Can't Open Settings

Can't Open Windows 10 Settings App. How To Fix It?

The Windows Settings component can be found in most Windows versions and is used to configure and customize the Windows operating system. In Windows 10, the Settings list includes more settings than previous Windows versions (settings that were previously present only in Control Panel). Taking Windows Update as an example, this feature was available in Control Panel and can now be found in the Settings menu.

In Windows 10, you can now find settings such as System, Devices, Phone, Network & Internet, Personalization, Apps, Accounts, Time & Language, Gaming, Ease of Access, Cortana, Privacy, and Update & Security. As you can see, Microsoft Windows now offers an extensive range of settings that allow users to configure, customize, and personalize Windows according to their preferences. The Settings app is now used more often than Control Panel and is easier to navigate. Furthermore, some settings are available only in the Settings app, which is an essential part of Windows, without which it would be difficult to manage, configure, and customize the Windows 10 operating system. It is possible to use other methods to access specific settings, however, this is more difficult in Windows.

Despite the new features and advantages, many users report that they experience problems when trying to access Settings: they cannot access Settings at all, or the Settings window closes just after it is opened. To fix this problem, you may need to run the Windows emerging issue troubleshooter, update Windows, create a new user account, run the System File checker and DISM scan, or re-register Windows apps using PowerShell. In this guide, we show how to apply these solutions to fix the problem with Windows Settings. Follow the steps below for the best method to suit you.

Cant open Windows Settings

Table of Contents:

Re-register Windows Apps Using PowerShell

PowerShell is a task automation and configuration management framework from Microsoft, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language. In PowerShell, administrative tasks are generally performed by "cmdlets", which are specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation. You can access PowerShell by right-clicking the Start menu icon in Windows and selecting the "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" result.

re-register windows apps using powershell step 1

Now copy and paste this command (without quotation marks at the beginning and end) into the PowerShell window: 

"Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}"

To paste it, simply right-click on the Powershell background and the command will appear - press Enter to execute this command. Close PowerShell and check if this fixes the Windows Settings issue.

re-register windows apps using powershell step 2

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Run System File Checker

System File Checker is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted entries. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan system files and repair missing or corrupted ones. The "sfc scannow" option is one of several specific switches available with the sfc command. To run it, you first need to open an elevated Command Prompt. Type "command prompt" in Search and right-click the "Command Prompt" result, and then select "Run as administrator" option from the contextual menu.

run system file checker step 1

To execute the command, type "sfc /scannow" in Command Prompt and press Enter. System File Checker will start and should take some time to complete the scan (about 15 minutes). Wait for the scanning process to complete and restart your computer. See if Windows Settings are now working properly.

run system file checker step 2

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Run DISM Scan

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) can be used to repair and prepare Windows images, including the Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. To run a DISM scan, open Command Prompt as administrator. Type the "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth" command and press Enter. Restart your computer and check if executing the DISM command solved the Windows Settings problem.

run dism scan

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Run Windows Troubleshooters

Windows includes a number of troubleshooters designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve various computer problems. Troubleshooters cannot fix all problems, but they are a good place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer, operating system or connected devices. Here, we are show how to run Windows Store apps and Windows Update troubleshooters by using Control Panel rather than Settings. To find these troubleshooters go to Control Panel by typing "control panel" in Search and click the "Troubleshooting" option.

run windows troubleshooters step 1

Now click the "View all" option in the left pane.

run windows troubleshooters step 2

Find the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter at the end of the list, right-click it and select "Run as administrator". Follow the instructions and then repeat the same steps with the Windows Update troubleshooter, which you can find immediately under the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter. Restart your computer and check if Windows Settings are now working properly.

run windows troubleshooters step 3

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Use Restore Points To Restore Your System

Restore your system using restore points. System Restore reverts everything to a saved restore point, but first, you must have one recorded. If a restore point does not exist on your computer, System Restore has nothing to revert to. With a created restore point, this feature will bring your system back to the previous working state, without affecting your files and data (except installed software). If you have system restore points that were created before the Settings issue occurred, you might be able to fix the problem by performing a System Restore. To restore your system, launch the Run box by pressing Windows key + R and typing the "rstrui.exe" command. Press Enter to launch System Restore.

use restore points to restore your system step 1

In the System Restore window, click "Next".

use restore points to restore your system step 2

If there are restore points created, you will see a list of them. Mark the "Show more restore points" checkbox - this should display more restore points. Select the most appropriate restore point (depending on time created, etc.) and click "Next". Make sure that you select a restore point at a time prior to experiencing problems with Windows Settings.

use restore points to restore your system step 3

Confirm the restore point. Your computer will be restored to the state prior to the event detailed in the "Description" field. If you are happy with your choice, click "Finish" and the system restore process will begin.

use restore points to restore your system step 4

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Create A New Account

If none of the solutions above work, you might need to create a new account. Many users report that this method solved the problem with Windows Settings. To create a new account without having to access Settings, use Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt as administrator and type the "net user username password /add" command, and then press Enter. Replace "username" with the preferred username and "password" with your preferred password.

create a new account step 1

If you want to change (and most probably, you do) the newly-created account type to administrator, type the "net localgroup Administrators username /add" command and press Enter. Replace "username" with the new account name. Your new account will now have administrative rights. Log into your new account and check if the problem with Windows Settings is now fixed.

create a new account step 2

Now you can start moving your files and data from your old account to the new one. Once you have made the transfer, you can remove the old account using the Control Panel "User Accounts" option or through the Windows Settings "Accounts" app.

We hope this guide was useful and you are now able to use Windows Settings without problems. If you know of other solutions to this problem, not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

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Video Showing How To Fix Windows Settings:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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