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How to open UWP apps from the command line on Windows 10

UWP apps are different from desktop apps in many, many ways. One stark difference between the two is that a UWP app doesn’t have an EXE. If you want to open a UWP app, you can go through the Start Menu, the apps list in the Start menu, you can create a desktop shortcut for them, or add them to the start up folder. If you want to open UWP apps from the command line on Windows, you can. The process is a bit complicated but it’s possible.

Find PackageName

Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut and enter the following. Tap Enter.

shell:AppsFolder

In the folder that opens, you will see all UWP apps that are installed on your system. Look for the app that you want to open from the command line. Right-click it and select the create shortcut option from the context menu. The shortcut will be placed on the desktop.

Go to the desktop, right-click the shortcut, and select Properties from the context menu. On the Shortcut tab, note down what’s in the Target field. This is the package name and you will need it in the next step.

Package list

Open PowerShell with normal user rights. Run the following command. You can change the name of the text file to whatever you prefer.

get-appxpackage > UWP_Apps_List.txt

This will create a txt file in your user folder’s location. Go to the following location and it will be there. Open this file and then move to the next step.

C:\Users\YourUserName

Find FamilyPackageName & Install location

Open the text file and use the find box to look for the PackageName you found in the first step. Once you find it, you need to look for two lines and copy the information there for use in the next step.

The first bit is the “InstallLocation” line. Copy the location the app is installed to.

The second bit is the “PackageFamilyName” line. Copy it as well.

Find Application ID

Open File Explorer and in the location bar, paste the install location of the app that you copied in the previous section. Tap Enter. In the folder that opens, you will find a file called AppxManifest.xml. Open it with Notepad.

Use the find feature again and look for the following;

Application ID

Note down the ID.

Run app command

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to write the command to run the app.

Syntax

explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\PackageFamilyName!Application ID

Example

explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8!Netflix.App

You can paste the above command in Command Prompt or in the run box and it will open the app in question. You can also use it in scripts.

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