I have been test driving a Surface RT tablet, and trying to use it as a tablet and laptop replacement. One of the things I use my tablet for is reading, such as Kindle eBooks or comic books through Comixology. I downloaded the latter for Windows RT. Unfortunately, it runs the worst of any platform I’ve used Comixology on.

I get it; Windows RT isn’t exactly long for this world. Pretty much considered a failure on Microsoft’s part (if the news of its demise are to be trusted), it’s Windows but not real Windows. It looks and feels like PC Windows 8.x but runs on a different processor (ARM), so it’s not compatible with standard Windows apps. Developers need to port their application over, and if you see a sinking ship, you’re not likely to board it.

It’s the Windows CE of the 2010’s (sidenote: I used to love Windows CE back in the day).

But there are still plenty of RT devices out there so there exists something of a market. Comixology thought enough of it to release  the app for Windows RT; then again, this was in the pre-Amazon takeover days. I just wish that it ran better and had something approximating feature parity with older versions of the app on iOS and Android. Hell, I just want it to work.

Which is not the case a lot of the times.

Here a few of the common issues I’ve run into with Comixology on Windows RT (more specifically, the Surface RT):

  • Downloads never start, despite saying they’re “Downloading”. No progress bar, no signs of life.
  • Downloads start but freeze up.
  • Downloaded comics vanishing from the device.

I’ve found some of the issues are apparently related to the WiFi connection. You might able to browse the web and update Facebook / Twitter without an issue, but Comixology then tanks at the thought of being a usable app. Move to a different WiFi network and it’s downloading comics like nobody’s business.

Unless you have a download that starts, get’s partway through, and dies. And then no matter what you do – closing the app and relaunching it, or restarting your device – the download is stuck in limbo, partly downloaded, forever incomplete.

I found a potential fix for the latter, so you more technical savvy folks can try this:

Note: This is offered without warranty. If following these steps breaks your app, your tablet, space-time, or causes your mother to trip on a crack and break her back- totally not my fault.

  • Close the Comixology app and verify it’s not running in the background.
  • Flip over to the Desktop view in Windows.
  • Launch the This PC app (essentially, Explorer).
  • Make sure “Hidden Items” and “File Name Extensions” are visible. On the menu bar, tap View, then on the right of the ribbon check and off the above options.
  • Under Devices and Drives heading, tap on the Local DIsk (C:).
  • Drill down to Users > {your username} > AppData > Local > Packages.
  • Find a folder that will looking something like Comixology.Comics_{random string}. Tap on it to continue drilling down.
  • Continue down this rabbit hole by entering LocalState > {your Comixology username} folders.

In here, you may see folders with numbers for names. These are the comics you’ve downloaded. You will also see a bunch of files with .comx extensions. These are Comixology files for the respective comics (I don’t know what they do).

For the comic book that’s stuck in limbo, you can find it by sorting the folder columns by Date Modified and find the one matching the date/time of when you kicked off the download. If you’re still unsure, you can open the folders and you should see a graphic with the cover of the comic book for easier identification.

When you find the folder, make a note of its name (the number) and delete it.

Then find the corresponding {number}.comx file, and delete it.

Finally, delete the Download.list file found here.

Afterward, re-launch the Comixology app and try re-downloading your comic. It should now come down with (hopefully) little fuss.

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