Thursday, 20 June 2019

Start menu and Appx broken on Windows Server 2016 (with Citrix installed)

I'd been trying to fix an issue with some servers where 

  • the Start Menu wouldn't work
  • unable to right-click any icons on the taskbar (to runas administrator etc)
  • any metro style app fails to load
  • ms-settings: doesn't work
I'd tried all the usual fixes, sfc /scannow, dism checks and restores.  Finally I identified that its an issue caused by Citrix XenApp 7.15.2000 (https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX237192). 

Get-appxpackage returns nothing.  Trying to repair appx packages using powershell and add-appxpackages was failing with error 0x80070002 

Contacted Citrix they said I'd need to contact Microsoft to fix. Helpful!

Finally found the issue, which was a combination of suggestions I'd found elsewhere but here's my solution

You need a server where it works to export the registry keys. Obviously suggest that this is the same version of Windows.


  • Export the registry HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\InboxApplications from a good machine
  • On the server which has the issue take ownership of the same key, and give your user full permissions.
  • Import the registry file you exported from the other server.
  • Then in Powershell running as admin:
    • ((Get-ChildItem "HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\InboxApplications") | Get-ItemProperty).Path | Add-AppxPackage -Register -DisableDevelopmentMode 
  • Set ownership on the key back to SYSTEM
Providing there are no errors your start menu should return to normal.

Hopefully this helps someone else who has spent many hours trying to fix the same issue.

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