Windows 10 Settings error Apps and Features

Say you are trying to use Settings | System | Apps and Features but you get an error along the lines of “windows cannot access the specified device path or file. you may not have appropriate permissions” trying to uninstall a program.  You can also get a hard error and better search cross reference by clicking Manage optional features when in the Apps and features screen.
This applies to Windows 10 and Server 2016.  In my case I am on Server 2016 Standard Eval Version 1607 OS Build 14393.2273.

Stepping back on the error, you might thing it a permission issue but in my case I was logged in as domain administrator.  Base searching might have you remove and recreate your user profile but that is a waste of time and irrelevant to the issue.  Don’t waste your time messing with the profile.  You can confirm in Control Panel that using that Programs and Features works without error to uninstall programs.

Thanks to clicking the Manage optional features of Apps and features, I got info on the systemsettingsadminflows.exe to better search against my issue.  Thanks to this page, I followed the secpol.msc steps to change a local policy to allow access for ‘Admin approval mode’.
Once I enabled that option and did a log out and back in (shutdown -l), I could use the Apps and features portion of settings without cryptic error.

  • Local Policy
  • Security Options
  • User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator Account
  • Enable this then logout then back in

Hopefully that helps you avoid the black holes that can be searching for unable to uninstall program in windows with via settings, or similar strings.