Fixing the Unexpected Store Exception Error on Windows 10 and 11
The “Unexpected Store Exception” is a notorious blue screen of death (BSOD) error that can pop up and crash your Windows 10 or 11 computer without warning. This frustrating error prevents you from using your PC and can recur frequently, making it difficult to pinpoint the cause.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline what exactly the Unexpected Store Exception is, what triggers it, and the various solutions you can try to stop this error ruining your day.
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What is the Unexpected Store Exception BSOD Error?
The Unexpected Store Exception, sometimes referenced by its bug check code 0x80080005, is a critical error relating to the Windows Component Store.
The Windows Component Store is a system service that houses important app data and components that Windows and other software rely on to function correctly. When a key file in this component store becomes corrupted or goes missing, Windows throws up the Unexpected Store Exception BSOD.
On the blue screen, you’ll see the error code along with a message stating:
“The application or operating system couldn’t be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors.”
This alerts you to the fact that an essential system file has become damaged or unstable. Without access to the correct file and resources from the component store, Windows crashes.
What Causes the Unexpected Store Exception Error?
There are several potential causes of the Unexpected Store Exception error, including:
- Corrupted system files – The Windows Component Store may have become corrupted and had important files damaged. This prevents Windows from retrieving the data it needs.
- Outdated drivers – Old graphics, storage or hardware drivers can cause conflicts and impact the component store’s stability.
- Malware/virus infection – Malicious software can tamper with system files, including critical store components.
- Faulty hardware – Damaged or failing RAM, storage drives or other hardware components can lead to file and data corruption.
- Software conflicts – Incompatible or buggy apps can sometimes interfere with the component store. Antivirus clashes are a common source.
- System file changes – Adjustments to critical OS files, likeComponent Store Compact tool, may have caused corruption.
- Windows update issues – Failed Windows updates are a rare but potential trigger for the error.
So in summary, any kind of file corruption, conflict or incompatibility causing the Windows Component Store to become unstable can result in the Unexpected Store Exception.
8 Ways to Fix the Unexpected Store Exception
If you’re encountering the Unexpected Store Exception on your Windows 10 or 11 PC, don’t panic. In most cases this error can be repaired by restoring stability and integrity to the component store.
Try these troubleshooting steps to get the error resolved:
1. Restart Your PC
If the error occurs randomly after your PC has been running smoothly for a while, a simple restart is worth trying first.
Restarting will clear any software faults or memory issues that may have arisen. Upon booting back up, Windows will reload all the component store files, potentially resolving any corruption that occurred in the previous session.
2. Update or Rollback Device Drivers
As mentioned, outdated and incompatible drivers are a prime cause of Windows stability issues and file corruption.
Updating your drivers to the latest manufacturer-recommended versions can therefore help fix driver conflicts afflicting the component store.
Use Device Manager to check for and install updates. For your GPU, visit the manufacturer’s website and get the newest driver available. Roll back any recent driver updates as well, as new versions can sometimes introduce bugs.
3. Run SFC and DISM Scans
When system files become corrupt, the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) utilities can restore them to their original state.
SFC scans Windows system files and replaces any damaged or missing ones with a cached copy held in a compressed folder.
DISM goes a step further and checks the entire component store along with the Windows image for errors. It can replace corrupt files and process new updates or patches to system data.
To run SFC and DISM scans:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt as admin
- Type SFC /scannow and hit Enter
- Once complete, run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
- Finally enter DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth to repair any issues
This will check and restore any damaged system resources that could be causing the component store exception error.
4. Uninstall Conflicting Apps
If you recently installed a new application, it’s worth uninstalling it temporarily to check for conflicts.
Antivirus software, optimization tools and redundant security utilities are examples of apps that often clash with Windows services. Uninstalling via Settings > Apps > Apps & features can fix instability arising from software conflicts.
5. Update Windows
Make sure Windows is entirely up to date by checking for the latest cumulative updates.
Navigate to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and click Check for updates. Install all important updates, then restart your PC.
This will repair any bugs in system files and the component store. Failing updates can also cause file corruption, so installing the newest updates may resolve the issue.
6. Turn Off Fast Startup
Fast startup, enabled by default in Windows 10 and 11, can sometimes cause issues with hardware recognition and system stability after bootups.
Disabling fast startup may therefore help mitigate component store corruption that happens on restarts after the PC crashes or loses power.
Access Power & sleep settings to toggle off Fast startup under Related settings. Make sure you don’t have Fast boot enabled in your UEFI firmware either.
7. Check Your Drives for Errors
Corrupted system files can result from failing or damaged storage drives. It’s a good idea to scan for errors on your boot drive and secondary storage devices using Check Disk or a disk checking utility.
Open an elevated Command Prompt and run:
CHKDSK C: /f /r
Replace C: with the letter of the drive you want to scan. This will check the disk for file system errors and attempt to repair them.
You can also use the native Error-checking tool via This PC > Right-click drive > Properties > Tools > Check. Tick “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors” for an in-depth scan checking the physical state of the disk.
8. Test Your RAM
Unstable or failing memory modules are a common source of random errors and crashes in Windows.
Use the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to check your RAM thoroughly. Let the extended test run overnight for the most rigorous scan. It will identify any faults in the memory that could be impacting the component store.
If you have multiple memory modules installed, test each stick individually by removing the others before running the diagnostic. This can help pinpoint which DIMM may be causing corruption issues.
Reset Windows as a Last Resort
If all else fails, resetting Windows may be necessary to eliminate possible ingrained corruption of the component store.
You have two options here:
1. In-place upgrade – Download and run the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade of Windows. This reinstalls Windows over your existing setup while retaining your data and apps.
2. Factory reset – Backup essential data then reset Windows completely via Settings > System > Recovery. Choose “Remove everything” to fully reinstall Windows and the component store.
Resetting Windows is an involved process so only use it if no other fixes resolve the issue.
The Unexpected Store Exception is a common BSOD error that crashes Windows when an essential component store file becomes damaged.
However, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get your PC stable again:
- Update your drivers, especially graphics and storage
- Run SFC and DISM scans to restore system files
- Check for Windows updates and enable any pending updates
- Uninstall recently added apps that may conflict
- Disable Fast startup to prevent boot corruption
- Scan drives for errors using Check Disk
- Test your RAM thoroughly for faults
Following these steps methodically should repair any underlying damage causing Windows to throw the Unexpected Store Exception error on startup. Reset Windows as a last resort if you can’t resolve the problem through basic troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting the Unexpected Store Exception Error – Summary
- The Unexpected Store Exception is a BSOD error caused by corruption of the Windows Component Store.
- Potential causes include driver conflicts, malware, failing hardware, and faulty system file changes.
- Solutions focus on restoring stability to the component store through SFC/DISM scans, driver updates, Windows updates and eliminating software clashes.
- Repairing disk errors, testing RAM for faults, and resetting Windows may be necessary if basic fixes don’t resolve the error.