Error code 5

In the world of computing, error codes are like cryptic messages that can leave you scratching your head. Among these, “Error Code 5” is a common occurrence that has plagued users across various platforms and software. Whether you encounter it during software installation, system startup, or while using an application, Error Code 5 can be frustrating and disruptive.

Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will unravel the mysteries of Error Code 5. We will delve into the root causes of this error, explore its manifestations, and provide step-by-step solutions to get your system back on track. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to tackle Error Code 5 confidently.

Understanding Error Code 5

Error Code 5, often referred to as “Access Denied,” is a generic error message that indicates a permission issue within your operating system. It typically occurs when a user or a program attempts to access a file, folder, or resource without the necessary permissions. This error can manifest in various forms, such as “Error 5: Access is Denied” or “Windows could not start the service on Local Computer Error 5.”

Error code 5

Common Causes of Error Code 5

To effectively troubleshoot Error Code 5, it’s essential to understand the underlying causes. Here are some common culprits:

  1. Insufficient Permissions: This is the primary cause. If you don’t have the required permissions to access a file or perform a specific action, Error Code 5 will rear its head.
  2. Corrupted User Account: If your user account is corrupted, it may result in access issues and trigger Error Code 5.
  3. Virus or Malware Infection: Malicious software can manipulate permissions and lead to access denied errors.
  4. Incomplete Installation: If a program or software isn’t installed correctly, it can generate Error Code 5 when trying to run it.
  5. Registry Errors: Issues within the Windows registry can disrupt system operations and cause this error.

How to fix error code 5?

Now that we’ve identified the potential causes, let’s explore solutions for Error Code 5:

Fix 1: Run as Administrator

One of the quickest and simplest ways to address Error Code 5, also known as “Access Denied,” is to run the problematic program or file as an administrator. This action grants the program elevated privileges, allowing it to bypass certain permission restrictions that might be causing the error. Here are the detailed steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Identify the Program or File: Begin by identifying the specific program or file that is triggering Error Code 5. This error typically occurs when attempting to execute a particular application or access a specific file or folder.
  • Step 2: Locate the Program or File: Navigate to the location of the program or file. It might be on your desktop, in a folder, or within the Start menu. Right-click on the program or file icon, but do not open it yet.
  • Step 3: Choose Run as Administrator: In the context menu that appears after right-clicking, you will see several options. Look for and click on the “Run as administrator” option. This action tells the operating system to execute the program with elevated privileges.
  • Step 4: Confirm User Account Control (UAC) Prompt: Depending on your Windows version and UAC settings, you may receive a User Account Control prompt asking for confirmation. This prompt is a security measure to ensure you want to run the program with elevated privileges. Click “Yes” to proceed.
  • Step 5: Test the Program or File: After confirming the UAC prompt, the program or file will launch with administrator privileges. Test it to see if Error Code 5 persists. If the program or file runs without any issues, you’ve successfully resolved the problem.
  • Step 6: Create a Shortcut: If you frequently need to run the program with administrator privileges, you can create a shortcut on your desktop that always opens it this way. To do this, right-click on the program or file, choose “Send to,” and select “Desktop (create shortcut).” Now, you can simply double-click this shortcut whenever you need to run the program as an administrator.

By following these steps and running the program or file as an administrator, you can often bypass the permission restrictions causing Error Code 5. However, if the error persists, proceed to explore other solutions mentioned in this guide to effectively resolve the issue and regain access to your desired resources.

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Fix 2: Check and Modify Permissions

If running the program as an administrator didn’t resolve Error Code 5, the issue may be related to file or folder permissions. This fix involves checking and modifying permissions to ensure you have the necessary access rights to the problematic resource. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Identify the Problematic File or Folder: Before you can adjust permissions, identify the specific file or folder that is triggering Error Code 5.
  • Step 2: Right-Click on the File or Folder: Once you’ve located the file or folder, right-click on it to open the context menu.
  • Step 3: Select Properties: From the context menu, select “Properties.” This will open a new window with various tabs.
  • Step 4: Navigate to the “Security” Tab: In the Properties window, navigate to the “Security” tab. Here, you’ll see a list of users and groups with their corresponding permissions.
  • Step 5: Check Your User Account’s Permissions: In the “Group or user names” section, find your user account (or the account you’re using). Check the permissions listed in the “Permissions for [Your Username]” box. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to access the file or folder. These permissions may include “Full control,” “Modify,” “Read & execute,” “List folder contents,” “Read,” and “Write.”
  • Step 6: Modify Permissions: If your user account doesn’t have the required permissions, you’ll need to modify them. To do this, click the “Edit” button.
  • Step 7: Add Your User Account: In the “Permissions for [Your Username]” window, click “Add.” This will open a new window where you can enter your username.
  • Step 8: Assign Permissions: After adding your user account, select it from the list, and in the “Permissions” section, check the permissions you need. If you’re unsure, granting “Full control” is the most permissive option. Click “OK” to save the changes.
  • Step 9: Apply Changes: Back in the “Security” tab of the Properties window, make sure your user account is selected and click “Apply” to apply the new permissions. You may need to confirm any UAC prompts.
  • Step 10: Test Access: Try accessing the file or folder again. Error Code 5 should no longer be an issue if the permissions were the root cause.
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By meticulously following these steps and ensuring you have the appropriate permissions, you can often resolve Error Code 5 related to access denied errors. If the error persists, explore the other solutions provided in this guide to address the issue comprehensively and regain access to the desired resource.

Fix 3: Scan for Malware and Viruses

Error Code 5 can sometimes be a result of malicious software or viruses interfering with your system’s permissions. To address this, it’s crucial to perform a thorough scan and removal of any potential threats. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Update Your Antivirus Software: Ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. This ensures it can detect the most recent threats.
  • Step 2: Perform a Full System Scan: Initiate a full system scan using your antivirus software. This scan will search for malware and viruses throughout your entire system, including files, folders, and the Windows registry.
  • Step 3: Quarantine or Remove Detected Threats: If your antivirus software detects any threats during the scan, follow its recommendations to quarantine or remove them. Quarantining isolates the threat, while removal permanently deletes it from your system.
  • Step 4: Restart Your Computer: After removing or quarantining any threats, restart your computer. This step ensures that any active malware or viruses are completely eradicated from memory.
  • Step 5: Reattempt the Problematic Task: Once your computer is back up, try running the program or accessing the file that was previously triggering Error Code 5. With malware and viruses eliminated, the error should no longer occur.
  • Step 6: Prevent Future Infections: To minimize the risk of future infections, ensure your antivirus software is set to run regular scheduled scans and that your operating system and software are always kept up-to-date with security patches. Additionally, exercise caution when downloading files or clicking on links, as these can be sources of malware.

By following these steps, you can effectively address Error Code 5 caused by malware or viruses, ensuring your system is free from potential threats and your files and programs can be accessed without hindrance. If the error persists, continue exploring the other solutions provided in this guide to fully resolve the issue and maintain a secure computing environment.

Fix 4: Create a New User Account

If Error Code 5 continues to be a persistent issue, it’s possible that your user account has become corrupted. In such cases, creating a new user account can often resolve the problem. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Access User Account Settings

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Control Panel.” Press Enter to open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, click on “User Accounts” or “User Accounts and Family Safety,” depending on your Windows version.

Step 2: Create a New User Account

  1. In the User Accounts section, click on “Add or remove user accounts.”
  2. Next, click on “Create a new account.”
  3. Enter a name for your new account. You can choose to make it an Administrator account or a Standard User account. For troubleshooting purposes, it’s often best to create an Administrator account.
  4. Click “Create Account” to proceed.

Step 3: Log into the New Account

  1. Log out of your current user account.
  2. On the Windows login screen, select the newly created account.
  3. Enter the necessary login credentials and press Enter to log in.

Step 4: Test for Error Code 5

After logging into the new account, try running the program or accessing the file that was previously triggering Error Code 5. If the error doesn’t occur in the new account, it indicates that your original user account might be corrupted.

Step 5: Transfer Files and Settings

If the new account resolves the issue and you want to continue using it, you can transfer your files and settings from the old account to the new one. Here’s a basic outline of how to do it:

  1. Log back into your old account.
  2. Back up any important files and settings to an external storage device or cloud storage.
  3. Log into the new account.
  4. Copy the files from the backup to your new account’s folders.
  5. Reconfigure your settings in the new account to match your preferences.

By creating a new user account, you can often circumvent user profile corruption that may be causing Error Code 5. If the error persists, consider exploring the other solutions provided in this guide to ensure a complete resolution and a smooth computing experience.

Fix 5: Repair or Reinstall the Software

If Error Code 5 occurs while running a specific program, it’s possible that the software itself is the root of the problem. In such cases, repairing or reinstalling the software can often resolve the issue. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Uninstall the Problematic Software

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Control Panel.” Press Enter to open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, click on “Programs” or “Programs and Features,” depending on your Windows version.
  3. Locate the software that’s causing Error Code 5 in the list of installed programs.
  4. Click on the software to select it, then click the “Uninstall” button.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the software.

Step 2: Restart Your Computer

After uninstalling the problematic software, restart your computer to ensure any remnants of the program are completely removed from memory.

Step 3: Download the Latest Version

Visit the official website or a trusted source to download the latest version of the software you just uninstalled. It’s essential to download it from a reputable source to avoid potential malware.

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Step 4: Install the Software

  1. Run the installer for the software you downloaded.
  2. Follow the installation instructions, ensuring you choose the correct installation path and options.
  3. Complete the installation process.

Step 5: Test the Software

After reinstalling the software, try running it to see if Error Code 5 persists. In most cases, this fresh installation will resolve any issues that were present in the previous version.

Step 6: Check for Updates

Once the software is running without errors, check for any available updates. Software updates often include bug fixes and improvements that can further enhance stability.

By following these steps, you can effectively address Error Code 5 caused by issues with a specific program. However, if the error continues to occur, explore the other solutions provided in this guide to comprehensively troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Fix 6: Run System File Checker (SFC)

When Error Code 5 persists and you suspect system file corruption is the culprit, using the System File Checker (SFC) tool can help repair damaged or missing system files. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges

  1. Press the Windows key and type “cmd.”
  2. Right-click on “Command Prompt” in the search results.
  3. Select “Run as administrator” to open Command Prompt with elevated privileges.

Step 2: Run the SFC Scan

  1. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:

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sfc /scannow

This command instructs the SFC tool to scan your system for corrupted files and attempt to repair them.

  1. The scanning process may take some time, so be patient and let it run to completion.

Step 3: Review the Scan Results

After the scan finishes, you’ll receive a message regarding the results:

  • If no issues are found, you’ll see a message stating, “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.”
  • If issues are found and successfully repaired, you’ll see a message stating, “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.”
  • If SFC cannot repair some files, you’ll see a message stating, “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.” In this case, additional steps may be needed.

Step 4: Perform Additional Repairs (If Necessary)

If SFC cannot repair some files, you may need to take further action:

  1. Search online for the specific error messages or file names mentioned in the SFC scan results. This can provide guidance on how to manually replace or repair the corrupted files.
  2. Use the “DISM” (Deployment Image Service and Management Tool) to repair the Windows image. In Command Prompt with administrator privileges, run the following command:

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DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This command will attempt to restore your Windows image using Windows Update as a source for files. It may take some time to complete.

  1. After running DISM, rerun the SFC scan using the same “sfc /scannow” command as before. This can sometimes resolve issues that were previously unable to be fixed.

Step 5: Reboot Your Computer

After performing the necessary repairs, restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

By running the SFC tool and addressing any system file corruption, you can often resolve Error Code 5 caused by damaged or missing Windows files. If the error persists, continue exploring the other solutions provided in this guide to ensure a comprehensive resolution to the issue.

Fix 7: Check Group Policy Settings

If Error Code 5 continues to disrupt your system, it may be due to Group Policy settings that restrict access to certain resources. This fix involves reviewing and modifying these settings, but please note that it’s essential to exercise caution, especially if your computer is connected to a network domain. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Local Group Policy Editor

  1. Press the Windows key and type “gpedit.msc” in the search bar.
  2. Right-click on “gpedit.msc” in the search results.
  3. Select “Run as administrator” to open the Local Group Policy Editor with elevated privileges.

Step 2: Navigate to the Appropriate Policy

  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the following location:

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Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options

Step 3: Adjust the Appropriate Policy

  1. Look through the list of security policies on the right-hand side of the window. You are searching for any policies that might be affecting the resource or action that’s causing Error Code 5.
  2. Right-click on a policy that appears relevant to your issue and select “Properties.”
  3. In the policy’s properties window, you can choose to either “Enable” or “Disable” the policy, depending on your requirements. Make sure to read the policy description carefully and consult with your network administrator if necessary.

Step 4: Test for Error Code 5

After making changes to the Group Policy settings, try running the program or accessing the resource that previously triggered Error Code 5. If the error no longer occurs, you have successfully addressed the issue related to Group Policy settings.

Step 5: Document Changes (If Necessary)

If you made changes to the Group Policy settings, it’s essential to document these changes for future reference. This can help you troubleshoot similar issues and ensure you maintain a consistent network configuration.

By reviewing and modifying Group Policy settings, you can often resolve Error Code 5 caused by access restrictions imposed by your network or system policies. However, if the error persists, continue exploring the other solutions provided in this guide to comprehensively troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Fix 8: Update Windows for Security and Stability

Outdated Windows operating systems can have unresolved bugs and security vulnerabilities that may lead to errors like Error Code 5. Ensuring that your Windows system is up to date with the latest patches and updates is crucial. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Check for Updates

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Windows Update” in the search bar. Press Enter to open the Windows Update settings.
  2. In the Windows Update settings, click on “Check for updates.” Windows will search for available updates.

Step 2: Download and Install Updates

  1. If updates are available, Windows will list them as “Important updates” and “Optional updates.” Click on “Install” to download and install them.
  2. You may be prompted to restart your computer to complete the update process. If so, save any work and restart your computer.
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Step 3: Enable Automatic Updates (Optional)

To ensure your system stays up to date automatically, you can enable automatic updates:

  1. In the Windows Update settings, click on “Change active hours.”
  2. Set the active hours during which your computer can restart to install updates automatically.
  3. Scroll down and under “Windows Update,” click on “Advanced options.”
  4. In the “Advanced options” window, under “Pause updates,” ensure no updates are paused.
  5. Under “Choose when updates are installed,” select “Automatic (recommended).”

Step 4: Test for Error Code 5

After updating Windows, test whether the program or action that was previously triggering Error Code 5 now runs without any issues. Regularly keeping your system updated can resolve known bugs and security vulnerabilities, which may have been contributing to the error.

Step 5: Maintain Regular Updates

It’s crucial to maintain a routine of checking for and installing Windows updates. Microsoft regularly releases patches and fixes to improve system stability and security.

By ensuring your Windows operating system is up to date, you can address underlying issues that may have been causing Error Code 5. If the error persists, continue exploring the other solutions provided in this guide to comprehensively resolve the issue and enjoy a more stable and secure computing experience.

Preventing Error Code 5: Proactive Tips

Prevention is often the best strategy to avoid encountering Error Code 5 in the first place. Here are some proactive tips to help you minimize the chances of facing this error:

  • 1. Regularly Update Your Operating System and Software: Keeping your Windows operating system and installed software up to date ensures that you have the latest bug fixes, security patches, and improvements.
  • 2. Use Reliable Antivirus Software: Install reputable antivirus and antimalware software to protect your system from malicious threats that could manipulate permissions and trigger errors.
  • 3. Be Cautious with Downloads and Links: Exercise caution when downloading files or clicking on links, especially from unknown or untrusted sources. Malware and viruses often enter your system through deceptive downloads and links.
  • 4. Maintain Good Backup Practices: Regularly back up your important files and system settings to safeguard your data. In case of unexpected errors or issues, having backups can be a lifesaver.
  • 5. Implement User Account Control (UAC): Enable User Account Control in Windows to receive prompts when changes are made to your system. This can help prevent unauthorized access and actions.
  • 6. Use Standard User Accounts: Avoid using an administrator account for everyday tasks. Use a standard user account for regular activities to minimize the risk of unintentional changes that could lead to errors.
  • 7. Review Group Policy Settings: Regularly review and update Group Policy settings, especially if you’re in a network domain environment. Ensure that the policies align with your system and network requirements.
  • 8. Monitor Disk Health: Regularly check your disk drive’s health using built-in Windows tools or third-party utilities. Failing hardware can lead to various errors, including Error Code 5.
  • 9. Employ a Reliable Backup Solution: Invest in a reliable backup solution that automates the process, ensuring that your data is protected in case of system failures or errors.
  • 10. Keep User Accounts Clean: Periodically review and clean up user accounts, especially if you have multiple accounts on your system. Remove unused or unnecessary accounts to reduce potential complications.

By following these proactive tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering Error Code 5 and other system errors. Prevention and regular maintenance are key to maintaining a stable and error-free computing experience.


Error Code 5, or “Access Denied,” is a common hurdle for computer users, but armed with the knowledge and solutions provided in this guide, you can confidently overcome it. Remember that troubleshooting may require a systematic approach, including checking permissions, scanning for malware, and repairing corrupted files or accounts. By following the steps outlined here, you can effectively resolve Error Code 5 and enjoy a smoother computing experience. Don’t let this error hold you back; take charge of your system’s permissions and regain control.


What exactly is Error Code 5, and why does it keep showing up on my computer?

Error Code 5, also known as “Access Denied,” usually occurs when your system blocks access to certain resources.

What are the common causes behind Error Code 5?

Common culprits include insufficient permissions, corrupted user accounts, malware infections, incomplete software installations, and registry errors.

How do I fix Error Code 5 when it pops up during program execution?

A quick fix is to right-click the program and select “Run as administrator” to grant elevated privileges.

What if I encounter Error Code 5 when accessing files or folders?

Check and modify permissions for the specific file or folder, ensuring you have the required access rights.

Can malware or viruses trigger Error Code 5, and how can I deal with that?

Absolutely, malicious software can interfere with permissions. Perform a thorough scan and removal using updated antivirus software.