In a few hours, Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8 at a big event in New York. By this time tomorrow, Windows 8 will be available in stores, and you’ll be able to use it for yourself. Our review of Microsoft’s next big OS was quite positive, but for the last few days I’ve been dealing with a particularly annoying issue: Fruit Ninja. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix the game – or any other broken app.

The Problem

Before I describe how to fix Fruit Ninja, here’s a little backstory about the problem. I’ve been running Windows 8 in final or pre-release form for some time now. Over the summer, Halfbrick Studios released a preview of Fruit Ninja on the Windows Store for free. I fully expected the game listing to disappear before launch so it could be republished as a paid app. While Halfbrick did indeed start charging for the game recently, the developer used the same listing. This, in effect, gave everyone who tested Fruit Ninja a free copy of the game.

That might sound great on the surface, but when Halfbrick released the most recent update a few days ago, it completely broke the game for a large number of people. Within 24 hours, my review complaining about the issue became the number one most helpful “review” of Fruit Ninja on the Windows Store. I’ve also had quite a few people tell me over Twitter that they’ve encountered the issue as well.

In my particular situation, and possibly many others’ as well, it became even worse. When the Windows Store refused to apply the update, I decided to try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. That, unfortunately, was a bad move. The game was gone from my system, but the Windows Store still had it listed as installed. The end result was an endless cycle of attempts to update an app that no longer existed, and seemly no way to fix the issue. After much searching, I finally found the answer. So, without further ado, here’s how to fix Fruit Ninja (or any other broken app).

The Fix

While this might seem a bit complicated and technical (hint: it is), I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible.

  1. Download the Remove Windows Store Apps in Windows 8 PowerShell script from TechNet and unzip it.
  2. Search for PowerShell on the Start screen and run the app as an administrator.
  3. PowerShell won’t let you run scripts by default, so you’ll have to enable it. Type “Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted” and hit enter. Then hit Y to confirm your choice.
  4. In the folder you unzipped, right-click on the file RemoveWindowsStoreApp.ps1 and select Edit. This will open up the Windows PowerShell ISE. Press the green play button (Run Script). Or, optionally, you can simply run the script in the PowerShell command line that you already have up. If you receive an error, it’s probably because you don’t have script running enabled (see Step 3).
  5. In the blue command line, enter “Remove-OSCAppxPackage” and look for “HalfbrickStudiosPtyLtd.FruitNinja” in the list of apps. Note the number next to it.
  6. Now enter that number and hit enter. It will ask you to confirm if you’d actually like to remove the app.
  7. Return to the Windows Store and attempt to download Fruit Ninja. It should work now! You’ll notice that the pesky update has disappeared as well.
  8. At this point, I’d recommend disabling scripts again. To do so, simply return to the original PowerShell window. Enter “Set-ExecutionPolicy Restricted” and hit Y to confirm your choice. That’s it!

Issues with apps on the Windows Store are extremely rare. This is the one and only app that has ever “broken” for me in more than 270 days of using Windows 8. If I had to guess, this issue was caused on Halfbrick’s end. Unfortunately, without any support from the developer, most users are left in the dark as to how to fix this extremely annoying problem. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue for everyone.

If you have trouble for any reason, feel free to reach out to me in the comments or over Twitter @MasterDevwi.