Resolve Error 0x80096002: Troubleshoot and Fix

Man sitting in front of a computer, considering what steps to take next.

What is 0x80096002?

Error code 0x80096002 is a Windows system notification that typically arises when the operating system encounters issues with the Microsoft Trusted Root Certificate. This error often appears during the installation of new applications or Windows updates, indicating the system’s inability to trust the signature of the software being installed.

Common Causes of 0x80096002

  • Failure in the validation of digital signatures.
  • Outdated or corrupted system certificates.
  • Misconfiguration of system settings.
  • Interruption of security or update services.
  • Incomplete or improper software uninstallation that affects system trust.

How to Diagnose 0x80096002

  • Begin by verifying system date and time accuracy, as incorrect settings may lead to certificate validation failure.
  • Proceed to assess the system update history for failed updates or installations.
  • Access the Event Viewer by pressing Win + R, typing ‘eventvwr.msc’, and pressing Enter to examine detailed error reports.
  • Utilize the System File Checker (SFC) to inspect the integrity of Windows system files. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges, type ‘sfc /scannow’, and hit Enter. Open Command Prompt by entering ‘cmd’ into the Start menu search box, right click and select ‘run as administrator’.

Step-by-Step Solutions to Fix 0x80096002

Method 1: Synchronize Date and Time Settings

  • Access ‘Settings’ > ‘Time & Language’.
  • Check and adjust the date, time, and timezone if necessary.
  • Activate ‘Set time automatically’ and ‘Set time zone automatically’ for future synchronization.

Method 2: Manually Update Trusted Root Certificates

  • If a specific application installation triggers the error, identify and download the required trusted root certificate from a verified source.
  • Install the certificate by opening the downloaded file and following the installation prompts.

Method 3: Clear and Reset the Windows Update Components

  • Disable the Windows Update service by typing ‘services.msc’ into the search bar, locating ‘Windows Update’, right-clicking, and selecting ‘Stop’.
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete the folder’s contents to clear the update cache.
  • Reactivate the Windows Update service by returning to ‘services.msc’, right-clicking on ‘Windows Update’, and selecting ‘Start’.

Method 4: Repair Corrupted System Files with DISM

  • Launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Input ‘DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth’ and press Enter to repair the system image.

Advanced Troubleshooting

Engage in advanced troubleshooting by:

  • Updating device drivers via Device Manager. Access it by right-clicking ‘This PC’, selecting ‘Manage’, and then ‘Device Manager’.
  • Using the Deployment Image Service and Management Tool (DISM) to address system corruption.

Seek professional aid for:

  • Navigating complex Windows Registry issues.
  • Resolving deep-seated system conflicts.

Preventing Future 0x80096002 Issues

  • Regularly perform system updates and maintain current drivers.
  • Utilize robust antivirus solutions to safeguard file integrity.
  • Conduct consistent backups of critical data and registry settings.
  • Monitor system performance and address abnormalities without delay.

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