Fix ms-settings:display app association error (3 easy solutions)

The error ms-settings:display – This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action may appear when you try to open Personalize or Display Settings on your Windows 10 device. The hint to create an association is highly annoying since this won’t be possible. Or it may return the same error. In addition, you may even not be able to open File Explorer, and you may get an error like “explorer.exe – System Warning – Unknown Hard Error” at startup.

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This guide helps you fix the ms settings display error. Not every file association error can be resolved with 1 universal fix. That is why I have listed all the possible solutions below. They are listed in a logical order based on the success rate. If the first solution doesn’t work, you can proceed with the second solution without risk, and so on.

1. Reset Windows Store Cache to fix ms-settings:display

Resetting the cache of Windows Store has a high success rate on fixing your ms-settings:display problem. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Fix ms-settings:display app association error (3 easy solutions) 1 and start typing WSReset.exe .
  2. Click WSReset.exe and press Enter.
    run wsreset.exe Windows Store Cache
  3. Wait for the black Command Prompt to disappear. A new Windows Store window will open automatically.
  4. Close the Store window and then try to launch the personalization settings again.

2. Install Updates and Restart your Device to fix ms-settings:display

In case you didn’t, there’s a big chance installing Windows Updates fixes your problem. In case you’re not on the latest Semi-annual release, your chances to fix are even bigger when you upgrade to the latest version.

To install latest updates

  1. Click Start Fix ms-settings:display app association error (3 easy solutions) 1 and start typing Windows Updates.
    windows 10 check for windows updates
  2. Let run, and install the updates

To install the latest release of Windows 10

  1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  2. Click the blue Update Now button.
    windows 10 update now 0xc1900403
  3. A file, named Windows10Upgrade####.exe, is being downloaded. Run this file and follow the steps in the wizard.
    Please note that updating your Windows 10 version could take more than an hour.
  4. After completing the Upgrade, try to launch the personalization settings again.

3. Create a new local user to fix ms-settings:display

This is not the quickest solution. But you will be able to isolate the problem to a specific user account. It could be that the user account you work with has invalid settings or has been corrupted. To make sure this is the case, you need to create a new user account and test if you are able to open the Settings in this user account. The steps below are not very extensive. But should help you on your way:

  1. Open Local Users and Groups (lusrmgr.msc)
  2. Create a new user account.
  3. In the same window, go to Groups and add the new user to the Administrators group.
  4. Login with the new user account and see if everything is working (like opening Display Settings).
    1. If not, you’ll probably have to roll back or reinstall Windows 10
    2. If that account is working, you have isolated the problem to be in the specific user account. -> continue to the next step
  5. Backup all your files of your original user account
  6. Delete the account that is experiencing the problem. Note: make sure you have backed up all your data!)
  7. Log in with your Microsoft account and restore all your data from step 6.
  8. Try to launch the personalization settings again.

Cause of association error

Most likely Windows Updates are the cause for returning this error. It is not clear which specific update(s) caused the issue, although the ms-setting:display error has been here sinds 2015, and is still occurring in 2020.

The exact error is:
This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action. Please install an app or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Apps Settings page.

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