Surface RT Metro apps won’t launch

Just the other day I applied the most recent mandatory firmware update to my Surface RT, and let it restart. I thought nothing of it until this morning when I tried launching my usual morning apps (Bible, check metrics on my apps, etc), and they wouldn’t launch. The only apps that would launch were Desktop, IE and my app I developed that’s already in the store. My initial thought was to run Refresh, but it wouldn’t launch since it’s part of the whole Metro-thing.

I checked the Event Log->Windows Logs->Application, and there was an error event for every Metro-style app tile I tapped previously, and the errors were always Event 5973 “ failed because of an issue with its license. Please try again later” (Paraphrased). If there was a way to refresh, since System Restore isn’t an option in Windows RT, I was pretty confident that would solve the problem.

I worked with Surface Support, and they showed me another way to get to a maintenance screen to refresh the device. I’m documenting it here for future reference in case I forget.

With the device powered on and all users logged off, hold down the shift key and tap the power button (keep holding down the shift key even after you tap the power button). The screen will blink then return to the lock screen/login screen. With the shift key still held down, tap the Power icon on the screen and choose Restart…still holding down the shift key. The screen will turn blue and several options will appear in tile format. Now you can let go of the shift key. Tap Troubleshooting, and you can choose to refresh the device here. Note that refreshing the device will require you to log onto BitLocker on a separate PC using your Microsoft Account when prompted. The device will eventually prompt you to go to a website and enter the key from the website. It’s a large sequence of 6 digit numbers to authenticate your session. Once entered it will proceed with refreshing.

When the refresh was done, the device was functioning as normal, and none of my files or settings were affected. Apps had to re-install, but they re-installed automatically. Big thanks to Surface Support for their prompt attention and assistance!

Eric

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 35 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Developer for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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