Resolve Error 0x80096004: Troubleshoot and Fix

Concerned man working with a computer.

What is 0x80096004?

The error code 0x80096004 is a Windows-related issue often encountered during the update process. It indicates that the system is unable to validate the Microsoft signature on update files. In simple terms, it’s like a digital ‘ID check’ that fails, preventing your computer from installing the latest updates as a security measure.

Common Causes of 0x80096004

  • Expired or revoked certificates.
  • Misconfigured system time disrupting signature validation.
  • Corrupt update files.
  • Service interruptions within the Windows Update service.

How to Diagnose 0x80096004

Begin by:

  • Checking your system’s date and time for accuracy.
  • Looking at the Windows Update service status.
  • Reviewing the Certificate Manager for invalid certificates.
  • Using the Event Viewer to inspect related error messages.

Step-by-Step Solutions to Fix 0x80096004

Method 1: Synchronize System Time

  • Right-click the clock on the taskbar.
  • Select ‘Adjust date/time’ and ensure settings are correct.

Method 2: Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

  • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Update & Security’ > ‘Troubleshoot’.
  • Click ‘Additional troubleshooters’ and select ‘Windows Update’.

Method 3: Manually Update Certificates

  • Access Certificate Manager by typing ‘certmgr.msc’ in Run dialog (Win+R).
  • Navigate to ‘Trusted Root Certification Authorities’.
  • Right-click and select ‘All Tasks’, then ‘Import’ to manually update certificates.

Method 4: Reset Windows Update Components

  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator by typing ‘cmd’ in Run dialog (Win+R), right-click ‘Command Prompt’ and select ‘Run as administrator’.
  • Stop the Windows Update service by entering net stop wuauserv and press Enter.
  • Stop the Cryptographic service with net stop cryptSvc and press Enter.
  • Stop the BITS service by typing net stop bits and pressing Enter.
  • Stop the MSI Installer service with net stop msiserver and press Enter.
  • Clear the update cache by typing del %WINDIR%\SoftwareDistribution\Download\*.* /s /q and press Enter.
  • Restart the services you previously stopped by typing net start wuauserv, net start cryptSvc, net start bits, and net start msiserver, pressing Enter after each command.

Advanced Troubleshooting

If the above methods fail:

  • Utilize System File Checker by opening Command Prompt as admin and typing ‘sfc /scannow’.
  • Perform a DISM scan with ‘DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth’.

Professional help may be necessary for:

  • Deep system file corruption.
  • Complex Windows Update errors.

Preventing Future 0x80096004 Issues

  • Regularly check and synchronize your system time.
  • Keep Windows certificates up to date.
  • Run Windows Update Troubleshooter after failed updates.
  • Regularly perform system file checks and health scans.

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