ARCHIVED: For Symantec virus protection software, what are my options for updating the virus definitions?

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You can obtain the most recent virus definitions (also known as protection files or pattern files) from Symantec in several ways. Running LiveUpdate (the first option below) is usually the easiest and most effective, but other options are available. Using one method of updating does not preclude the other. On the same computer, you can choose to schedule LiveUpdate automatic updates, and also manually use LiveUpdate or run Intelligent Updater whenever you wish to update your virus definitions.

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UITS recommends scheduling LiveUpdate to automatically update your virus definitions daily. For instructions, see:

Additionally, you can run LiveUpdate any time you want to update your virus definitions.


  • In Symantec Endpoint Protection, on the left, click Live Update. The window will close automatically when the update is complete.
  • In Symantec/Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition, from the File menu, select LiveUpdate.... If necessary, choose which way you will connect to the LiveUpdate server by clicking Configure.... If relevant to your version of SAV/NAV, check the boxes that apply to what you wish to update (e.g., virus definitions, LiveUpdate). Click Next. When the process is complete, click Finish.

Mac OS X

Note: Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) for Mac OS X (10.5 through 10.7.x) is available from IUware (requires Indiana University Network ID).

The University Information Security Office (UISO) recommends that you update your virus definitions daily, and scan your computer weekly.

In Mac OS X, from the Applications folder, open Symantec Solutions, and then click LiveUpdate. LiveUpdate will download the virus definitions from Symantec's site.

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Intelligent Updater on the web

Symantec's Intelligent Updater is an alternative to LiveUpdate for obtaining the most recent virus definitions. Intelligent Updater is less convenient to use than LiveUpdate, because it is a manual process. Additionally, it may require a larger download, which may be inconvenient if you have a low bandwidth connection.

To download and use Intelligent Updater, go to Symantec's Virus Definitions & Security Updates page and follow these instructions:


  1. From the "Select Product:" drop-down list at the top, choose Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1. Click Virus Definitions next to the heading "File-Based Protection (Traditional Antivirus)".
  2. On the Symantec Endpoint Protection page, client installation downloads are sorted by platform (e.g., Windows 32- 64-bit). Locate the platform that matches your system, find the .exe file that supports Symantec Endpoint Protection, and then double-click it to download it to your hard drive. On your computer, locate the downloaded .exe file, and then double-click it to run the Intelligent Updater.

Mac OS X

  1. From the "Select Product:" drop-down list at the top, choose Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh 10.x. Click Virus Definitions next to the heading "File-Based Protection (Traditional Antivirus)".
  2. On the AntiVirus for Macintosh page, client installation downloads are sorted by the type of processor the Mac has (PowerPC or Intel), the Mac OS version, and the version of Norton or Symantec AntiVirus that the Mac is running.

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Symantec also maintains an FTP site:

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Contact Symantec directly

For additional options, contact Symantec customer support directly.

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This is document agxu in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:11:56.