1. The easy way to create a shortcut

To open the Windows Store App folder (C:\Program Files\WindowsApps), either of these commands can be used:

shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}
(or)
shell:appsfolder

Note that the first command has 3 colons, the second command has only 1 colon. Right click on any application shown by the commands above and choose ‘Create shortcut’.

However, the above shortcut can be clicked to open only, can’t add it to Steam or use text editor to edit it. Read the second method below to make the command line, and do these steps:

  • Create a shortcut by right click on any folder or desktop
  • Use this format for the location: explorer shell:appsfolder\packageId!applicationId

The bad news is Steam will launch ‘Windows Explorer’ instead of the game. Create a ‘.bat’ file with the above command:

explorer shell:appsfolder\packageId!applicationId

But Steam won’t add ‘.bat’ file, so add a random ‘.exe’ file first, right click on the link just created in Steam to choose properties, change the executable path to the ‘.bat’ file.

2. Launch a Windows Store application from command-line or programmatically

The listed Windows Store (appx) applications are those packages in the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder. To be able to open this folder in Windows Explorer, go to C:\Program Files folder, show hidden files and folders inside it, right click the ‘WindowsApps‘ folder to take ownership (usually just put the ownership to ‘Users’ group, this group is for any user).

a. Get the package Id

  • Open C:\Program Files\WindowsApps
  • Find the folder (package) of the application, eg: A278AB0D.OrderChaos2_1.2.2.3_x86__h6adky7gbf63m
  • Remove the version number and the low-dashes following it to make the package Id, ie: A278AB0D.OrderChaos2_h6adky7gbf63m

b. Get the application Id

  • Open the package folder of the app, eg. the A27…63m folder above
  • Open the file AppxManifest.xml with any text editor
  • Go to the first ‘Application‘ XML tag (usually the first), get the attribute ‘Id‘, that is the application Id

c. Run the application from command-line

  • shell:appsfolder\packageId!applicationId
  • Example: shell:appsfolder\A278AB0D.OrderChaos2_h6adky7gbf63m!App

References:

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