Diagnosing Debugger App Activation Errors


You might receive one of the following errors when you try to start a Windows Store app in the Visual Studio debugger:


Unable to activate Windows Store app 'AppName'. The ProcessName process started, but the activation request failed with error 'ErrorNumber'


Unable to activate Windows Store app 'AppName'. The activation request failed with error 'ErrorNumber'

To diagnose these errors

There are no sure ways to fix these errors. Use these techniques to diagnose the problem.

Use Event Viewer

  1. Open Event Viewer (on the Windows Start menu, search for Event Viewer.) In Event Viewer, navigate in the tree to the Application and Services Log\Microsoft\Windows\Apps folder.

  2. Filter the view to event Ids: 5900-6000

  3. Examine the log and see what occurred.

Use the native debugger

Configure the project to run under a native debugger.

In Visual Studio, set the Debugger Type to Native Only on the Debug (Debugging in C++ and JavaScript) page of the property pages of the start-up project.

Look at the exceptions being thrown by looking at the output window. You might want to configure the debugger to stop when these exceptions are thrown.

Fixing app license errors

You might see an activatation error that contains “This app failed to launch because of an issue with its license.” You can try these workarounds:

  • On the Build menu, choose Clean Solution, Open the solution folder in File Explorer and delete the bin and obj folders. Then choose Build, Rebuild Solution. Rebuilding the solution recreates the necessary folders.

  • Select the app on the Start screen, then choose Uninstall on the app bar. Clean and rebuild your solution.

  • From a command prompt running with Admin privileges, use Powershell commands to remove and reinstall your dev license. Clean and rebuild your solution. See Getting a developer license at a command prompt.