Does your PC say “This app cannot run on your PC” when you try to open an app? That’s probably because the app isn’t compatible with your PC. However, there can also be other reasons.
Fortunately, you can apply a few solutions to your PC and fix the error.
Run the app as an administrator
Permission issues are common reasons why an app won’t open or not work as it should. Fixing this is easy as all you need to do is run the app with administrator privileges.
To do that, you will need to log in as an administrator or have an administrator account credentials ready for step 2 below.
- Use File Explorer to find the app with the issues.
- Right click on the app and select Run as administrator†
- In the User Account Control window that appears, select: Yes†
- The app should open.
If you no longer get the “This app can’t run on your PC” error and the app is working fine, enable the app to always run in administrator mode.
- Right click on the app file and select Properties†
- Go to the Compatibility tab in Properties.
- Below the Settings section, switch the Run this program as administrator box.
- Select Apply followed by Okay at the bottom to save your changes.
Check if the PC is 32-bit or 64-bit
Windows 10 has two versions: 32-bit and 64-bit. One possible reason why an app won’t open on your PC is that your PC is running the 32-bit version of Windows and the app is 64-bit.
Check your PC’s specs to confirm this is the case:
- Open the Settings app by pressing Windows † l keys simultaneously.
- Select System on the Settings screen.
- Scroll down the left sidebar and select About†
- In the right pane, below Device Specificationslook what the System type field says.
If it says 32-bit OS and your app is 64-bit, you need to install the 64-bit version of Windows 10 on your computer. In order to do that, your computer must support 64-bit operating systems. Your PC manufacturer’s website should be able to tell if your system supports a 64-bit operating system.
If you’re not sure whether your app is 32-bit or 64-bit, here’s how to find that information:
- Right click on your app and select Properties†
- In the Properties window, select the Compatibility tab at the top.
- Switch the . in Run this program in compatibility mode checkbox.
- Select the drop-down menu below the check box. If this has drop-down menu Windows 95 at the top, your selected app is 32-bit. If the drop-down menu starts with Windows Vistathen your app is 64-bit.
If you can’t upgrade to 64-bit Windows 10, visit the problematic app’s site and see if they offer a 32-bit version of their app. The 32-bit version should work fine on your PC.
Use the Compatibility Troubleshooter
Windows 10 includes many troubleshooters, including the compatibility troubleshooter. Use this to determine the possible reasons why your app won’t open.
- Right click on the problematic app and select Properties†
- Gaining access to Compatibility tab in Properties.
- At the top of the tab, select Compatibility Run the Compatibility Troubleshooter†
- Wait for the troubleshooter to find and fix app issues for you.
Run the app from another account
If your PC is still showing the “This app can’t run on your PC” error, you may want to switch accounts and see if that makes any difference. If there is an issue with your user account settings, this should fix it.
Make sure you have a spare account to switch to.
- Open the Get started menu, click on your profile icon and select Sign out†
- On the login screen, select a different user account and log in.
- In this new user account, locate and open the problematic app.
If the app opens with the secondary account, there is a problem with your original account. In this case, if you are not sure what is causing the problem, please delete your user account and create it again.
Scan the PC for viruses and malware
A virus or malware can cause your PC to display the “This app cannot run on your PC” error even though the app you are trying to open is fine. In that case, use Windows’ built-in virus scanner to find and remove viruses and other threats.
- Open the Get started menu, search for Windows Securityand select it from the search results.
- From the Windows security screen, select Virus & Threat Protection†
- Select Scan options on the next screen.
- Choose the Full scan option and then select Scan now At the bottom.
- Wait for your system to scan and remove various threats from your PC.
Enable Developer Mode
Windows 10 includes a developer mode that allows you to enable certain features on your PC. One is the ability to sideload apps on your computer. Sideloading means installing universal Windows apps from outside the Microsoft Store.
It’s worth enabling this mode to see if it fixes your problem.
- press the Windows † l keys simultaneously to select the . to open Settings app.
- Select in Settings Update & Security At the bottom.
- Select For developers in the left sidebar.
- In the right pane, toggle the Developer Mode switch.
- Try running your app and see if it opens.
Running a corrupt file scan
Corrupted files are responsible for several problems on your PC, including an app that won’t start. It is difficult to find and repair corrupt files manually, but there is a tool to help you with that.
Windows 10 includes a command that can detect and repair all corrupt files on your computer. Run this command from the Command Prompt utility on your PC.
Although you do have to type and run the command, the command then takes care of repairing the corrupt files for you. You don’t need to manually handle the corrupt files.
- Gaining access to Get started menu, search for Command Promptand select Run as administrator†
- Select Yes in the User Account Control prompt.
- In the Command Prompt window that opens, type the following command and press Enter†
- Wait for the command to scan and repair corrupt files on your PC.
Clean Boot the PC
If your PC is still showing the error “This app cannot run on your PC”, it may be a good idea to perform a clean boot. Clean booting your PC will load only the essential services needed to start the computer. So a clean boot will not load problematic apps and files.
This will help you determine if an installed app is the culprit. We have a detailed guide on how to perform a clean boot in Windows 10, so check that out.
Did you manage to solve the problem with your app? Let us know in the comments below which method worked for you.