Home article search

How to install and activate ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus with an Activation Key? (4.x)

A new version has been released

A new version of ESET Smart Security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus has been released. We highly recommend that you upgrade to the latest version.

  • Remember: ESET Smart Security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus 9 use a License Key for activation. What is a License Key?

If you purchased a boxed retail version of ESET Smart Security 4.x or ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4.x with an in-product Activation Key, please follow the instructions below to install and activate your key.

  • The installation process is similar for both products but we only include the screenshots for ESET Smart Security. If there is a notable difference, it will be noted in the relevant steps below.
  • If you purchased ESET Cybersecurity for Mac - click here for installation and activation instructions.

Uninstall previous antivirus products! 

Running two antivirus products on the same computer can degrade performance and cause system instability. It is important that any previously installed antivirus software is uninstalled from your system before installing your ESET product. Please see our list of uninstallers (removal tools) for common antivirus software.

Installing and activating ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus

  1. Insert the CD that came in your boxed retail product into your computer for the installation to begin automatically. If it does not, click Start in the lower-left corner of your screen, click Computer and then double-click the ESET disc icon  .
  2. If you are unable to install using your CD

    If you are unable to install using the CD and you have not registered your Activation Key, see the following ESET Knowledgebase article: How do I activate and download my ESET product?

  3.  Click Install ESET Smart Security or Install ESET NOD32 Antivirus on the Launch Screen (double-click the ESET Autorun icon  to begin installation if Autorun is disabled on your computer).

Figure 1-1 

  1. The ESET Smart Security/ESET NOD32 Setup window will appear. Click Next to continue. 

Figure 1-2

  1. In the next window, select I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click Next to continue. 

Figure 1-3

  1. The Installation Mode window will appear. Select Typical and click Next to continue.  

Figure 1-4

  1. On the next window, select Activate using an activation key (recommended) and click Next

Figure 1-5

  1. Enter your Activation Key found on the sticker inside your product and click Next

    Enter your Activation Key correctly

    You must enter your Activation Key exactly as it is printed including the hyphens. 

Figure 1-6

  1. Enter the appropriate information into each field. Be sure to enter a valid email address, as your license details will be sent there. Click Next

    When completing these fields

    Do not use special characters in First, Last or Company fields.

    • The Phone Number field requires at least 6 characters
    • Do not use an ampersand "&" in the First, Last or Company fields

Figure 1-7

  1. Enter the appropriate information into each field and select your email contact preferences. Click Next

Figure 1-8

  1. In the ThreatSense.Net Early Warning System window, select the Enable ThreatSense.Net Early Warning System option and click Next to continue. 

Figure 1-9

  1. In the Detection of potentially unwanted applications window, select your preferred option (see What is a potentially unwanted application?) and click Next.

Figure 1-10

  1. Click Install to continue. 

Figure 1-11

  1. Once you click Install, you will see the Installing ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus window (below) for a few minutes. 

Figure 1-12

  1. When you see the Completing the ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus Setup Wizard window, click Finish to complete your installation. 

Figure 1-13

  1. If you installed ESET Smart Security 4.2, the New Network Detected window will appear. This window allows you to select your desired protection mode. Most users should select Allow sharing. See the figure below for an explanation on both modes.

Figure 1-14 

If you receive an error message

If an error message is displayed after installation and activation, visit the following ESET Knowledgebase article: I received an installation error while activating my ESET product. What does it mean?

Was this information helpful?