FIX: Outlook Error 0x80004005: “The operation failed”

As effective and efficient a Desktop email client as Outlook may be, there are a myriad of errors out there that are associated with it. Just one of the errors that Outlook users can suffer from is the 0x80004005 error. This error has been known to affect tons of Outlook users across all versions of Outlook and all versions of Windows (this error first came to light back in the days of Windows Vista).

Affected users are met with this error whenever Outlook attempts to download a new email message that they have received. The full error message for this error reads:

Task ‘[User’s email address] – Receiving’ reported error (0x80004005): ‘The operation failed.’

Affected users can successfully send email messages through Outlook, but they cannot receive any email messages through the application. Affected users also find that their email messages are delivered to them just fine when they access their email accounts via the internet. In almost all cases, this problem is caused by one of three things – the Script Blocking feature of Norton Antivirus, an email message that Outlook – for some reason – can’t download or a problem displaying the new email notification that Outlook usually displays.

You have quite a few different options when it comes to resolving this issue, but the solution that is going to work for you is dependent on what caused the issue for you in the first place.

If you are suffering from this issue and use Norton Antivirus

If you are suffering from this issue and also use Norton Antivirus, here’s what you can do about it:

Solution 1: Uninstall Norton Antivirus

Open the Start Menu.

Search for “add or remove programs”.

Click on the search result named “Add or remove programs”.

In the list of installed programs, one by one, right-click on every single Norton application (especially Norton Antivirus) that you have, click on Uninstall and follow the uninstallation wizard through to the end.

Solution 2: Disable the Script Blocking feature in Norton Antivirus

If you would rather keep Norton Antivirus instead of getting rid of it, you can still fix this problem. In order to do so, you are going to have to launch Norton Antivirus, scour its settings for the Script Blocking feature and then disable it. The location of the Script Blocking feature depends on the version of Norton Antivirus that you are using.

If you are suffering from this issue but don’t use any Norton programs

If you are affected by this problem but don’t use Norton antivirus or any other Norton program, here are the options you have for fixing this problem:

Solution 1: Disable Outlook’s new email notification

Many Outlook users affected by this issue were successful at fixing it by disabling the new email notification that Outlook displays whenever you receive a new email message. To do so, you need to:

Click on Tools.

Click on Options.

Navigate to the Preferences

Click on E-mail Options.

Uncheck the Display a notification message when new mail arrives option to disable it.

Click on OK.

Click on OK once again.

Solution 2: Create a new user account and delete your old one

If you do not want to lose Outlook’s new email notification or if Solution 1 does not work for you, you can also fix this problem by creating a new user account (with Administrative privileges) on your computer, setting Outlook up on it with the same email address and then deleting your old user account. Although this solution might sound a bit drastic, it is just as effective as it is extreme.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.