How to fix Fruit Ninja (or any other broken app) on Windows 8

Fruit Ninja on Windows 8 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

In a few hours, Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8 at a big event in New York. By this time tomorrow, Windows 8 will be available in stores, and you’ll be able to use it for yourself. Our review of Microsoft’s next big OS was quite positive, but for the last few days I’ve been dealing with a particularly annoying issue: Fruit Ninja. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix the game – or any other broken app.

The Problem

Before I describe how to fix Fruit Ninja, here’s a little backstory about the problem. I’ve been running Windows 8 in final or pre-release form for some time now. Over the summer, Halfbrick Studios released a preview of Fruit Ninja on the Windows Store for free. I fully expected the game listing to disappear before launch so it could be republished as a paid app. While Halfbrick did indeed start charging for the game recently, the developer used the same listing. This, in effect, gave everyone who tested Fruit Ninja a free copy of the game.

That might sound great on the surface, but when Halfbrick released the most recent update a few days ago, it completely broke the game for a large number of people. Within 24 hours, my review complaining about the issue became the number one most helpful “review” of Fruit Ninja on the Windows Store. I’ve also had quite a few people tell me over Twitter that they’ve encountered the issue as well.

In my particular situation, and possibly many others’ as well, it became even worse. When the Windows Store refused to apply the update, I decided to try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. That, unfortunately, was a bad move. The game was gone from my system, but the Windows Store still had it listed as installed. The end result was an endless cycle of attempts to update an app that no longer existed, and seemly no way to fix the issue. After much searching, I finally found the answer. So, without further ado, here’s how to fix Fruit Ninja (or any other broken app).

The Fix

While this might seem a bit complicated and technical (hint: it is), I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible.

  1. Download the Remove Windows Store Apps in Windows 8 PowerShell script from TechNet and unzip it.
  2. Search for PowerShell on the Start screen and run the app as an administrator.
  3. PowerShell won’t let you run scripts by default, so you’ll have to enable it. Type “Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted” and hit enter. Then hit Y to confirm your choice.
  4. In the folder you unzipped, right-click on the file RemoveWindowsStoreApp.ps1 and select Edit. This will open up the Windows PowerShell ISE. Press the green play button (Run Script). Or, optionally, you can simply run the script in the PowerShell command line that you already have up. If you receive an error, it’s probably because you don’t have script running enabled (see Step 3).
  5. In the blue command line, enter “Remove-OSCAppxPackage” and look for “HalfbrickStudiosPtyLtd.FruitNinja” in the list of apps. Note the number next to it.
  6. Now enter that number and hit enter. It will ask you to confirm if you’d actually like to remove the app.
  7. Return to the Windows Store and attempt to download Fruit Ninja. It should work now! You’ll notice that the pesky update has disappeared as well.
  8. At this point, I’d recommend disabling scripts again. To do so, simply return to the original PowerShell window. Enter “Set-ExecutionPolicy Restricted” and hit Y to confirm your choice. That’s it!

Issues with apps on the Windows Store are extremely rare. This is the one and only app that has ever “broken” for me in more than 270 days of using Windows 8. If I had to guess, this issue was caused on Halfbrick’s end. Unfortunately, without any support from the developer, most users are left in the dark as to how to fix this extremely annoying problem. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue for everyone.

If you have trouble for any reason, feel free to reach out to me in the comments or over Twitter @MasterDevwi.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/Outlook.com Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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24 thoughts on “How to fix Fruit Ninja (or any other broken app) on Windows 8

  • Avatar of David B
    October 25, 2012 at 9:31 am
    Permalink

    This worked like a charm. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Bobby
    October 25, 2012 at 9:52 am
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    Is there a way to access/view the Windows Store without actually running a device that uses Windows 8? I can’t find the website. Both Apple and Google allow you to view their app stores on the web.

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      October 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Bobby,

      Microsoft does have a web-based version of the Windows Store, but it’s simply a landing page and you have to know the URL for the app you want. At this point, there’s no way to browse the Windows Store or take advantage of more advanced features. But since Windows Phone already has a web marketplace, I have a feeling that the Windows Store will be updated accordingly in the near future.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Bjorn Houben
    October 28, 2012 at 8:21 am
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    Thanks for the information. For those who are a bit more familiar with powershell, here’s a short summary:

    1.Run powershell as administrator
    2.get-appxpackage -name *fruitninja* | remove appxpackage
    3.Run “wsreset”
    4.Go to store page and click install

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      October 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm
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      Thanks. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, but this will help the power users.

      Reply
  • Avatar of trlkly
    November 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm
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    One thing you didn’t make clear in the article is whether or not the app is still free after performing this. You say you “downloaded” the app again, which implies you didn’t have to pay for it. But that seems unusual.

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      November 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm
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      Believe it or not, that’s exactly what happened. “The developer used the same listing. This, in effect, gave everyone who tested Fruit Ninja a free copy of the game.”

      Windows 8 maintains a list of every app you’ve ever downloaded, so if you downloaded it once, you’ll be able to re-download it again in the future.

      Reply
      • Avatar of trlkly
        November 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm
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        I understood that it happened, but I assumed that it was a glitch and they would quickly update it to not work anymore. And I assumed that was the update that caused your game to crash.

        After reading this, I went to my VM of Windows 8 Release Preview that I fortunately hadn’t deleted, installed Fruit Ninja on it, and then was able to install it for free on Windows 8 RTM.

        Reply
        • Avatar of William Devereux
          November 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm
          Permalink

          Nope, it wasn’t a glitch. I too was surprised that they essentially gave it away for free, but it’s nice gesture for all of the testers. Enjoy the game! :)

          Reply
  • Avatar of Larissa
    November 23, 2012 at 11:38 am
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    I managed to get rid of the broken update for fruit ninja using this method, but I can’t re-install it without paying the £3.49 – it seems to have forgotten that I ever downloaded it.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Chris
    January 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm
    Permalink

    Hey guys, I am trying to fix my “music” app. It has the same problem as your guys’ fruit ninja. I tried following your steps, but the app did not appear in the list mentioned in step 5. The same problem has happened with my video app. When I try to install either of them, the store gives me error 0x80070057 and fails to install it.

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      January 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm
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      Hi Chris,

      I suspect the apps are actually there… they’re just listed under a different name. I assume you’re talking about the Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps, which started off under the Zune brand. As a result, you’ll need to look for “Microsoft.ZuneMusic” and “Microsoft.ZuneVideo.”

      Hopefully that helps!

      Reply
  • Avatar of FilGee
    January 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    Permalink

    I got stuck at step 4 when right clicking the “RemoveWindowsStoreApp.ps1” the “Edit” option isn’t there ?
    It says “Open” and “Open With” but opening it makes a blank powershell window open for a couple of seconds then close again.

    Same happens if I choose “Open with\PowerShell”
    Step 3 worked fine and I typed “Y” pressed Enter and it moved to the next line saying
    “PS C:\Windows\system32”
    But step 4 when rightg clicking the script file “Edit” is not an option available and I have no clue how to run it manually ?

    The Problem is I uninstalled the TVCatchup app from metro because it kept on freezing but when I tried to re install it from the App Store i’m told “You Own This App”

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      January 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm
      Permalink

      TVCatchup seems like a pretty unique app name, so you could probably try the following steps (as suggested by Bjorn):

      1.Run powershell as administrator
      2.get-appxpackage -name *tvcatchup* | remove appxpackage
      3.Run “wsreset”
      4.Go to store page and click install

      If that doesn’t work, we can look into why the Edit option isn’t available. It’s possible this might vary based on your edition of Windows.

      Reply
  • Avatar of MT
    February 5, 2013 at 12:37 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    It’s not letting me carry out step 3 – says access to registry is denied.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      February 5, 2013 at 10:56 am
      Permalink

      Hi MT,

      I haven’t encountered that problem myself, but I’ll see what I can do to help.

      Which OS are you running? Windows 8? Windows 8 Pro? Windows RT? Other?

      Reply
  • Avatar of Joseph Robinson
    April 4, 2013 at 9:47 am
    Permalink

    One thing that may help a little bit would be listing the error code that’s given associated with the issue at hand.

    In my case, this unfortunately didn’t help, but did help someone else I know that had a similar issue(but different error code than I did).

    Reply
    • Avatar of William Devereux
      April 4, 2013 at 10:00 am
      Permalink

      Whenever I’ve experienced the error, it hasn’t presented me with an error code. Or, at least, I haven’t seen one. The app would just stop updating and the install button in the Windows Store was simply unavailable.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Marcel
    August 4, 2013 at 3:02 am
    Permalink

    I had the same Problem with Fruit Ninja, but do this works with a Surface Tablet?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Matt Conlon
    August 10, 2013 at 11:45 am
    Permalink

    I’m having this problem still, and I’ve gone through the steps above, successfully removed and reinstalled, but still having the same problem…. it says it needs to be repaired, but never does it…

    I’m running windows 8.1 preview on a Surface RT.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sam Anderson
    December 28, 2013 at 2:27 am
    Permalink

    Hi, Thanks a lot for the information, but I cant seem to find the list of apps and the number as mentioned in step 5

    Reply
  • Avatar of Ton de Wit
    February 5, 2014 at 7:05 am
    Permalink

    I have a problem when I enter the Id it says:

    You cannot call a method on a null-valued expression.
    At C:\………………RemoveWindowsStoreApp\RemoveWindowsStoreApp.ps1:141 char:7
    + if($PSCmdlet.ShouldProcess(“$AppName”))
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [], RuntimeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvokeMethodOnNull

    Reply

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