xbox app for pc: how i fixed installing to D drive

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Nick

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#1  Edited By Nick

so i was listening to the bombcast and i heard Rorie saying how bad the pc xbox app is, and i've heard others complaining too, i think Vinny had some issues a few weeks ago. i wanted to just put this out there, hopefully it can help someone. first off, i agree this is dumb, we shouldn't have to fix issues like this with the xbox app.

so i did this about 6 months ago so my memory may not be 100%, i figured it was a folder permissions issue so i played around with the settings in Windows and it seems to be working since then. i install all pc xbox games to my D drive, specifically there's a folder that was created D:\WindowsApps that i could not open.

  1. right click the folder
  2. go to the "Security" tab
  3. click "Advanced"
  4. in the "Permissions" tab, select your user name from the "Permissions entries" box (this is a list of both users and groups, i selected the user account i made when i first ran Windows, mine is called "nick")
  5. click "Edit"
  6. make sure the following fields are set:
    • Type: Allow
    • Applies to: This folder, subfolders and files
    • Basic permissions: everything is checked except for "Special permissions" which is greyed out
    • i did NOT check "Only apply these permissions to objects and/or containers within this container"

now i can open the WindowsApps folder and browse through it, and i haven't had any issues running any game, even Halo Master Chief Collection hasn't had any problems. please be careful though, i wouldn't recommend moving/editing any files in this folder.

alternatively you could try installing WSL 2 and run something like "chmod -R 755 WindowsApps" but i'm not sure, i haven't tried that yet. i'm not sure how Windows would translate linux permissions. also i'm sure there is a Powershell equivalent but who the hell knows how to do that.

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colourful_hippie

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Yup I had to eventually do this to fix my MCC issues. Sadly even after getting access and finding where the game was (the app pretended it was uninstalled and refused to reinstall) I could only just delete it in order to get windows store to start a new download. I see why they don’t surface these folders because the naming conventions for any Xbox game pass/Windows store content is hard to parse through and I had to rely on file sizes to be sure what I was looking at was the right thing.

Windows Store just continues to be fucking shit and is the one big drag of having game pass for PC. I’m surprised these issues have gone on this long considering how quickly MS iterates on other issues. It’s the only thing I can agree with console people who try to exaggerate that PC idiosyncrasies are some kind of labyrinth because this shit alone validates that argument.

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FacelessVixen

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Oh yeah. That was a fun thing to Google search when I wanted to re-install Windows on C:\ with Forza and Gears on E:\ (I have a three drive system that I like to call The Magi) but figured "Oh, it'll be fine. I won't have to re-download those games because it'll do the authentication thing like Steam does."

Boy was I fucking wrong when I realized that I had to do exactly this in order to delete the games and re-download them. Like, seriously. Can we sticky this thread in the PC section?

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Onemanarmyy

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This is one of those threads that someone in 2030 will find through search engines and be very glad that it exists :D

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MerxWorx01

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#5  Edited By MerxWorx01

@nick:Wish I could say that this fixes problems but randomly having games not show up as being downloaded is still a problem.

@colourful_hippie: When people try to say how much they hate launcher X or some such, I can't state enough how much MS store and the Xbox app continue to occasionally break a game or the ability to download. I still can't believe how I never have the same issues with any other launcher. It's weird to say this but I sometimes just think about just buying a cheaper Xbox and taking advantage of gamepass without the hassle plus more games. Maybe that's always been the plan.

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frytup

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What's the problem Rorie was complaining about, exactly?

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Nick

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#7  Edited By Nick

i don't think he mentioned a specific problem on the bombcast. i think he may have mentioned something specific on another video last week, but i can't remember what. Vinny mentioned not being able to get access to the install folder on a beastcast episode a few weeks ago though.

@merxworx01: ugh sorry to hear that. to be fair the xbox app is still technically in beta and has improved over the last year, but like others mentioned it seems crazy to have these problems when so many other launchers work just fine.

i think the xbox app team is paying for the sins of their father. years agosomeone decided to go the route of making the windows store a closed system and now they are paying the price. and i'm sure the people working on xbox app team are just as frustrated as we are.

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frytup

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@nick said:

i don't think he mentioned a specific problem on the bombcast.

So what problem are you trying to solve? Not to be stupidly obvious, but you can easily move, delete, and select the default install location for Xbox app games using Win 10 program management tools.

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colourful_hippie

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@frytup: Windows store which is practically interchangeable with Xbox app in terms of app management can just fuck up out of nowhere and not recognize that a game is installed or break during patch processes and either not complete the update, freeze the download process, or go back to not recognizing something as being installed.

Those incidents of not recognizing a game is installed is the most frequent issue I’ve encountered which is the worst because I have to then find the fucking game to delete because MS store won’t do it for me.

Shit breaks too often around MS Store and has been widely reported that it baffles me that they haven’t tried reaching parity with Steam in terms of ease of use. It’s a joke at this point.

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MerxWorx01

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#10  Edited By MerxWorx01

@nick: Eh, at the end of the day I've learned my lesson with Microsoft store a long time ago: I will never buy anything there period because there is a chance I will never be able to play it. Also I will never attempt to download anything over 40 gigs because the longer I am downloading the higher chance it will break mid way. But gamepass is a pretty good deal and most of the games I want to try tend to be smaller games.

There are pros and cons but over all it kinda evens out. It's just a kick in the pants when then game I want to play shows up grey for no reason.

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frytup

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@frytup: Windows store which is practically interchangeable with Xbox app in terms of app management can just fuck up out of nowhere and not recognize that a game is installed or break during patch processes and either not complete the update, freeze the download process, or go back to not recognizing something as being installed.

Hmm. Never seen that myself, but I believe it.

Windows is 30 years of cruft. Nice that they've made a strong effort to maintain a fairly high level of compatibility for old software (looking at you, Apple), but it's a helluva code legacy to maintain and the variety of ways it can break is... fun.

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Humanity

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The problem I was having was similar to the uninstall issues above but ironically it was the Windows Store that helped me solve it. At some point I had cancelled an install midway through of a game, or something happened to it, and the icon was always showing up in my App. Choosing uninstall would fail and I could never get rid of it. Turns out the solution to this particular problem was to go into the Windows Store, go to the updates tab and then find that specific game there and let it "update" which essentially meant re-download. After it did that I was able to uninstall it cleanly from the Game Pass app.

Weird but maybe it will help someone out if they encounter it.

On the topic of the app itself - I didn't have a problem with it by itself but I am perplexed by their decision to combine it with the Xbox Companion App which was actually a pretty good one-stop-shop for your Achievements, profile, friends list etc. Now the Companion App has this huge annoying banner letting you know it's being discontinued and getting rolled into the Game Pass app, but they didn't transfer over even half of the features. Microsoft is very weird about coming up with things and then discontinuing them.

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Nick

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@frytup: sorry, i went back and listened and Rorie was said he was having issues installing games in any drive other than the C drive. i had the same issues about 6 months ago and this is how i solved it.

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ToughShed

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#15  Edited By ToughShed

I haven't had these issues but sometimes when I launch the app its just blank like its loading in stuff but basically never does. If i restart it can fix the issue but its a crap shoot.

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Ben_H

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#16  Edited By Ben_H

I ran into this yesterday when I did a clean Windows install. All my Xbox App games were on my D drive. Even after doing all the required permission changes (and more. I tried several different solutions I found), the Xbox app still wouldn't let me install to the D drive nor would it recognize that I had games installed. I even went as far as moving all my games out of the WindowsApps folder, deleting the folder, letting the Xbox app remake the folder, doing the permission stuff again, moving the games back in, and deleting the AppData cache (which should technically have made the Xbox app rescan that folder and find all my games). Even after all that, it still wouldn't recognize the games installed in the folder and would give me errors when I tried to install anything. I ended up having to manually delete everything and install it all fresh (which, given the Xbox app doesn't have a means on its own of throttling bandwidth usage, isn't great. My options are to throttle all system bandwidth or not at all. Fantastic).

Meanwhile, I scanned and was able to access over two terabytes of Steam games that I have installed over the years in under a minute. Same with the Battlenet app. This type of functionality has existed in most game store/manager programs for the better part of a decade yet Microsoft still can't get it together to put it into a service they are taking out of beta and are charging twice as much money for now. It's pretty poor.

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navster15

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While I totally understand everyone’s technical gripes with the PC Xbox app, I thought the install location issue was solved months ago. Now whenever I install a new game, I am prompted with a confirmation about which drive and folder I want to install to, just like Steam. Haven’t had any issues with it personally since they updated the app.

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Ben_H

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While I totally understand everyone’s technical gripes with the PC Xbox app, I thought the install location issue was solved months ago. Now whenever I install a new game, I am prompted with a confirmation about which drive and folder I want to install to, just like Steam. Haven’t had any issues with it personally since they updated the app.

It is fixed for certain circumstances but not some other ones. There's also apparently been several regressions in terms of these issues over the last while. One of the error codes I ran into was considered fixed last year but now people are running into it again.

That's what folks find frustrating about these problems. They're inconsistent. Some people have no issues while others have many. The solutions to the issues also don't consistently work. What works to fix things for one person won't necessarily work for another. This all stems from the Windows Store's installation process being weirdly complex and different from how pretty much anything else handles installation and storage of programs. It makes troubleshooting not very easy.