Monday, January 16, 2017

Launch a store installed app from the command line

Starting a normal app from the command line (or a script, or a scheduled task) is easy. Just start the executable.
But apps that are installed from the Windows Store don't have executables. So how do you start them?

The simplest way is if the app has a custom protocol. If it does then it's just a case of calling start and then the protocol. So, you could do something like this:

start microsoftvideo:

If you want to add a custom protocol to your app see https://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/uwp/launch-resume/handle-uri-activation

If the app doesn't have its own custom protocol then you'll have to launch it via the shell. Actually, the shell has its own protocol so you call something like this:

start shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App

 Here "Microsoft.WindowsStore_8wekyb3d8bbwe" is the PFN (Product Family Name) of the app to launch. Fortunately, these names are easy to find as there are folders with these names for each of the installed apps at "C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Packages"

That folder also includes some things you can't call directly plus some folders that are actually part of other experiences (try "start shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.Windows.SecondaryTileExperience_cw5n1h2txyewy!App" ) so you can't use everything there.

enjoy.

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