Error Code 0x80004005: What It Is and How to Fix It

Nine fixes for this tricky error code

A woman looks at error code 0x80004005 on her laptop.

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Error code 0x80004005 is a type of unspecified Windows error that appears in connection with a number of different problems. This error is often related to Windows Update, but it can also be tied to moving or renaming files and folders, Windows notifications from specific programs, and even working with compressed files and folders.

How Error Code 0x80004005 Appears

Error code 0x80004005 is an unspecified error that can crop up in a lot of different places. Sometimes it shows up on its own, other times it will appear in addition to a longer error message.

When error code 0x80004005 occurs, you'll usually see this message:

Error Code 0x80004005
Unspecified error

If your error message contains more text than the error code number, that text may be helpful in narrowing down the source of your problem. Try searching for that text instead of, or in addition to, error code 0x80004005.

What Causes Error Code 0x80004005?

Error code 0x80004005 is an unspecified Windows error that typically happens when you try to access shared folders or drives, when you use a specific program, or when you experience a problem installing Windows updates.

Here are the most common causes of error code 0x80004005:

  • Problems with Windows Update
  • Problems with shared files or folders
  • Windows notification issues
  • Problems opening or extracting compressed files and folders

How to Fix Error Code 0x80004005

Since this is an unspecified error, there are a lot of different things that can cause it. If you notice it happens whenever you use a specific program, like Microsoft Outlook or a file extraction app, that can help you narrow down the specific fix. Otherwise, you'll have to go through each of the following steps in order.

  1. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter. This error can be caused when an automatic Windows Update fails, or when files downloaded by Windows Update are corrupted. The easiest fix, and the first thing you should try, is to run the automatic troubleshooter.

    To access this troubleshooter, type "troubleshoot" into the taskbar search field, then select Windows Update > Run the troubleshooter. Once the troubleshooter is running, follow the on-screen prompts.

  2. Delete everything in the Windows Update download folder. If the automatic troubleshooter doesn't fix your problem, open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download. With that folder open, select the contents and delete everything.

  3. Run Windows Update. If your problem is related to Windows Update, you may have to finish downloading and installing updates to finalize the fix. After running the troubleshooter, and manually deleting the files from your Windows Update folder, try running Windows Update again.

  4. Delete potentially corrupt temporary files. In some cases, a corrupt temporary file will cause this error code. When that happens, the easiest fix is to simply delete your temporary files. This can be accomplished through the Windows disk cleanup tool, or you can do it manually; type "%temp%" into the taskbar search box. With the temp folder open in File Explorer, select everything and delete it.

  5. Disable the Outlook new mail notification feature. Microsoft Outlook is one program often associated with this error code. In particular, the error code is usually generated when you get new mail, and Outlook notifies you. If you use Outlook, you should try disabling this feature. If that fixes your problem, you'll have to choose between leaving the feature off or switching to a different free email program.

  6. Disable your antivirus software. If you're experiencing error code 0x80004005 when using Microsoft Outlook, and disabling notifications didn't help, turning off your antivirus will sometimes fix the problem. This is due to the antivirus software detecting a false positive in connection to the Microsoft Outlook app.

    We have instructions for disabling Windows Defender and disabling Norton Antivirus. If you use a different antivirus, and you can't figure out how to disable it, contact the developer.

    Check out our list of free antivirus software, if turning off your antivirus seems to fix your problem. Turning your antivirus off can leave you vulnerable, and you may be able to find a free option that works.

  7. Try a different unzip program. Error code 0x80004005 is sometimes associated with file extractor software. When this happens, you'll see the error code when trying to extract or open compressed files, like .zip and .rar files.

    This fix is simple, but it only works if you see this error when interacting with compressed files. If that's the case, download and install an alternative unzip program and try using that.

  8. Re-register jdscript.dll and vbscript.dll. If you still see error 0x80004005 when trying to unzip files after trying several different programs, then re-registering two dynamic link libraries (DLLs) may help. To accomplish this, you'll need to open Command Prompt as an administrator.

    Press Windows key+R to open a Run box, type "cmd," press ctrl+shift+enter, and select Yes if prompted. With the command prompt open, input the following command, then press enter:

    regsvr32 jscript.dll

    Then input the following command and press enter:

    regsvr32 vbscript.dll
  9. Add a key to the Windows Registry. If you suspect you're seeing error 0x80004005 in conjunction with copying or moving files, open regedit and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.

  • If you have a 32 bit system: Create a new DWORD value called LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
  • If you have a 64 bit system: Create a QWORD (64-bit) value called LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy

In both cases, set the value to numeric 1 (on), then select OK. After that, you'll have to restart your computer to see if the problem has been fixed.

Be careful when working with the Windows registry. Don't delete or change anything unless you know what you're doing.