How to fix Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 11/10

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 the correct ways to solve this issue.

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, and mismanaged DLL files are some of the possible reasons that cause this Update issue

How to fix Update Error 0x80096004

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, clearing unnecessarily stored cache, and temporarily disabling 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.

What does Update Error 0x80096004 mean and what causes it?

It has been reported that Microsoft encounters error 0x80096004 when updating Windows. This error occurs during the download process and can affect Windows-based features as well. There is an error code TRUST_E_CERT_SIGNATURE, indicating that the signature has not been verified.

This error is caused by a corrupt Windows operating system or a damaged certificate store.

The error message is as follows:

There were problems installing some updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help (0x80096004)

Fix – Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 11/10

To fix the Update Error 0x80096004 in Windows 11/10, try the following:

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 If a few of these services get outdated with time, this may chip in the Error 0x80096004 preventing upgradation to the latest release.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 updated any services recently, now is the time to use Windows Update Troubleshooter. 

Here’s how to do it –

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 be 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 –

Scan system file

  • This takes approximately 10-15 minutes to 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 –

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • On the next page, tap the Windows Defender Firewall option.
  • Go to the left pane and click the 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 –

  • Right-click on Start and select Run.
  • Type the 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 from the 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 the Windows+R keys 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 the 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 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 –

  • Click on Start, and type cmd.
  • Right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  • When the UAC window pops in, press Yes.
  • Copy and paste the below line and hit the Enter key.

regsvr32 crypt32.dll

  • 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) visit 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 the following path and find the specific patch number.

For Windows 11

  • Go to Settings > Windows Update > Update history.

For Windows 10

  • 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 on 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. Perform 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 a clean boot state –

  • Open the Run dialog using the Windows+R keys.
  • 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 and head over to the Startup tab.

Update Error 0x80096004

  • Click open the 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.

Soni Aryan

Soni Aryan

Soni Kumari is a tech enthusiast known for her expertise in how-to type topics and Windows troubleshooting articles. She loves exploring how to do things or tweaks in Android, iPhone, and other operating systems.

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