Windows 10: Update error 0x80096004

[German]Occasionally, the installation of updates under Windows terminates with error code 0x80096004. Most recently, it seems to have hit users of Windows 10 Insider Previews. Here is some information about the update error.


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A few weeks ago, a user asked me about the reason for update error 0x80096004 that occurred on Windows 10 system. Currently, Windows 10 Insider Preview testers are facing this issue, as you can read within Microsoft Answers forum. Microsoft’s Jason wrote on December 7, 2017 here:

We’ve received reports of users hitting error code 80096004 when attempting to install a build via Windows Update.

But if you search the Internet, there are many hit on all versions of Windows, on Windows Store updates and also with Office updates.

What does error 0x80096004 mean?

I was a bit surprised when I read various forum posts and the advice that has been given. They recommend to ‘use the update troubleshooter’ for instance. But the story is becoming quite simple, if you know the meaning of the error code. Error code 0x80096004 stands for:

TRUST_E_CERT_SIGNATURE

The signature of the certificate could not be confirmed.

In other words, a broken or invalid certificate is included in the update package, so the client has to discard this download.

In some cases, a foreign virus scanner is responsible for such a thing, which simply damages the package during the inspection after the download. So, if you use a third party antivirus product, you should uninstalling this product and run a vendor’s Clean Tool to clean the files left after uninstalling.


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In rare cases, a broken certificate store or a corrupted Windows could also be the cause of a certificate check failure (the latter could be done using my explanations given within the blog post Check and repair Windows system files and component store).

In most cases, the error is on Microsoft’s infrastructure, because they have not signed the packages correctly with certificates. What you can try in such a case: Download the update package from Microsoft Update Catalog (in the hope, that Microsoft is using a different process to sign these updates) and install it manually. If that fails, you have to wait, until Microsoft corrects the faulty update. 

The problem with Windows 10

The problem comes with auto updates in Windows 10: The client fails with error 0x80096004. But after recovering from this error, Windows Update client tries to download the faulty update package again and again. So you run into an update loop. If you are facing this case, read the following articles.

Similar articles:
How to block Windows 10 updates
Stop Windows from installing updates over and over again


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One Response to Windows 10: Update error 0x80096004

  1. Jean Luc G. says:

    Thank you,

    I had the error when I tried to update Windows 10 Insider Preview to a new release. I changed the channel (Slow to Fast), tried again, and it worked fine. I didn’t have to waste much time with the information from this article. :)

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