I installed the Windows 8 Pro and Visual Studio 2012 with the Developers License. However, when I tried creating a Hello World app, I get "unable to activate windows store app visual studio activation request failed with error" while debugging. So, how do I fix it?
unable to activate windows store app

It is a common query asked by many developers using the Visual Studio platform. If you are also facing a similar issue, we are here to help. In this article, we will tell you what “unable to activate Windows store app the application appears to be already running” error is and how to solve it by methods like HoloLens, etc. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Part 1. Why Are You Unable to Activate Windows Store App?

If you have been coding for a while or building an IOT Based app on Visual Studio, you may have come across an error "unable to activate Windows store app activation request failed with error." It is common with Visual Studio in Windows 8, and it may also show error message like "unable to activate windows store app the application appears to already be running." Before moving to solutions, let's first understand why it actually occurs.

Generally, the "unable to activate windows app store" error occurs when you try deploying in the debug mode. Basically, the app or program that you are working on must be deployed first in release mode and then in debug mode. Another theory related to the "unable to activate windows store app activation request failed with error" issue is the expired Developer License. The issue arises when your license of Visual Studio expires, meaning you need to renew the subscription or get a new license.

Part 2. How to Fix Unable to Activate Windows Store App

Once the "unable to activate windows store app activation request failed with error" has occurred, it can be solved in several ways. You can delete the directories or uninstall and reinstall the app. Also, you can connect HoloLens with the device portal to configure the apps and get rid of the problem. Different methods work for different people. Therefore, we have taken the best techniques and tools for you to resolve the issue. Let's check them one by one.

Solution 1. Delete Debug Folder

The first and the easiest way to get rid of "unable to activate windows store" is to delete a folder named Debug Folder. You can use the same method when a text like "the application appears to be already running" appears on the screen. Follow these simple steps to learn how to do it:

  • 1. Go to the bin and choose "Select All Files."
  • 2. Then, expand the bin and bld.
  • 3. There, you will see the Debug Folder. Delete every debug folder above.
  • 4. Finally, relaunch the app.
Delete Debug Folder

Solution 2. Connect Microsoft HoloLens with Device Portal

Basically, the Windows Device Portal is a web server for HoloLens that allows you to connect to a web browser remotely. It functions to configure and manage the device over Wi-Fi and USB. Generally, you can debug and optimize your apps using Device Portal tools. Check the steps below to set up HoloLens for Device Portal to get rid of the "unable to activate windows store" issue.

  • 1. First, turn on your HoloLens and put on the device. Launch the main menu.
  • 2. Then, go to setting via air-tap gesture (Gen 1) or Hand-ray/ touch (Gen 2).
  • 3. Next, choose the "Update" menu and select "For Developers."
  • 4. First, enable "Developer Mode" and then enable "Device Portal."
  • 5. Now, it's time to deploy apps to HoloLens via USB or Wi-Fi. Click "Pair" to generate a PIN. Then, enter the PIN into Visual Studio. Generate PIN Device Portal
  • 6. To connect via Wi-Fi, first, connect your HoloLens to the Wi-Fi.
  • 7. Then, get your device's IP address by going to Settings> Network & Internet> Wi-Fi> Hardware Properties. Windows Device Portal
  • 8. Open the web-browser on PC, go to http:// <your-hololens-IP-address > to connect over wifi.
  • 9. To connect via USB, install the necessary tools and updates. Then, connect HoloLens to PC with a micro-USB cable. From PC, go to

Solution 3. Restart/Reinstall Microsoft Visual Studio

As a matter of fact, when you can't using Microsoft Visual Studio, to reboot or reinstall the software is one of the common resolutions. Consequently, you might as well restart Visual Studio, and if that won't help. Just reinstall the Visual Studio to the latest version.

Solution 4. Reinstall Windows System Using PassFab for ISO

Sometimes nothing seems to work. The bugs like "unable to activate windows store app activation request failed with error" or "application appears to already be running" even after connecting via Visual Studio and HoloLens. Therefore, in such times, reinstalling the windows is the only option you have got. Therefore, we have got fantastic software called PassFab for ISO that will help you in the process. It will help you create a bootable disk and reinstall the Windows OS in 4 simple steps. Check the detailed guide below to see how to use this amazing software:

Step 1. Download or Import ISO

Download and install PassFab for ISO from its official website. Launch the program. On the main interface, you will see the option to either download the ISO file or import your ISO file. If you have already downloaded the Windows ISO file or if it’s already stored somewhere on your PC, you can import it to PassFab using the “Import your ISO” function. Alternatively, you can download the Windows ISO file directly with PassFab.

choose iso file in passfab for iso

Step 2. Choose USB/DVD/CD

The second step is to choose an external storage device to create a bootable disk. You will see two options on the screen. You can choose the USB drive or CD/DVD to burn the ISO File on it.

select usb in passfab for iso

In case of USB, insert the USB drive. Then, under "Disk Partition Type", choose your drive. Click "Burn"

confirm burn usb in passfab for iso

Step 3. Burn ISO File to the Disk

Wait for a while until the ISO file burning process completes. Once the process is done, your bootable USB will be ready to use.

burning usb in passfab for iso

Step 4. Reinstall Your Windows

Once you have the Windows Bootable Drive, it's time to reinstall the Windows. Check the quick steps below to reinstall the Windows System on your PC using the Bootable drive you just created with PassFab.

  • 1. Insert the bootable USB to your PC.
  • 2. Restart the PC and go to the Boot menu. The keys may vary. In some computers, F12, F11, or F9. burning iso successfully in passfab for iso
  • 3. Then, choose the booting sequence from Hard drive to USB or CD/DVD. Save the changes and restart the PC. This time, your PC will boot from the Windows ISO, and you can begin the process to install Windows. reinstall windows system

Solution 5. Get Help from Microsoft Community

For most of the people installing the latest updates, connecting with HoloLens, and clearing debug folders work perfectly. However, if you still can't solve the issue, you have the option of Microsoft Community. If you are unable to activate Windows Store App via Visual Studio and the error "the application appears to already be running" keeps showing up, connect with the developers on the MS Community platform.

Discuss the issue. You can also find what works for others, facing a similar situation. You can throw your question there, and experts will not only answer you but also provide technical assistance.

Final Words

If you are a developer and have faced the similar the "unable to activate windows store app" error on Visual Studio, the article will help you out. First, we discussed what "unable to activate windows store app activation request failed with error" is. Then, we discussed fvie methods to solve “unable to activate windows store app the application appears to already be running”, including HoloLens. Lastly, we have provided a detailed guide on how to use a third-party software, PassFab for ISO, which will help you in proper re-installation of windows in case you cannot get rid of the “visual studio unable to activate windows store app” error.