How to Repair the Runtime Error 5

By Cameron Easey

Programs that do not install correctly or are conflicting with other programs on your system can cause a runtime error 5 to occur. One way to fix this error is to use a registry cleaner, such as CCleaner, to clean bad or invalid entries from the Windows registry. Another option is to see what program is causing the error and then remove and reinstall the conflicting program.

Using a Registry Cleaner

Step 1

Download and install CCleaner on your system at CCleaner.com. Save the file to a location such as your desktop. This program is free to download and use.

Step 2

Double-click on the file to run the Installation Wizard. Click the “Next” button to continue and follow the instructions on each screen. Click the “Finish” button to complete the installation.

Step 3

Double click the CCleaner icon on the desktop to open the program. Select the "Registry" option on the left.

Step 4

Click the “Scan for Issues” button to begin scanning the Windows registry and wait for the scan to complete. The program will look for corrupted and unnecessary registry entries. Click the “Fix Selected Issues” to remove the entries from the registry.

Step 5

Click the “Yes” button to make a backup of the registry. Click the “Fix All Selected Issues” button to delete the registry values. Click the “Close” button when the process has finished.

Step 6

Close the program and restart your system to see if the runtime error has been fixed.

Identify Conflicting Programs

Step 1

Click the Start button and select "Run" option. Type “msconfig” and then click the “OK” button to open the System Configuration Utility.

Step 2

Select the General tab and then remove the check for the "Process SYSTEM.INI File," "Process WIN.INI file" and "Load Startup Services" options under the Selective Startup selection. Select the Services tab and then click the “Disable All” button. Select the Startup tab and then click the “Disable All” button.

Step 3

Put a check in one of the Startup Items, which are listed on the Startup tab, and then restart the computer. Run the program you put a check in from the Startup tab in the System Configuration Utility. If the runtime error 5 occurs, the startup item you selected is causing the problem.

Step 4

Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you find the startup item or program that is causing the error.

Remove and Reinstall Programs

Step 1

Click the Start button and then go into the Control Panel. Double-click the icon for "Add or Remove Programs."

Step 2

Wait for the list to be populated and then scroll down to find the program or startup item that is causing the runtime error. Click the “Remove” button to uninstall the program from your system.

Step 3

Reinstall the program on your system. Insert the CD into the drive on your computer or double click the setup file for the program to run the Installation Wizard.

Step 4

Click the “Next” button to go through each screen of the Installation Wizard and click the “Finish” button to complete the installation.

Step 5

Double-click the icon for the program on the desktop to see if the runtime error occurs.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is always a good ides to make a backup of your registry in case there is a problem with your system
  • You can restore the registry to a previous state from a backup copy.
  • Failing to make a backup of the registry can cause you to reinstall software if there is a problem after running the registry cleaner.