FIX: Norton Antivirus fails to update on Windows 10

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Norton Antivirus is a solid antivirus choice, but it too can encounter issues at times.
  • For example, users have reported that their Norton Antivirus sometimes fails to update.
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  • For more help fixing a wide variety of software, go to our Software Fix section.
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We can’t talk about third-party security solutions without including the Norton Antivirus. It’s one of the most reliable and valuable tools to use for malware protection. However, there seem to be lots of issues when it comes to running Norton on Windows 10 PC. However, Norton Antivirus fails to update on Windows 10 for some users.

We also made sure to try and address this with 4 enlisted solutions. If you’re unable to update Norton, follow the steps provided below.

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How do I fix Norton Antivirus update problems?

  1. Disable Windows Defender
  2. Run Norton as administrator
  3. Reinstall Norton with the Remove and Reinstall Tool
  4. Update Windows

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1. Disable Windows Defender

When talked about third-party antivirus solutions causing issues on Windows 10, Norton Antivirus is frequently mentioned.

We can’t say why the likes of Norton and McAfee are having such a hard time on Windows 10, but, seemingly, they are.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Norton won’t work on Windows 10 but just points out that you might need to perform a few tweaks.

In this case (and many others), the issues emerge due to the conflict between the built-in Windows Defender and the Norton Antivirus suite.

Windows Defender should be disabled automatically after the installation, but every major update might change the setting.

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Basically, if both antimalware solutions are working at the same time, one or the other won’t work as intended. Leading to issues like update failures.

In order to avoid this, we suggest disabling Windows Defender and trying to update your system again. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type regedit and open regedit.
    • Navigate to the following key:
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender.
  2. You can copy-paste the path in the Registry Editor’s address bar.
  3. Double-click on the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD and enter 1 as the value.
  4. If there’s no the DisableAntiSpyware DWORD, right-click on the empty area and select New DWORD 32 Value.
  5. Name the DWORD DisableAntiSpyware, save it and set its value to antivirus fails to update
  6. Close Registry Editor and restart your PC.

2. Run Norton as administrator

Furthermore, due to the reports of performance issues on Windows 10, it’s best to run Norton with administrative permissions.

The limitations imposed on the Norton can be avoided afterward. You’ll, of course, need the administrative access to your PC in order to grant these permissions.

Here’s how to run Norton as administrator permanently:

  1. Navigate to the folder where Norton is installed.
  2. Right-click on the executable file and open Properties.
  3. Choose the Compatibility tab.
  4. Check the Run this program as an administrator box and confirm antivirus fails to update

3. Reinstall Norton with the Remove and Reinstall Tool

If the previous steps fell short, we’re inclined to suggest a complete reinstallation of the Norton Antivirus. Especially if the update issues appeared after a major update or system upgrade over an older iteration of Windows.

Also, it won’t suffice to remove the program with just a usual approach. You’ll need to use the developer-provided tool called Norton Remove and Reinstall Tool.

Here’s how to run it in Windows 10:

  1. Download Norton Remove and Reinstall Tool, here.
  2. Press and hold Shift and click on Restart to restart your PC in the Advanced menu.
  3. Select Troubleshoot and then Advanced options.
  4. Click on Startup settings and then Restart.
  5. Choose Safe mode or Safe mode on the next screen.
  6. Run the Norton Remove and Reinstall Tool tool.
  7. Navigate to C:\Program Files (or Program Files 86x) and delete the Norton folder.
  8. Restart your PC and download the latest Norton iteration, here.
  9. Install it, enter your credentials, and look for improvements with updating.

4. Update Windows

Finally, you can just wait for the developer to resolve possible server stalls. While waiting, it won’t do you any wrong updating Windows 10. Some issues were dealt with by applying the cumulative patches Microsoft provided. After that, we can hardly suggest anything other but contacting the support and providing them the needed logs so they can deal with your issue internally.

Here’s how to update Windows 10:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Update and open Check for updates.
  2. Click Check for updates and install all available updates.
  3. Restart your PC and run Norton LiveUpdate again.

With that said, we can call it a wrap. If you have an alternative solution you know of, make sure to post it in the comments section below. We would be thankful for your contribution.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2018 and was revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.