Getting a blue screen of death (also known as a stop code error), where your system unexpectedly crashes, is frustrating. Especially when you don’t understand the problem. If you encounter the Windows 10/11 Unexpected Store Exception error, we can help.
Despite what you might think, this error has nothing to do with the Microsoft Store. Instead, we’re going to show you various ways to troubleshoot this error to determine the cause of an Unexpected Store Exception in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
1. Check the Health of Your Hard Drive
The error often indicates that you’re using a failing hard drive. It’s easy to check this with a free program like CrystalDiskInfo. Download the standard edition, run the installer, and open the program.
The tabs at the top let you change between drives if you have multiple. Look at the Health Status, which is being determined from the values listed in the table beneath.
Good means exactly that and shows your drive is in fine health. Bad or Caution is obviously negative.
If you see either Bad or Caution status, then you need to replace the drive as soon as possible because it’s at risk of failing imminently. In fact, even if you see Good, it’s worth switching the drive if you have a spare—the number one cause of the Unexpected Store Exception stop code is a faulty hard drive. If the error stops appearing with a different drive, you’ve found the problem.
See our guide on how to replace a hard drive if you need help with switching yours.
Check the Rest of Your Hardware
If your hard drive is fine, it’s worth checking the rest of your hardware for faults. That’s because the Unexpected Store Exception error is most commonly caused by faulty hardware. Your CPU, GPU, or RAM could be throwing the error.
Windows has two built-in tools to help: Performance Monitor and Windows Memory Diagnostic. For help on using these, along with third-party hardware diagnostic apps, read our guide on how to test your PC for failing hardware.
2. Update Your Display Driver
Display drivers causing incompatibility issues can also trigger this error. It’s worth ensuring they are updated.
To begin, boot your system into safe mode. Check out our guide on booting Windows 10 in safe mode and how to boot Windows 11 in safe mode if you need a hand.
Then follow these instructions to reinstall your display driver:
- Press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager.
- Double-click on Display adapters. This will display your graphics card. Right-click the result and click Uninstall device. Confirm it and restart your PC.
- Press Windows Key + I to open Settings and click Update & Security (Windows 10) or Windows Update (Windows 11).
- Click Check for updates. Windows should automatically find the latest driver and update your system.
If that doesn’t work, go to your graphics card manufacturer’s website to download the drivers, following its instructions. See our guide to replacing outdated Windows drivers for more information on downloading and updating drivers.
3. Run System File Checker
Faulty system files could also cause the Unexpected Store Exception error. Handily, Windows includes an easy way for you to scan your system and have it automatically attempt to repair any problematic files.
- Press Windows Key + X.
- Click Command Prompt (Admin).
- Once opened, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
This will initiate the scan. It’ll display a message once completed. It might “not find any integrity violations”, which means all is fine. Alternatively, it might say:
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log %WinDir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log
If so, input the following in Command Prompt to view that log:
findstr /c:"[SR]" %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >"%userprofile%\Desktop
This will output the log to your desktop, where you can review the problematic files. If the errors can’t be fixed, as per the second message listed above, you may want to consider a factory reset of Windows to get fresh copies of system files.
4. Disable Your Antivirus
Your antivirus software could be interfering with your system and causing the error. Try temporarily disabling your antivirus and see if the error still occurs. How to disable it will vary depending on your software, but chances are it’ll be somewhere in the program’s settings.
If you’re using Windows Defender, disable it like so:
- Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Go to Update & Security (Windows 10) or Privacy & security (Windows 11).
- Select Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.
- Beneath Virus & threat protection settings, click Manage settings.
- Slide Real-time protection to Off.
Alternatively, if using any third-party antivirus software, you could try uninstalling it entirely. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings and go to Apps > Apps & features. Find your antivirus on the list, click it, then click Uninstall.
Of course, it’s not the best practice to leave your system unprotected. If this doesn’t fix the Unexpected Store Exception error, enable your antivirus again to help keep your computer secure.
5. Turn Off Fast Startup
Fast startup is a feature that is enabled by default on up-to-date Windows 10/11 systems. With this, your computer uses a type of hibernation to give you quicker boot speeds, especially on hard disk drives.
While great, it can cause some drivers not to load properly, leading to the Unexpected Store Exception error. As such, it’s worth disabling fast startup to see if it gets rid of the error.
- Do a system search for Control Panel and open it.
- Go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Choose what the power buttons do.
- You may need to click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
- Uncheck Turn on fast start-up (recommended).
- Click Save changes.
Unexpected Store Exception Is Commonly Caused by Hardware
Hopefully, the steps above have helped you troubleshoot or solve the issue. Most commonly, the culprit for the Windows 10/Windows 11 Unexpected Store Exception blue screen error is faulty hardware. If not, the other steps mentioned are worth perusing.
A blue screen of death can be caused by many things but are especially common if you’ve changed something on your system recently.