Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error on Windows 10 [FULL GUIDE]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Loading Comments
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

fix error 0x80004005

The Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error is one that can pop up for users when renaming, deleting or extracting folders 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 might fix the 0x80004005 Unspecified error in Windows.

Steps to fix Unspecified error 0x80004005

  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 Title via Command Prompt
  6. Extract Compressed Files With Archive Software
  7. Use a different user account

1. Open the File and Folder Troubleshooter

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

This how you can open the File and Folder troubleshooter in Windows:

  • First, open this webpage in your browser.
  • Press the Download button on that page to download the troubleshooter.
  • Then open the File and Folder Troubleshooter from the folder you saved it to.

  • Click Advanced and select the Apply repairs automatically option shown directly below.

  • Then press the Next button.
  • Select one of the options shown in the snapshot below, and then press the Next button.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.

2. Run a System File Checker Scan

The “Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error” might be due to a corrupted system file. As such, the System File Checker, which repairs corrupted system files, might resolve the “Unspecified error.” You can utilize SFC in Windows as follows.

  • Open the Command Prompt as an administrator by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).
  • First, input ‘DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth’ to run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool in Windows.
  • Then run the SFC scan by entering ‘sfc /scannow’ in the Prompt and pressing Return.

  • The SFC scan might take about 20-30 minutes to complete. Restart your desktop or laptop if the scan does repair a file.

If it seems that everything is lost when DISM fails on Windows 10, check out this quick article and get rid of the worries.

scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.

3. Take Ownership of the Folder

The “Error 0x80004005: Unspecified error” can be a folder or file permissions issue. As such, you might need to take ownership of a folder or file to get full access rights for it.

You can do that via the folder’s or file‘s Properties window or with the TakeOwnershipEx program. This is how you can take folder or file ownership with TakeOwnershipEx.

  • Click Download TakeOwnership on this page to save the software’s ZIP file to a folder.
  • Then open the ZIP file, and click Extract all to decompress the ZIP.

  • Open the TakeOwnership setup wizard from the extracted folder to install the program.
  • Open TakeOwnershipEx, and press the Take Ownership button.
  • Then select the folder or file that’s returning the “Unspecified error” message, and press the OK button.

Need additional info on how to take ownership of a file or a folder on Windows 10? Find out more right here.

4. Clean Boot Windows

To ensure there’s no conflicting software (such as anti-virus software), clean boot Windows.

Clean booting Windows will strip down the startup programs and start Windows with minimal drivers. This is how you can clean boot Windows:

  • First, open the Run accessory with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  • Enter ‘msconfig’ in Run and click OK to open the System Information window shown directly below.

  • Select the Selective startup option on the General tab.
  • Deselect the Load startup items check box.
  • Select both the Load system services and Use original boot configuration options.

  • Select the Services tab shown directly below.

  • Then click the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
  • Press the Disable all button.
  • Click the Apply > OK buttons to confirm the newly selected settings.
  • Press the Restart button on the System Configuration dialog box that opens.

  • Then delete, rename or extract required folder or file after the clean booting Windows. Thereafter, you can restore Windows to the standard startup configuration via the System Configuration window.

If you’re interested in how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

For more info about msconfig and how to access it on Windows 10, take a look at this article.

5. Edit the Folder’s Title via Command Prompt

If you’re getting the “Unspecified error” when deleting a folder or editing a folder or file title, try editing its title via the Command Prompt instead.

Some users have confirmed that they could delete the required folder after editing its title with the REN command.

This is how you can change a folder title with the Command Prompt:

  • First, enter ‘Command Prompt’ in the Cortana or Start menu search box.
  • Press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter hotkey to open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Navigate to the folder in Command Prompt by entering cd: followed by its path and pressing the enter key.
  • Enter ‘dir /x’ and press Return to switch the folder and file titles to the 8.3 filename format.

  • Then enter ‘Ren 8.3folder title new folder title’ in the Prompt with the actual 8.3 folder title you need to edit and a new title for it. That command will rename the folder or file as specified.
  • Thereafter, open File Explorer and delete the folder.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.

6. Extract Compressed Files With Archive Software

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

Some users have stated on forums that the “Unspecified error” dialog box window pops when they try to extract, or copy a file out of, a compressed file.

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

  • To resolve the issue, extract the compressed file with a third-party archive utility, such as 7-Zip. Add 7-Zip to Windows by clicking Download on this page.
  • Open the program’s setup wizard to install the software.
  • Then you can extract the file archive by selecting it in 7-Zip and pressing the Extract button.

  • Select a path for the extracted folder by pressing the button.
  • Enter the file archive’s password, and press the OK button.

Need more alternatives to extract you compressed files? Here are the best options available right now!

7. Use a different user account

If the error persists, try using a different user account. This error code might appear due to limited user permission settings. If you haven’t got a second user account already created on your computer, add a new one and then check if the problem persists.

Windows won’t let you add a new account? Don’t worry, this complete guide will help you solve the issue.

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.

However, note that the above resolutions are not for system errors with the 0x80004005 error code that occur under entirely different circumstances.

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


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

Was this page helpful?
Thanks for letting us know!
Get the most from your tech with our daily tips
Tell us why!