How to Fix System Error 5 Has Occurred on Windows 10, 8, and 7

Bypass this Command Prompt error

Image of a computer screen showing access denied

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If you've ever attempted to run a command on Windows where you needed administrative rights, you've probably come across the system error 5 alert. This can be frustrating, especially when you really need to run the command. Thankfully, it's very easy to fix the system error 5 issue on Windows 10, 8, and 7.

The solutions listed below to bypass the system error 5 has occurred message will work on Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Causes of the 'System 5 Error Has Occurred' Message

Most people are surprised when they see the "System error 5 has occurred" error when using the Windows command prompt, because most commands don't require administrator access. However, if you ever do try to use one of those administrator commands, this problem will arise.

Screenshot of the system error 5 has occurred message

It's the equivalent of an "Access is denied" error. If you try typing a command like "net user," which requires elevated (administrator) access, you're going to see the system error 5 message. This message can occur even when you believe you have administrator rights on the computer.

How to Fix System Error 5 on Windows

The simplest solution for a System 5 error is to run the command prompt as an administrator. Here's how to do that.

This solution assumes you have administrator access on the computer. If you don't, you will see an error when you attempt to open the command prompt as an administrator.

  1. The easiest solution is to launch the command prompt as an administrator. Select the Start button, type "Command Prompt," then right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

    Screenshot of running command prompt as administrator

    There are other methods you can use to launch the command prompt with elevated access.

  2. If you have User Access Control enabled on your system, you'll see a prompt requesting permissions to make changes to the system. Select Yes to continue.

    Screenshot of the User Account Control window
  3. Now, when you type the same command that requires administrator level control, the command will finish without the system error 5 message.

    Screenshot of running administrator command prompt command

Disabling User Access Control

If you don't want to deal with the annoying UAC message box, you can disable User Access Control.

  1. Open the Start menu, type "UAC" into the search bar, then select Change User Access control settings.

    Screenshot of opening UAC settings in Windows
  2. In the User Account Control Settings window, move the slider down to Never notify.

    Screenshot of disabling User Access Control
  3. Select OK to finish. Once User Access Control is disabled, you won't have to deal with the pop-up warning to allow the command prompt access to make changes on your system.