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Cannot get Metro/Modern UI/whatever apps to follow web links


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#1 Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:02

This has been a recurring problem for me. I had an install of Windows 8 RTM that this happened to. Then I reinstalled Windows 8 with the upgrade key, post-RTM, which fixed it, but only for a few days and then it started happening again. It's really, really starting to **** me off.

Here's the deal. If there is a web link in a metro app, when you click on it, nothing happens. At all. It doesn't make any attempt to launch a web browser of any sort, regardless of whether IE is default or not. Now, for the most part, I couldn't give a ****, because this was mostly used to link to an app's website. I rarely used it. However, now that Pin Steam is out, it is completely useless to me because Steam launches game via web links now and when I click on any game in my library guess what happens? Absolutely nothing. GRR!

So, I do not want to reinstall Windows from scratch again, or reset/refresh my PC, or anything that will cause me to have to reinstall everything. Does anybody know of a way to fix this? Surely I cannot be the only one to have experienced this issue. Thanks in advance to anybody who can help.


#2 MorganX

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:05

I don't have an answer for you, just wanted to let you know I have the same problem, and many do. If you search the web a few have some solutions that I wouldn't recommend.

This is only a problem on the desktop, does not happen on the Surface. Microsoft knows this is a problem and is silent. If I come across a reasonable fix I'll post it.

#3 Kamran Mackey

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:08

I managed to download and install the "Retail" not the RTM and I can open Windows Store and every metro app related links just fine. I don't know why you're having the issue but I did hear that the RTM does have a few bugs and that may be the problem.

#4 ~Johnny

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:19

I managed to download and install the "Retail" not the RTM and I can open Windows Store and every metro app related links just fine. I don't know why you're having the issue but I did hear that the RTM does have a few bugs and that may be the problem.


RTM is the retail build.

#5 Detection

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:22

This has been a recurring problem for me. I had an install of Windows 8 RTM that this happened to. Then I reinstalled Windows 8 with the upgrade key, post-RTM, which fixed it, but only for a few days and then it started happening again. It's really, really starting to **** me off.

Here's the deal. If there is a web link in a metro app, when you click on it, nothing happens. At all. It doesn't make any attempt to launch a web browser of any sort, regardless of whether IE is default or not. Now, for the most part, I couldn't give a ****, because this was mostly used to link to an app's website. I rarely used it. However, now that Pin Steam is out, it is completely useless to me because Steam launches game via web links now and when I click on any game in my library guess what happens? Absolutely nothing. GRR!

So, I do not want to reinstall Windows from scratch again, or reset/refresh my PC, or anything that will cause me to have to reinstall everything. Does anybody know of a way to fix this? Surely I cannot be the only one to have experienced this issue. Thanks in advance to anybody who can help.


I had a similar... actually the same problem, and just got used to copying the URL and pasting it myself into the browser

But coming to think of it, I wonder if Metro URLs only work if a Metro browser is set as default, I had normal desktop firefox as mine so never tried it before reinstalling 7

#6 OP Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:29

Well, when it worked, it would launch in a metro browser if one was default, or go to the desktop and use a regular browser if a non-metro browser was default. Now it just does jack ****.

#7 Detection

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:31

Well, when it worked, it would launch in a metro browser if one was default, or go to the desktop and use a regular browser if a non-metro browser was default. Now it just does jack ****.


Yea that was basically my experience with 8, and the reason why I reinstalled 7, weird unexplainable bugs

#8 OP Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:33

This is the only bug I have ever experienced in Windows 8, and it's only irritating me because Pin Steam doesn't work, so I'm not ready to give up on 8 yet.

#9 Detection

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:37

This is the only bug I have ever experienced in Windows 8, and it's only irritating me because Pin Steam doesn't work, so I'm not ready to give up on 8 yet.


Maybe try sfc /scannow in elevated CMD, if there is any issue with system files that should repair them

If you have any other browsers installed, try uninstalling them and setting IE10 as default for testing (If you're using FF, grab MozBackup and create a backup before uninstalling, then once you're done you can reinstall FF and restore the backup and be exactly where you were before uninstalling it)

#10 +virtorio

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:46

For the Stream issue try the suggestions in this article (particularly the section about the registry):
https://support.stea...=2087-MZES-9065

Try using the "Default Programs -> Set Default Programs" applet in the Control Panel to unset and then reset the default handlers (use Internet Explorer as the default at this point).

And check in the "Default Programs -> Associate a File Type or Protocol with a program" applet that the HTTP protocol (protocols are at the botom of the list) is both in there as is and assigned correctly (should have "URL: HyperText Transfer Protocol" for it's description).

Also make another user account and see if the issue persists in there.

#11 OP Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 17:29

I'm pretty sure if I made another user it would work for that user. I had other metro app-related issues in the CP and RP that making another issue fixed for that user. The core of the OS is solid and stable, but the new start screen and all of its apps are incredibly buggy. It should be noted when I said I had only experienced this one bug with Windows 8, I actually meant that Windows itself doesn't have any issues, it's the new metro apps that do. By this criteria I could have said I have seen no bugs at all, so yeah, if the start screen is what you define Windows 8 as then I have seen many bugs, actually. Most of them are related to specific apps, though, like the POS music app, and not the OS itself. I rarely use the start screen or any metro apps at all, so I'm sure there are probably more issues I haven't discovered yet.

I've already tried changing defaults and that didn't do anything. Since I'm impatient I just went ahead and reinstalled Windows again. If anybody has a known working solution to this I'd still love to hear it, because I'm pretty confident that eventually this will happen again, unless Microsoft releases another update to prevent it from happening. I'm looking for actual solutions that are known to work here, not suggestions on how I might troubleshoot it. The sfc /scannow is something I did not actually think to try, but I don't have much confidence that it would have helped any.

Thanks for trying, everybody. I'll keep an eye on this in case somebody does figure out how to fix it without nuking their system.

#12 OP Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 18:30

I do have a suspect for causality. I installed vmware player and it no longer works again. I installed other things too, like Office 2013, but vmware creates virtual network adapters so it's the most likely culprit. Since it's all still fresh I'm going to try a system restore to 2 hours ago to see if that fixes it again. Then I guess I'm going to try to figure out how to get elementary linux to work in hyper-v.

#13 OP Darrian

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 23:04

Ok, it is not vmware. I hadn't had too many things installed when it started happening. At this point I have it narrowed down to 2 possible culprits: microangelo on display, or the firefox maintenance service. Firefox, installed without the service, didn't mess it up. I may experiment later to see for certain, but for now I will refrain from installing either of those things and hopefully it won't break again. In the meantime I will continue to create a restore point prior to installing each of my programs.

#14 OP Darrian

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 00:57

Well, I can rule out Microangelo. I'll install the firefox maintenance service later to verify whether or not it's ****ing up windows and report back.

#15 OP Darrian

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 18:32

Ok, well, I never got around to testing whether the firefox maintenance service was the issue, because now it's broken again and the only thing I've done is installed some windows updates. I guess it's just something inherent in Windows 8 and I'll have to wait for MS to fix it. I did get to enjoy Pin Steam for a few minutes yesterday. Oh well.