The Comixology Windows app is an unfortunate disaster. What started off as a nice offline reader for the Comixology library has suffered from lack of any new features (like simple organization of owned content), and worse, serious regressions in functionality. The worst, and most popular “issue” that damn near everyone is facing, is the sudden inability to read downloaded content. For whatever reason, this issue has plagued me all week when trying to read Daredevil: Born Again. Sometimes, trying to re-download the content causes the app to get stuck and show no progress (and sometimes crash). Most people solve the issue by uninstalling the app, reinstalling, and then re-downloading their entire library.
That sucks. But there’s a slightly less sucky way.
The most common symptom is when trying to click on Read causes a black screen and a progress notification that never stops. Another symptom is that your list of actively downloading content shows no progress. Today, the symptom is my comic no longer appears on device (despite the fact that I was just reading yesterday).
Either click on the X in the upper right corner, or if on a touch device you can drag the window to the bottom of the screen. Wait for it to spin before dropping (this will actually shut it down as opposed to suspending the app).
For some reason, the root of the issue is that some metadata for the comic(s) is corrupted. I haven’t figured out exactly what, but clearing the files for the comic appears to work. So open File Explorer, and navigate to the %LOCALAPPDATA% folder. This is the folder that contains all of your Windows Store apps. Navigate to the folder that starts with “comiXology.Comics”.
Then go into “LocalState”, and then the folder with your account name. This is the folder that contains the files for your comics.
You’ll notice that the files are numbered with an ID, which makes it tricky to identify your comic. But you’ll also notice that for each ID folder, there is an associate ID.comx file. Navigating into each ID folder reveals a bunch of JPGs, which are the pages for the comic. One of the JPGs will the cover art. Make sure you enable thumbnails on that folder so that you can identify the cover image to locate your bad comic. Note the ID of the folder that you are in.
At this point, simply delete the folder and .comx file assocated with the ID you determined in #3 above.
When you restart Comixology, you should be able to successfully re-download the comic and enjoy.
BUT a few notes
- Once you start a download, leave the Comixology app running and active until the download is complete. I’ve noticed that I’ve ended up in this ‘stuck’ state if I switched apps or if the device went to sleep.
- Download one comic at a time. I also noticed that trying to download more than 1 or 2 comics at a time causes bad mojo. It’s very lame, but play it safe and just download one at a time.
It’s terrible that us folks on Windows with a large Comixology library are stuck with this terrible experience if we want to read offline. And since not all of my comics in my collection have backup PDF or CBRs available for download, I’m completely stuck. I really hope Comixology gets their shit together and invests some time in the Windows 10 timeframe to build a more stable universal app. Or even make the app open source so that others with time could build something that actually works.