August 1, 2021

Are You Seeing the 0x80004005 Unspecified Error? Here’s How to Fix It

When you’re a Windows 10 user, you’re aware that it has several errors here and there that can usually be fixed. However, there are some times when the error that appears makes no sense, and there’s no exact cause as to what triggered that error to appear in the first place. One such error is the Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error. Fortunately, it’s not a common one to appear, but it can be an annoying one because you’re not even sure what’s causing it.

That’s why in this article, we’ll give you a few tips on how to fix this error—whether you’re using Windows 10, 8, or 7.

What Is This Error All About?

As mentioned, out of all the errors and issues that plague Windows users, Error 0x80004005 is one of the rarer ones. It may appear on different Windows operating systems, from Windows XP through Windows 10. So, pretty much no Windows user is exempt from it. Microsoft has labeled this error as an ‘unspecified error’ because it appears seemingly out of nowhere with no reason and explanation.

From our understanding, this error typically appears when there’s an issue with the Windows Product Activation (WPA) system. When this shows up, you will no longer be able to access certain parts, programs, or services. In fact, some users have experienced when their entire system froze.

What Are the Possible Causes?

Unfortunately, there’s no definite cause as to why this error appears. What makes this more confusing is the fact that Error 0x80004005 is also triggered in different scenarios. For instance, it could show up when you’re trying to launch a program or using Outlook. This makes it harder to pinpoint a cause.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Fix It

Fortunately, hope isn’t lost if you do encounter this program. There are possible ways to fix this error, although it depends on the situation. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common situations where you’ll most likely encounter this error along with possible fixes.

While Opening a Program

It’s possible to experience this error when you’re trying to install a program or even launch it. When this happens, it’s highly likely that it’s being caused by a malfunctioning Registry Key. So, to fix the issue, you need to inspect your Registry Key and fix any issues.

Edit the Registry

1. Launch the Registry Key program by pressing Windows key + R key together and typing in regedit into the dialog box.

2. On the Registry Editor, head over to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE. From there, navigate to Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > AppCompatFlags > Layers.

3. Check if the Registry Key is present. If so, go ahead and delete it.

4. Restart your computer. Once it’s back on, check if the issue is gone or not. If it still persists, there’s probably another reason why you’re seeing the error; otherwise, deleting the Registry Key as mentioned above will most likely fix the error.

It’s worth noting that you should never mess with the Registry Key if there’s no need to or if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

While Using Outlook

Even doing minor things like checking your Outlook can cause this error to appear. When this happens, you won’t be able to send or receive emails. In this case, we have two possible solutions you can try.

Temporarily Disable Your Anti-Virus

First, you can try disabling your anti-virus program temporarily—that is, if you use one. It’s possible that your anti-virus program has created a false report about your Outlook being threat-positive. To get rid of the issue so you can start emailing again, go ahead and turn off your anti-virus for the time being.

After doing so, check if the problem still persists. Make sure that you enable the program again once you’re done checking because your desktop or laptop will be vulnerable to malware and virus attacks if your anti-virus is turned off for a long time.

Turn off Notifications for New Mail

If the above technique didn’t work, you can also try disabling your notifications for new mail received. You see, there’s a tendency for Outlook’s notification feature to malfunction, which can consequently trigger the error to appear. So, go ahead and try turning off notifications and see if it fixes the problem.

1. To do so, launch Outlook and click on the Tools menu.

2. Tap on Options and then Preferences.

3. Select the Mail option then uncheck the box beside ‘Display a Desktop alert.’

3. Doing so should stop your Outlook from receiving notifications. Tap on OK to save the changes you’ve made.

While Multi-Tasking

You might also see this error when you’re doing several things at the same time. From our understanding, it’s possible that your PC has corrupt .dll files, which is causing this error to appear. As such, you need to clean up your files and get rid of the ones that’s causing the issue.

Use the Disk Cleanup Tool

1. Go to your desktop or laptop’s This PC folder and right-click on the disk you want to clean up.

2. Select Properties and tap on Disk Cleanup.

3. Select Temporary Internet Files and then choose OK. This should trigger your PC to start cleaning out your files.

4. Restart your device and the error should be resolved.


While Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error may be annoying, there’s no need to fret because you can still fix it. Whenever you’re experiencing this issue, identify the situation and then choose the solution that works for that particular situation. The error should be resolved in no time!

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