How to side load an application from the MS Store


Citrix Desktop, RDS, Horizon View, HDAAS, Windows 10 OS image


When the VMWare OS Optimization tool or Citrix Optimizer is run on a base image it may remove the MS Store and the Following built in Store apps.

  • Alarms & Clocks
  • Screen Sketch
  • Camera
  • Sound Recorder
  • Calculator
  • Sticky Notes
  • Paint3D
  • Photos
  • Web Extensions

The scope of this article is to show you how to side load a built in Store app or any application in the MS Store without reinstalling the MS Store.


The application will be missing from Settings -> Apps & Features.

Also for example the Calc.exe file will be located in

C:\Windows\System32\Calc.exe (the file is there) If you try to run it, it fails with the error "You'll need a new app to open this ms-calculator link"

You will want to navigate to the 3rd party site below

The above third-party site can generate download links (to app installers) for the chosen app. These are direct download links pointing at the official Microsoft servers.

You can copy the link from the MS Store to see all available links or select the PackageFamilyName.  Powershell can be used to get the PFN.

Get-AppxPackage *app_name
Family Packagename

In this example I have picked the Windows Calculator.  All of the dependencies and packages for the Windows Calculator apeared.  I selected the .appxbundle for my OS.


I ran the following powershell command to install for all users.

add-appxprovisionedpackage -PackagePath "c:\users\admin\downloads\Microsoft.WindowsCalculator_2020.2101.10.0_neutral___8wekyb3d8bbwe.AppxBundle" -online -Skiplicense

If you receive an error about one of the dependencies then you will need to install it first.

If you are using a Software Restriction Policy.  You will want to add an additional Path Rule for Windows 10.

Mark C:\Program Files\WindowsApps as Unrestricted. Marking it will solve issues where Windows Apps cannot launch from Window Store.

You should be able to launch the application for any user.