Windows Store apps may not open and Event ID 5973 is logged in the Application log

Applies to: Windows 8.1Windows 8.1 EnterpriseWindows 8.1 Pro

Symptoms


On a device that is running Windows 8.1, all Windows Store apps do not open and an error that resembles the following is logged in the Application log:

Log Name: Application
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Immersive-Shell
Date: Date and time
Event ID: 5973
Task Category: (5973)
Level: Error
Keywords:
User: User ID
Computer: Computer name
Description:
Activation of app AppID failed with error: This app does not support the contract specified or is not installed. See the Microsoft-Windows-TWinUI/Operational log for additional information.

Cause


Abnormal shutdown may corrupt the user application cache in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages.

Resolution


To test if you have the issue, create a new user account and sign into the new account. If the problem disappears, recreate your user profile to resolve the problem.

1. Backup the user profile data files on the old user account:
  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
  • In the Search box, type Show hidden files and folders and press Enter.
  • In the Folder Options dialog, in the View tab, look under Advanced settings, and set the following settings:
    • Show hidden files, folders, and drives button needs to be selected
    • Hide extensions for known file types needs to be unchecked
    • Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) needs to be unchecked
  • In File Explorer, locate the C:\Users\Old_Username folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to back up.
  • Select and copy all of the files and folders in this folder, expect for the following files:
    • NtUser.dat
    • NtUser.ini
    • NtUser.log (or if it does not exist, instead exclude the two log files called ntuser.dat.log1 and ntuser.dat.log2)
  • Paste the files in a backup location of your choosing. You can retrieve your old user account profile from this backup location if needed, however you should be aware that the files that were under C:\Users\<Old_Username>\AppData\Local\Packages were likely corrupted, and there may be other files corrupted as well. 
2. Sign out of the old user account. If you have e‑mail messages in an e‑mail program, you must import your e‑mail messages and addresses to the new user profile before you delete the old profile. If everything is working properly, you can delete the old profile.