How to fix Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 10

While attempting to update the existing build version of Windows 10, we often come across different Update issues. Today, in this article, we discuss one such bug – Update Error 0x80096004, the possible reasons, and a few ways to get rid of this trouble. While receiving this error message, you won’t be able to update Windows 10 PC to its latest cumulative updates. The presence of corrupt Update components/ system files, malware, temporary cache inside the Windows Store, mismanaged DLL files are some of the possible reasons that cause this Update issue

To fix the Error 0x80096004 or any other update related issues, you must correct the damaged files using either SFC or update troubleshooter tools. Reset Windows Store, Clear unnecessarily stored cache, and temporarily disable the Firewall are some advanced tweaks to deal with this error. In case, you are still unable to update your operating system, try either Update assistant or clean boot. Let’s explore these solutions in detail –

Fix – Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 10

To fix the Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 10, use the following workarounds –

1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

The core Windows services become obsolete as time passes by. If a few of these services get outdated with time, this may chip in the Error 0x80096004 preventing upgradation to the latest release. So basically, if you haven’t update any services recently, now is the time using Windows Update Troubleshooter. 

Here’s how to do –

  • Press Win and S keys together and type Control Panel in the text box.
  • From the appeared list, select the Troubleshooting option.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Select System and Security thereupon “fix problems with Windows update“.
  • On the next screen, tap the Next button and let this Troubleshooter auto-resolve any errors. 

Windows Update Troubleshooter

  • Usually, this will fix the underlying cause and will report the same. Restart your PC and this error should disappear after the next login.

However, if the error message re-appears, proceed to the next solution. 

2. Use System File Checker

If the troubleshooter doesn’t solve this issue, there may lie some corrupt system files. To get rid of the error code 0x80096004, one should search the entire PC for any missing/damaged files and repair the same (if found). Here’s how to correct such files using SFC –

  • Right-click on the Taskbar and click Task manager using the shortcut menu.
  • Head over to the File Menu and choose Run new task.
  • Type cmd (Admin) at the void and press the Enter key.
  • On the elevated console, type sfc /scannow and press Enter again.

Scan system file

  • This takes approximately 10-15 minutes for completion, so wait accordingly.
  • Once over, Restart your computer and check whether you can install new cumulative updates or not.

3. Disable the Firewall or Antivirus

The firewall is a security app that blocks installing third-party applications. Sometimes, a bug inside the Firewall may also prohibit the genuine upgradation to the new releases. To counter this error, you should temporarily disable the Firewall using the below steps –

  • Jointly press Win and R shortcut keys to open the Run dialog.
  • Type Control Panel and press the Enter key.
  • On the next window, tap the Windows Defender Firewall option.
  • Go to the left pane and click Turn Windows Defender Firewall On or Off link.
  • Now, mark the “Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)” box in both sections i.e. private as well as public network settings.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Click OK to confirm the changes and Reboot your PC.
  • From the next login, check for any pending updates and install the same.

4. Reset Windows Store

The existing cache inside the Windows Store may also prevent the update process and cause error 0x80096004 while installing new patches. Resetting this app is worth trying as this deletes the stored cache. Just follow the below steps –

  • Press Win and X shortcut to launch the Power Menu.
  • Among the appeared list of options, click Run.
  • Type WSReset.exe command and press the Enter key.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • This code will immediately reset the Windows Store.

Try updating the Windows 10 OS again. If it still fails, go to the next fixes –

5. Delete the items of SoftwareDistribution folder

When the SoftwareDistribution folder gets full of unnecessary files or documents, this also results in the update error 0x80096004. We suggest deleting its contents or renaming the folder to SoftwareDistribution.old. Here are the steps to follow –

  • Press Win and R shortcut to open the Run dialog.
  • Here in the text bar, type the services.msc and hit the OK button.
  • When the Services page comes up, scroll down and locate the below services –
Windows Update service
Background Intelligent Transfer service
Cryptographic services
  • Double click on each one of these services and hit the Stop button.

Delete cache under SoftwareDistribution folder

  • Afterward, press Win and E shortcut to open the File Explorer.
  • Navigate to C:\\Windows\\SoftwareDistribution\ and delete all the contents inside this directory.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Go back to the Services window and restart the services that you have stopped earlier.

Windows Update service, Background Intelligent Transfer service, and Cryptographic services.

  • After completing the above task, Restart your system to save the changes made so far.

6. Re-register the crypt32.dl file

The Crypt32.dll file comprises lots of Certificates and Cryptographic Messaging functions. As per a few users, re-registering this module may fix the update error 0x80096004. All you need is to follow the below procedure –

  • Do the click on the Win icon and start typing cmd in the text bar.
  • Make a right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  • When the UAC window pops in, press Yes.
  • On the elevated console, copy/paste regsvr32 crypt32.dll and hit the Enter key.
  • Doing so will re-register the crypt32.dll file on the system.
  • Just Reboot your PC once this is over and download/install any pending updates.

7. Download the essential updates manually

If you haven’t updated your operating system for a long time, the automatic process simply fails to update your PC. In such cases, one should manually download the standalone package (32-bit or 64-bit) visiting the Update Catalog and install the same. This is a pretty simple procedure, just follow the below steps –

Note: Just note down the latest cumulative update KB number that is failing time and again. To do so, browse to the following path and find the specific patch number.

 Settings-> Update & Security-> View update History

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Once found, visit Microsoft’s official website and type the noted KB number followed by the Enter key.
  • This will land you to the list of recent releases, pick the latest one suitable based on your PC’s architecture. 
  • Hit the Download button next to the cumulative update and after completion, apply it to your computer. 

8. Install Windows Updates in Clean Boot State

Since the clean boot uses a limited number of drivers to start the PC, disable all apps and services that are not by Microsoft and try updating Windows. This method will surely work, here’s how to use clean boot state –

  • Launch the Run dialog using Win and R shortcut.
  • In the text area, type msconfig and hit the OK button.
  • Tap the Services tab and mark the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox.
  • Next, click Disable all henceforth head over to the Startup tab.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Click open Task Manager link and disable all the running applications sequentially.
  • Lastly, Restart your PC and install any pending updates

We hope, this article helps to resolve the update error 0x80096004 on your Windows 10 device.