Does Norton Antivirus Work After the Subscription Ends?

By James Wright

Norton's renewal policy changed on all versions after 2007.
i Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Norton Antivirus is a security software suite that protects your computer from viruses and spyware, and works on a yearly subscription model. Paying every year gives you access to new updates and complete functionality. However, if you stop paying the subscription, Norton will cease to function after a certain amount of time.

Subscription Process

When you buy a copy of Norton Antivirus, you set yourself up with a year of antivirus protection. This includes all the functionality of the program as well as any virus definition or software updates that come out during that year. Your subscription payments are made for the entire year instead of month by month, and you can set up automatic payments so your subscription renews by itself.

Renewals and Functionality

If you aren't set to renew automatically, Norton will start to warn you 15 days in advance that your program is about to expire. At this point, Norton still works without any loss of features because your subscription is still active. Norton will give you pop-up warnings up until the day your subscription expires. At this point Norton will completely cease to function, but you will still have the program on your computer.

Change of Policy

In the past, Norton would continue to work after your subscription ended. The only difference is that you would not be able to download virus definition updates which meant that any new viruses not in Norton's library would go undetected. However, every version of Norton Antivirus from 2007 disables itself completely on the day your subscription expires, providing no protection whatsoever. The only way to fix this is to pay to renew.


If you can't afford another year or don't want to pay for your antivirus program, many reliable and free alternatives exist. AVG Free, Avira Antivirus and Avast are three such alternatives. They come with all the functionality of paid programs along with constant updates. If you worry about the quality of free programs, consider looking at user reviews of each program. to see how well they fare. Be aware that, in terms of available applications, paying more does not always equate with better quality.