Fix: File System Error -2147219196 When Opening Windows Photo App

You might see a File system error 2147219196 when trying to open pictures via the Windows Photo App. In some cases, you might also see this error when trying to open other Windows apps like Calculator etc. This File system error (-2147219196) is only on Windows 10 and it will prevent you from using a certain app (in most cases your photo app) or a group of apps.

The 21472119196 error is caused by a bug in Windows Update. One of the latest Windows Updates introduced this bug into the Windows Photo App and a lot of people are experiencing this issue. There isn’t anything that will permanently solve this issue other than a Windows Fix but there are a couple of things that you can try. You can use the Windows Photo Viewer or a third party photo viewer. All of these solution are given below. So start by following the steps given in method 1 and keep going to the next method until your problem is solved.


Windows Photo Viewer is the classic photo viewer and it is still available on Windows 10. Your best bet is to use this. Other solutions usually require some kind of technical steps or using a third party application (which might not be safe). Using Windows Photo Viewer and making it your default picture viewer is the easiest, fastest, and the safest solution for this problem. Also, you won’t have to download anything else.

So, try to use Windows Photo Viewer first. You can simply right click a picture > select Open with > select Windows Photo Viewer.

Note: You can also download and use any other photo viewer from the internet.

Method 1: Uninstall Windows Photo and Reinstall

Uninstalling and then reinstalling the Windows Photo App has resolved the issue for a considerable number of users. Follow the steps given below to uninstall, clean the left over files, and reinstall the Windows Photo App

  1. We have to uninstall the Windows Photos App first. So, press Windows key once
  2. Type powershell in the Windows Start Search
  3. Right click Windows PowerShell from the search results and select Run as administrator

  1. Type Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Remove-AppxPackage and press Enter

  1. Click here and download PsTools package. Simply click Download PsTools link from the website

  1. The downloaded file will be in zip format. Right click the file and select Extract files… Select appropriate location and extract the files.
  2. Press Windows key once
  3. Type command prompt in the Windows Start Search
  4. Right click Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator

  1. Type <PsExec location address>PsExec.exe -sid  c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe and press Enter. Note: Replace <PsExec location address> with the actual address. This should be the location where you just extracted the contents of the downloaded file. For example, I extracted the files into e:\pstool so my location will look like this e:\PsTools\PsExec.exe  -sid  c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe

  1. Click Agree when it asks

  1. You’ll notice a new command prompt open up after pressing the enter key

  1. Type rd /s “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2017.37071.16410.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe” and press Enter in the newly opened Command Prompt. Note: The Windows Photos App version number will vary. Since the version number is in the folder name, the folder name will also vary. Here are the steps for getting the exact folder name
    1. Hold Windows key and press R
    2. Type your folder path and let the Run utility autocomplete it. The Run utility will autocomplete to the correct version.
    3. Once the folder name is autocompleted, simply copy the path from the Run and paste it in the Command Prompt
    4. Note: Your folder name will also be shown in step 4. You can get the folder name from there as well
  2. Press Y once the system asks for confirmation

Once done, you should be good to go. Open Microsoft Store and download the Photos App. Check if this resolves the issue or not.

Method 2: Booting in Clean Boot

Sometimes, certain third-party applications can interfere with certain elements of the Photo Viewer app and prevent it from working properly. Therefore, in this step, we will be initiating “Clean Boot” in our PC. For that:

  1. Log in to the computer with an Administrator account.
  2. PressWindows” + “R” to open up the “RUN” prompt.
    Opening Run Prompt
  3. Type in “msconfig” and press “Enter“.
    Running MSCONFIG
  4. Click on the “Services” option and uncheck the “Hide all Microsoft Services” button.
    Clicking on the “Services” tab and Un-checking the “hide all Microsoft Services” option
  5. Click on the “Disable All” option and then on “OK“.
    Clicking on the “Disable All” option
  6. Click on the “Startup” tab and click on the “Open Task Manager” option.
    Clicking on the “Open Task Manager” option
  7. Click on the “Startup” button in the task manager.
  8. Click on any application in the list that has “Enabled” written next to it and select the “Disable” option.
    Clicking on the “Startup” tab and selecting an application listed there
  9. Repeat this process for all applications in the list and restart your computer.
  10. Now your computer has been booted in the “Clean Boot” state.
  11. Open the Windows Photo Viewer application and check to see if the issue persists.
  12. If the issue goes away, repeat the above process and enable one service at a time.
  13. Identify the service by enabling which the issue comes back and keep it disabled to fix the issue

Method 3: Run the Troubleshooter

If any Windows default application is not working properly, the Windows Troubleshooter can be used to automatically identify and fix the issues relating to it. Therefore, in this step, we will be running the Windows Troubleshooter to identify and fix the issue with the “Windows Photo Viewer” application.

  1. Press the “Windows” + “I” buttons simultaneously.
  2. Click on the “Update and Security” option.
    Clicking on the “Updates & Security” option
  3. Select “Troubleshoot” from the left pane.
    Clicking on “Troubleshoot” in the left pane
  4. Scroll down and click on the “Windows Store Apps“.
  5. Select the “Run the troubleshooter” option.
    Clicking on the “Run the Troubleshooter” option
  6. The troubleshooter will automatically identify and fix the issue if possible.

Method 4: Fixing the Permissions of Photo App Folder

If the fixes shown above didn’t help you at all. It’s possible that the ownership of the Photos app folder has been misconfigured which you will have to fix manually. Follow the steps below:-

  1. First of all, click on the search button and search for Command Prompt, then click “Run as administrator”.
  2. Type the following command to take ownership of the “WindowsApps” folder.
    TAKEOWN /F "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" /R /D Y
  3. Once you take Ownership of that folder, you will have to open the WindowsApp folders.
  4. Head over to this address “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps”.
  5. If you can’t find the folder you will have to check the “show hidden files” option
    Show Hidden Files
  6. Once you can see the “WindowsApps” folder.
  7. If it says “Permission Required” press continue.
    Clicking Continue
  8. Now right-click and click properties on the folder of your “PhotosApp” it should be named similar to this
  9. Go to “Security” tab and click “Advanced”.
    Setting TrustedInstaller Permissions
  10. Once you are in the Advanced permissions section click on the “Change” option in front of “Owner”.
  11. Now type “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller” in the text box section.
  12. Then press Ok.
    Giving Permissions to TrustedInstaller
  13. Make sure the option named “Replace Owner of subcontainers and object” is checked.
  14. Now press “Apply” then press “OK”.
    Taking Permissions
  15. Press ok to successfully take the permission and Ownership.
  16. Now search for PowerShell and run it as an administrator.
    Running PowerShell as administrator
  17. Type the following command and wait for it to execute properly:-
    get-appxpackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | remove-appxpackage
  18. Once that command is done processing, restart your Windows for a good measure.
  19. Now run PowerShell as an administrator again and type the following command:-
    Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  20. Wait for the command to process and re-install the Windows Photos app.
  21. Check to see if the issue persists.

Method 5: Windows Update

Since this is a known issue and a lot of Windows users are facing this issue, there will be a bug fix release in the latest Windows Updates. So, if the above methods didn’t solve your issue then keep an eye on the Windows Updates. Make sure that your system is up to date. In order to check for Updates

  1. Press the “Windows” + “I” buttons simultaneously.
  2. Click on the “Update & Security” option.
  3. Select the “Check for Updates” option and wait while Windows checks for new updates.
  4. Updates will be automatically downloaded and installed.
  5. Restart the computer after updates are installed in order to apply them on your computer.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.