You are viewing a printer friendly version of this ESET Knowledgebase article.

ESET Knowledgebase

ESET Knowledgebase

Why does my protection status change color and what does each color mean?


This article applies to the following products:

  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus
  • ESET Internet Security
  • ESET Smart Security
  • ESET Smart Security Premium


Your ESET product displays your current level of protection in the main program window. The colors are:

What does each color mean?

Green—You are protected

The green protection status with a white check mark indicates that your computer is protected. When your protection status is green and no action is required, the icon will be displayed in the Windows notification area.

I don't see an icon in the Windows notification area—why not?

  • Web and email: If Antispam protection is disabled, it will be marked with a yellow "Security notification" status; however, your computer's protection status will not change because the Antispam module protects your email only.
  • Windows Updates available: You may see the(or in earlier versions) icon in your Windows notification area or the message "Operating System is not up to date" in the Home screen when updates to your operating system are available. Change the verbosity of these notifications or disable them completely.
  • If Parental control is not Active, it will be marked with a yellow "Inactive" status; however your computer's protection status will not change. 

Figure 1-1

Yellow—Attention required

The yellow protection status () indicates that your ESET product requires your attention. The yellow icon indicates that Web access protection or Email client protection is disabled or paused, there is a problem updating the program (outdated virus signature database, cannot update, etc.), or that your license is nearing its expiration date. Generally, you can restore the green protection status by following the instructions in the alert box below the yellow protection status.


  • License is expiring in 14 days: Your Protection status icon will turn yellow when your license has 14 days remaining or fewer before it expires. When it expires, your ESET product will be unable to update and your protection status will change to red. Renew your license.
  • A computer restart is recommended: Your Protection status icon will turn yellow when you update your ESET product to a newer version.
  • If you disable Email client protection or Web access protection, your Protection status icon will change to yellow. 
  • If you select Block all network traffic in the Network module, your Protection status icon will turn yellow because network services such as updates will be unavailable.
  • If Gamer mode is enabled, all scheduled tasks are paused and the Protection status icon will change to yellow.

Figure 1-2

Red—Security alert

A red protection status () displays when maximum protection is not ensured and your computer is vulnerable to threats. Generally, you will see an alert message explaining why maximum protection is not ensured and recommending actions to take. One or both of the Antivirus and antispyware or the Personal firewall modules may have red exclamation points next to them.


Figure 1-3