Fixing the “Something’s Gone Very Wrong” Error on Windows Phone App for Desktop

Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of the older Zune desktop application. I get that times change and this is the new way to sync, and that’s fine. But the Zune desktop software is simply a great app for managing your music collection. From building playlists to updating album art and all around general music library management, it’s powerful and simple to use. You can’t go wrong.

The new Windows Phone App for Desktop provides a basic tool for syncing music and pictures with your Windows Phone 8 device. There is no music library management functionality in the app. In fact, it’s so basic it’s missing features like “Expand All” or “Collapse All” when you’re browsing your music, picture of video libraries. It’s also missing simple things like “Select All” and, of course the reverse “Unselect All”. These simple features would make it much easier to find and sync content with your device.


So, back to the topic at hand; The other day while I attempted to sync some new music to my Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone App for Desktop decided to pop up a vague and generic error message: “Something’s gone very wrong, so the app needs to close. If this keeps happening, you can call Microsoft support for help.” All I know is that when I attempted to start a sync with my device, this message would pop up. I rebooted my PC and reinstalled the app, but neither provided any improvement. Unfortunately, there’s no error code, so it’s not like I can go searching the web with any accuracy.

After scratching my head for a short time, I got to thinking and realized that while the app was starting up the first time and indexing my music collection (this can take a little while depending on the size of your collection), I was running the Zune client and updating my playlists. As it turns out, this vague error was result of something so simple like updating my playlist while the app indexed my collection. To fix it, I simply deleted the cached data from Windows Phone App for Desktop. Unfortunately, this means you have to sit through another long index cycle, but the plus side is everything now works.

Now, since this error is so generic in nature, I can’t say with any certainty that this will solve the same problem you might be having. It’s fairly harmless to try it and see. The only thing you will really lose, is time. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Close the Windows Phone App for Desktop, and disconnect your phone from the computer.
  • Open Windows Explorer and type %AppData% in the location bar and press enter. This should take you to Computer > OS (C:) > Users > {UserAccount} > AppData, or if you prefer the older format, it should be C:\Users\{UserAccount}\AppData\. This is typically a hidden folder and depending on your settings, you might not be able to browse directly to this location. It’s easiest to just type %AppData% into the location bar.
  • Once you’re in the AppData folder, you want to switch to the Local subfolder, and then switch to the Microsoft subfolder. The new path in your location bar should read: Computer > OS (C:) > Users > {UserAccount} > AppData > Local > Microsoft.
  • The amount of folders you see here will depend greatly on what you have installed on your machine. Look for a folder by the name “Windows Phone” and pay no attention to any of the other folders. Highlight this folder, right click and select Rename from the menu. Simply add the word Old to the end of the folder name and press Enter to save the change. It’s important to note, that we haven’t actually deleted anything, just renamed it. If this solution doesn’t work for you, just come back here and rename the folder back. Also, the only real data in this folder is cached data about your music, video, and picture library. Your playlists and other content are not actually stored in this folder.


  • Launch Windows Phone App for Desktop. This will take a while to start because it has to re-index your library again. Just wait patiently while that happens. Once it’s done, select the content to sync and you should be good to go.

There you go! Happy Sync’ing!

About Mike Temporale

Mike Temporale has written 614 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Mike Temporale grew up fascinated by computers since an early age. His first hands on with a computer came when he was 7 years old and a travelling lab of Commodore PET computers made a stop at his school. Hooked on the new world these devices offered, he took any chance possible to get in front of a computer. When Compaq launched the iPaq 3600, he was hooked again. This time on a whole new world of mobile computing. Today, Mike spends his day helping clients deploy and manage their mobile device around the world. From installing custom software, to locking and securing data, and everything in between. He is also the Editor in Chief at Mobile Jaw - a site focused on today's mobile world.

  • Number6UK

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you so much for posting this – it’s helped me out many times.

    I wanted to add something if I may?
    On a hunch, I modified your instructions slightly and found that it’s possible to achieve the cache rebuild without losing the ticklist of items to be synced (which can be quite extensive if you didn’t want everything set to automatically sync or not sync).

    The steps are almost the same as in your guide, except that when get to the final bullet point, and you find the Windows Phone folder in C:Users{User Account}AppDataLocalMicrosoft rather than rename it, drill deeper into it.

    Inside it will be a folder with a long name composed of letters and numbers (presumably the device ID?). Go into this folder and find the file “WPSync Items.xml”
    Rename this to something else, e.g. “WPSync Items.xml.old”

    When you load up the WPfd sync app, it will then rebuild the cache but won’t forget all the things you had ticked for syncing.

    I’ve done this a few times now and it’s worked each time.

    Incidentally, on my system, the cause of the problem seems to be that I’m syncing the WPfd sync app against iTunes. I’m guessing some of your other readers will be in the same situation.

    The WPfd sync app triggers iTunes to open in order to sync with it, and sometimes, if a download is available (in my case it’s usually a podcast) iTunes will start downloading. If that download doesn’t complete before the WPfd sync app reads the iTunes library, the WPfd cache gets out of sync with iTunes and the error arises.

    A way I’ve found which lessens the chances of the issue arising is to ensure that iTunes is opened well before opening the WPfd sync app or connecting your device, and that it has a chance to complete any downloads. Once iTunes is finished and just sitting there and its library is not changing, then connect the Windows Phone and start the WPfd sync app.
    Of course, sometimes a download in iTunes will happen just by chance during a sync and you have to go through the whole thing again, but as I said, it reduces the chances.

    Hope that’s of some help anyway.
    Thanks again for your help and for posting it so that others can find it.

    Number 6

  • winfredable

    Issue Resolved.
    1. Close Windows phone app for desktop
    2. close itunes
    3. connect your device
    4. open My Computer and then open your device like a Flash Drive
    5. Enable “view hidden files and folders”
    6. Open each hidden folder and delete the contents
    7. Turn off hidden files and folders
    8. Delete the contents of you music folder
    9. Open itunes ( in my case)
    10. Open Windows Phone App for Desktop

    Worked for me, hope it works for you.