tried already?
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
easier said than done. I've tried that

Add Remove Programs
Picked Photos (uninstall and move options aren't active)
Choose Advanced Options
Choose Reset
Allow the Reset to take place

When the above is finished, Photos still doesn't work
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McKnifeCommented:
Not at the keyboard, but wasn't it just right click in the app tile and select uninstall, then reinstall it from the store.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Right clicking on the Photos tile does not offer any Uninstall options. Just the typical stuff like pinning the tile to the task bar and resizing the tile. I couldn't find an uninstall option in "Add or remove Programs" either. The only thing available for the Photos app is reset. So, not quite sure how to uninstall and reinstall.
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nobusCommented:
if it worked before, it seems likely that an update or other program botched it
try a system restore to a date all was ok  - or uninstall the latest updates
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McKnifeCommented:
Right, windows does not allow uninstallation that way, but another:
1 open powershell (normally, non-elevated).
2 launch the command
get-appxpackage | sls photo

Open in new window

3 copy the returned line which will look similar to Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2018.18022.15810.1000_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
4 launch Remove-AppxPackage "that line"
(in my example, for my windows version, it would be
Remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2018.18022.15810.1000_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe)
Now it's uninstalled. You can now use the windows store to reinstall it (search for photo) - it's free of course.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Nothing has worked. I was able to uninstall / reinstall but same result ... the Photos app won't start.

I've noticed another problem too. When I attempt to print a document (e.g., word, excel, etc.) to a PDF instead of a printer, the "Save PDF File as" dialog pops up as usual but it hangs and I have to use Task Manager to stop whatever application I am trying to print from

I think my best bet is to go back to the original windows 10 image that the laptop was delivered with.

Just to be sure ... should I follow the instructions listed in https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10?

I probably won't do this until next week but wanted to get a head start on downloading, backing up, etc.
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McKnifeCommented:
The image that the laptop was delivered with is on backup media and you know how to use those, right? Those will have drivers installed already so you could skip finding drivers. Yes, use it and also download the win10 ISO file using the media creation tool to update from it to the latest win10 version (I guess your image will be some versions behind).
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Hi McKnife,

when you say the image that the laptop was delivered with is on backup media, is that a question or were you asking if I know how to use it? I didn't create an image when the laptop was delivered (probably should have) and Lenovo didn't send one. Is there a way to get it? Maybe it's as simple as getting on to Lenovo's site and getting the original image from them?

I'm kind of new to this so am not real sure which direction to head.

I was really hoping that if I just followed the instructions in https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10, that everything would be good to go.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can order an image from Lenovo (modest charge), or you can start with the Media Creation Link and let it find drivers. You may have to update some drivers when you are up and running.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I think I will go the "order image from Lenovo" route. I will do that on Monday. In the meantime, thanks for everyone's help on this to-date.
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McKnifeCommented:
Yes, I wondered if you had restore media at hand that Lenovo might have provided. Ok, you'll go that route, fine.
My advice for the future: please consider to explore and use the internal windows imaging backup options. Having a system image, which is more reliable than a restore point, will let you recover from any type of error at ease and will also offer to backup all your data.
In the start menu, type "backup", it will lead you to backup settings and in there, you find "image backup (windows 7)". Using that together with a usb-connected backup drive is what I'd recommend to anyone.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
Hi McKnife,

That is my plan going forward. Once Lenovo gets the restore media to me, I will begin with the imaging backup options.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I received the Windows 10 Lenovo factory recovery USB Key and started the recovery process (recovery is "done" ... i removed the recovery usb drive and now windows is doing a bunch of other things). A few odd things happened along the way though. After performing the first step of the process (the instructions call it "before the recovery process" where you do a few things in the Setup program and then restarting the computer normally, the original problem (photos app not working) began to work again. I almost decided to not proceed with the recovery but went ahead anyway. Then, when I started the actual recovery, I got a message telling me that the recovery had failed ... no reasons, it just failed. Long story short I restarted the computer again and the recovery appears to have run successfully.

I will let you know if it solved the original problem when it is done.
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cbridgmanAuthor Commented:
I've completed the recovery process and everything is back to normal.

Thanks to everyone for all of your help.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can use the same link and select Keep Nothing. Do not keep anything. That is essentially a fresh install.

Thank you and good luck
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