Error 0x80004005: How to fix it for good on Windows 10 & 11

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 0x80004005: Unspecified error message usually appears if you don't have the required privileges.
  • In the case the error appears when working with file archives, use specialized software.
  • Running a system scan is a great way to prevent all sorts of errors from appearing.
0x80004005 Unspecified error windows 10 11
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The Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error can pop up for users when working with files or directories in File Explorer.

When the error occurs, a dialog box window pops up stating: An unexpected error is keeping you from renaming (or copying or deleting) the folder.

Has that error message window popped up on your desktop? If so, you’ve come to the right place! These are a few resolutions that will fix this issue on Windows 10 and 11.

Why does error 0x80004005 appear?

This issue usually appears in File Explorer when working with certain files or folders. Many reported this issue when trying to move or rename files.

Problems can also occur when you to try open or extract a file archive, but they can be easily fixed.

How does error 0x80004005 affect my PC?

This depends on which files are affected by this issue. If the message appears when you try to move or rename a file that you rarely access, it doesn’t affect your daily activities too much.

However, if the files that you use on an everyday basis are affected, you might have a larger problem. Fortunately, there are ways to fix it.

How can I fix error code 0x80004005: Unspecified error in Windows 10/11?

  1. Open the File and Folder Troubleshooter
  2. Run a System File Checker scan
  3. Take ownership of the folder
  4. Clean boot Windows
  5. Edit the folder’s name in PowerShell
  6. Extract compressed files with archiver software
  7. Use a different user account

1. Open the File and Folder Troubleshooter

  1. Download Windows file and folder troubleshooter.
  2. Then open the File and Folder Troubleshooter from the folder you saved it to.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Apply repairs automatically option shown directly below.
  4. Then press the Next button.
  5. Select one of the options shown in the snapshot below, and then press the Next button.

Microsoft’s File and Folder Troubleshooter might come in handy for fixing the Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error. The troubleshooter can fix system errors related to copying, deleting, and editing folder and file titles.

In case you encounter any issues with it, check our guide on troubleshooter stops before completing the process to see how to fix that problem.

2. Run a System File Checker scan

  1. Press Windows key + X and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Run the following command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. Now run this command: sfc /scannow
  4. The SFC scan might take about 20-30 minutes to complete. Restart your desktop or laptop if the scan does repair a file.

In case you’re having issues completing this process, check our guide on what to do if DISM fails on your PC.

3. Take ownership of the folder

  1. Locate the directory that is giving you this error. Right-click it and choose Properties.
  2. Navigate to the Security section and click on Advanced.
  3. Click on Change next to the Owner name.
  4. In the Enter the object name to select enter the name of your user account. Click on Check names and OK.
  5. Now check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and click on Apply and OK.

For more information, check our guide on how to take ownership of a file or folder on Windows 10.

4. Clean boot Windows

  1. First, open the Run accessory with the Windows key + R hotkey and enter msconfig.
  2. Select the Selective startup option on the General tab. Deselect the Load startup items checkbox.
  3. Navigate to the Services tab and click the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox. Press the Disable all button. Now click Apply and OK.
  4. Press the Restart button on the System Configuration dialog box that opens.

After doing that, check if the problem is still there. If you want, you can enable services one by one until you manage to find the cause of the problem.

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For more information on this subject, check our guide on how to remove startup apps.

5. Edit the folder’s name via PowerShell

  1. Press Windows key + X and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Navigate to the folder by using the cd command. In our example we used this command:
    cd C:\Users\WindowsReport\Music\
  3. Now use the ren command like this: ren WindowsReport WindowsReport_new
  4. After renaming the directory, check if the problem is resolved.

6. Extract compressed files with archiver software

This resolution is more specifically for fixing the Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error when extracting file archives, such as ZIP.

That usually happens when the ZIP, or another archive format, includes a password. Consequently, Windows doesn’t recognize the encrypted archive file.

To circumvent this limitation, it’s advised to use third-party archiver software, such as WinZip for example.

7. Use a different user account

  1. Press Windows key + S and enter users. Select Add, edit, or remove other users.
  2. Select Add someone else to this PC.
  3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  4. Select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  5. Enter the desired user name for the new account.
  6. Switch to the new account and check if the problem is resolved.

How can I fix error code 0x80004005: Unspecified error in Windows 11?

Disable your antivirus

  1. Press Windows key + S and type defender. Select Windows Security from the list of results.
  2. Navigate to Virus & threat protection and click on Manage settings.
  3. Disable Real-time protection.

Keep in mind that the steps mentioned in this solution apply only to Windows Defender. If you’re using a different antivirus, you’ll have to use different methods to disable it.

Note icon
NOTE
Disabling your antivirus isn’t advised as a long-term solution, so be sure to turn it back on.

Can malware cause error 0x80004005?

It’s unlikely that malware is causing this message to appear. It’s more likely don’t have the necessary permissions to modify the file.

If you just want to be sure, you can always perform a full system scan and make sure that there’s no malware present on your PC.

What versions of Windows are affected by error 0x80004005?

This is a pretty common error and it has been present on multiple versions. During our research, we found this problem on Windows 7, but it’s possible that older editions had this issue as well.

Newer versions also suffer from it, but you should be able to fix this problem with ease by using the solutions from this guide.

Some of those resolutions will probably fix the 0x80004005 Unspecified error that pops up when users delete, rename, copy or extract folders and files within File Explorer.

In case the issue is still there, be sure to visit our guide on what to do if Windows won’t let you access your files.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Unspecified error is one that can pop up when you’re trying to rename, delete, or extract folders in File Explorer. When the error occurs, you will see the message: An unexpected error is keeping you from renaming (or copying or deleting) the folder.

  • The first recommended step, in this case, is to run a File and Folder Troubleshooter. Read about this solution and more in our full fix guide for error 0x80004005.

  • If you see the message A file error has occurred, this means the file is corrupted and you need to repair it. In such a situation, you can repair it manually or with the help of a professional recovery solution.