Troubleshooting for "Virus signature database update failed" message

KB Solution ID: KB2850 |Last Revised: October 1, 2015


  • You receive the error message "error 0073"

  • You receive the error message "Virus signature database update failed"



Are you a Mac user?

Are you an Android user?

Are you a business user?

Check to see if you can update after each step

Click Update Update virus signature database. If the update fails, proceed to the next step until you are able to update.

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of your ESET product: How do I upgrade ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus to the latest version?

  2. Re-enter your ESET-issued Username and Password:

  3. Verify that your license has not expired.

  4. Clear the update cache.

  5. Remove any previously installed antivirus software: Common antivirus software removal tools

  6. Exclude ESET from detection on your third-party firewall (such as Norton Personal Firewall, ZoneAlarm, or others). If you are using the ESET Personal firewall and have no other firewall software installed, disregard this step.

  7. Configure your update settings properly:

    1. Open the main program window and press F5 to access the Advanced setup window.

    2. Expand Update and then click UpdateSetup.

Figure 1-1
Click the image to view larger in new window

      • 5.x and earlier users: Make sure that the Update server drop-down menu is set to Choose automatically (view a screenshot).
    1. Click the HTTP Proxy tab. If you are not using a proxy (using a proxy server is not common), make sure that Do not use proxy server is selected. Click OK.  

Figure 1-2

  1. Test communications with the ESET update server:
    1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard, type cmd into the text field and press ENTER.

      Windows 8 users: Press the Windows key + Q to open an app search and type cmd into the Search field.

    2. Type ping into the command prompt and press ENTER (see Figure 1-3).

    3. If you are able to connect to the update server, you will see a Reply from... message followed by the IP address of the server you are trying to reach.

Figure 1-3

  1. Uninstall and reinstall your ESET product.
  2. Clean an infected computer:

If you are still unable to resolve your issue, please contact ESET Customer Care.

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