Definition Update Failed

Webroot failed to update its threat definition. This likely means your device doesn't currently have internet access. You can continue your scan with the current definition set or cancel. Error: OutOfMemoryError processing def update. Continue or Cancel.

Also, DEFINITION UPDATE FAILED. Network error attempting to access the Webroot servers. Please ensure your device is connected to the Internet.

Also, Webroot Secure Anywhere Mobile Premier (process com.webroot.securing full) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.


Is somebody know what to do??? The HELP recommended to post on FORUM to get E-mail from MODERATOR to send collected system data from phone for tech support. Or may be it would be solved by itself??? For example, via updates?? But how come, the updates fail to be installed?

Best answer by MikeR 5 August 2013, 18:34

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169 replies

Userlevel 7
Please uninstall and reinstall the "Paid" version of the app as TripleHelix has suggested. Also, I see an error for an invalid username on the back end. Please use the email address and keycode I have sent you in a private message when typing your credentials into the app.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
I'm happy to say that I can confidently state that upon updating to the newest version of Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Complete this issue has been resolved on my phone (Droid Razor Maxx). The phone is scanning and updating definitions when I turn on the phone and I am able to force a definition update w/o ANY ERRORS!!  Thanks Jim and others for all of your perseverance.
Had to uninstall and then download and re-install from Google Playbook but everything is working great now!
Userlevel 3
We are most definatly NOT shedding definitions for size.  Jim gave a detailed explination a couple of posts back that it appears you may not have read.  It may help you better understand the differences between our windows and our android product.
Also I would like to add we are working on this still.  We are not giving up.  We have had 5 bug reports over the past week to week and a half and that is one of the lowest of all the issues our users see. We have hundreds of thousands of users so making a change specifically to address that low percantage of issues that could dramatically degrade performance for the rest is something we need to balance and not rush.
Like Jim I don't like writting these kinds of posts.  I fully understand you guys are frustrated and we are to.  We have even more fixes that are going into our 3.1 release.  
@ wrote:WSA and its competing security products are, I guess, sooner or later going to have to undergo a root and branch re-think and re-design to minimise the dependence on an ever growing register/database of risk defintitions.  They are going to have to work differently.  Don't ask me how, I have not idea but it does seem to me to be an impending issue.  At the same time, it also seems that Android itself could do with a massive security overhaul.
You can rest assured that that process started a couple of months ago and is ongoing. Some of those changes went out in the last release some are coming in the next release and even more are planned for the future releases. 
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
There will be improvements in version 3.1 that may help to address the remainder of the OutOfMemory issues still being experienced.  3.1 should be available soon, but we don't have an exact date since Google still has to go through their QA process.  Roloc or I will reply back again when it's out.  :)
Build has been issued today. Have upgraded and there are really really promising signs on my HTC the OOM error could be resolved for good. I will test this build extensively and will revert with results later on.
Thanks Jim, Roloc and others of Webroot for your hard work to beat this error.
Stay tuned ;)
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
Build has been issued today. Have upgraded and there are really really promising signs on my HTC the OOM error could be resolved for good. I will test this build extensively and will revert with results later on. 
Thanks Jim, Roloc and others of Webroot for your hard work to beat this error.
Stay tuned ;)
I am very pleased to inform that the OOM error was resolved :D
I underwent an extensive testing of the latest 3.1 build on my HTC focusing on the definition set updates which were malfunctioning due to the OOM error. I was playing with the date & time, I was shifting them back and forth to see if AV definitions will be automatically installed or the error will be occuring again. I have got satisfying results ... AV definitions were installed successfuly and no more errors appeared. After that I reverted the date & time back to the actual and waited for updates as per the set schedule which resulted in receiving AV set 400 yesterday and AV set 401 today.
Therefore I dared to proclaim the OOM error was defeated :D
I want to express my thanks to all at Webroot who contributed to resolve this issue. Well done ;)
Furthermore, I want to encourage all users who were plagued with the OOM error to share their experience with the latest 3.1 build.
Thanks & regards,
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Hello oneil31 and Welcome to the Webroot Community Forums. 

Are you using the free version? If you are please uninstall the App and go to Google Play and reinstall even if it's the paid version make sure you install the correct one please look at this TKB article:
Userlevel 3
I just wanted to drop in and let you all know we are looking at ways to improve memory management in the future.  In the next release which is currently slated to come out in a week or so we will be releasing some improvements in memory usage around definition updates.  
The reason this was working and is now causing issues is that our definition files grow over time as we find more viruses out there.  This has outpaced the memory in phones over time so we require a larger chunk of memory now than we have in the past.  Some of you with older phones or that have a lot of applications running that take up memory will begin to see this issue.
As others suggested in here general healthy cleanups of your phone is your best bet to not run into this issue in the meantime.  Things like uninstalling apps that you don't use anymore that may be running background services.  Periodically rebooting your phone will help clean up other apps that may be consuming memory that.  Remember that just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't running.  Use the App Inspector that is included in our pay products or the built in Android Apps list and look under "Running" to determine what is actively using memory that you may not want.  
I could go into a long rant about Java, Linux and memory utilization but I think that is best left for another day.  For now, know we are hard at work on better solutions in future releases and we will keep you posted as those become available or if there are any other work arounds.
Thank you,
Userlevel 3
I would like to clarify.  This is an out of memory error, the amount of space you have on your SDcard or internal storage is not the same as the amount of memory being used.  Not installing updates or otherwise clearing up disk space will not effect the amount of memory that has been used.  The amount of applications you have running at one time will.  
If you stop other applications from running by going into apps and either uninstalling or preventing it from running at a service this will work as a temporary work around in some cases.  
Otherwise the fix is coming and will be out sometime next week. 
Userlevel 7
Yes, it is a known issue on which Webroot tirelessly is working to get it resolved as quickly as possible.
However it shouldn't last too long as Rolock said in his post
So the fix is being presently tested and should be released within this week.
Userlevel 7
We're sorry to hear that this issue appears to still be affecting some users, and mobile development is looking into what else can be done to reduce Webroot's memory usage on Androids.  The definitions re-chunking appears to have solved about 80% to 90% of the bug reports we were seeing communicated back to us from the Webroot apps themselves.  However, there will still be some cases in which devices run out of memory.
Roloc and the rest of the mobile team are working very hard to continue trying to find other ways to lower the size of the definitions footprint.  However, at this time, the total size of the definitions in terms of memory usage is about 5MB (which is actually very low already).
While the mobile team is still working hard to try to fix this issue for as many more people as possible, there will always be cases in which older phones with low memory and a lot of running services start running out of available memory.
This is similar to how you can't install the latest games on a 486 PC with 100MB of RAM.  You might have trouble installing a new game on a new computer as well, if, for instance, you're running 20 other programs at the same time.  As technology grows and improves, older platforms become dated, and as with any computer technology, you have to be mindful that memory is a limited resource.

On both Jimbo's and Pegas's devices, we see that this problem is not a constant.  Jimbo's was previously resolvable before by killing some unneeded services that were running in the background.  Now the issue is back, which would indicate to me more memory is in use again, meaning more apps that are always on are running.  On Pegas's, the problem does not sound consistent, which would again indicate differing amounts of resources free at different times.
I want to stress that there is continued work taking place to try to reduce our memory footprint even more, but this is not an issue that will ultimately ever be solvable for every last mobile device user due to the same reasons people with PC's will run into RAM issues when running out of RAM on a PC.  And whereas on a PC, you can fail-over into virtual memory (which is incredibly slow but at least works), when you run out of regular memory, you don't have virtual memory on an Android device.  Hopefully, we can break down the memory usage a bit more, but it may take some time.
Userlevel 7
I think a detailed, technical explanation is in order.  While we can't fix this issue for everyone, you deserve the best explanation as to why that we can muster.  Fair warning: this may put you to sleep, but if you're curious enough to be on here asking why this longstanding issue isn't fixed for the small subset of our users still seeing it happening, you will probably want a good answer to your question.  So here goes.
RAM Management in Linux/Android
As I had mentioned before, on a PC, you have virtual memory that serves as sort of a "backup" to your physical memory.  And I had mentioned that this sort of fail-over doesn't exist on Android devices.  Well, it's worse than that.  Android works more like Linux in terms of RAM management, in that there is really no such thing as "free" memory until the operating system declares that memory to be free.  On Linux/Android systems, all memory is always in use at all times.  Theoretically, and usually in practice, that means your memory is optimized for faster distribution.  On Linux, that works wonderfully most of the time.  On Android, well, it's kind of hit-and-miss.
Garbage, Collector
It's so hit-and-miss that the process that controls memory allocation was actually replaced wholesale by certain device manufacturers (Samsung, notably), who realized early on how buggy that original process is.  The process is called "Garbage Collector," (though it could just as easily be called Garbage - The Collector) and it's relied upon by everything running on your device.  Problems were observed with Garbage Collector, dating back to the earliest versions of Android.  It's actually been rewritten three times since 2.1, and it still doesn't really work right all the time.  Suffice to say though, the older your version of Android, the older your Garbage Collector, and the more likely you are to run into OutOfMemory issues. 
The trash man is saying the truck is full when it really isn't, so maybe it's time to look at a new trash collection service.  Where would one find a newer trash collection service?  In this case, in an upgraded OS.
The best way to deal with this, if your device will support a newer version of Android, would be to upgrade your OS, or if your provider won't allow you to do that (and that's squarely on them, as Garbage Collector has been rewritten multiple times due to known bugs), perhaps it's time to look at a new device.  I know that's not something anyone wants to hear, but it's inevitable that eventually, with any technology, that's going to happen.
Where do we go from here?
So, if you're getting this error message, in short, you're running into a bug - the proximal cause of which is the Garbage Collector in the OS itself.  All Webroot can do is call on the function that should work and hope it works like it's supposed to.  If it doesn't work, it's due to what are, in fact, known issues in the Android OS itself.  Webroot can only do so much to code around an OS defect.  Limiting the size of our footprint is always a top priority, and the most recent changes to the definitions managed to help with this kind of problem in most cases.  Amazingly, we cut the "out of memory" errors down from a sizeable amount to what I'm reading as a total of about 5 reports now, combined from here, support interactions, and the bug reports the apps themselves generate.  What we unfortunately cannot do is rewrite an OS service, because that is locked down by Android itself.  The only solution for some people will be to upgrade your OS.  For people who can't do that, it's either time for a new device, or you can wait to see if we come up with another way to shrink the program, or unfortunately, perhaps Webroot is not for you.  I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's the word from development.
Userlevel 7
Pegas, that's a good question. Unfortunately, I don't have the privilege of their source code to dig through to answer it, but I'd suspect that they are removing definitions they judge to no longer be "worth" having - probably for infections that are not seen as often, or maybe the most complex ones. Doing that would benefit a small subset of users and hurt everyone else. It's not an option we are willing to pursue, because while it would "look" good, it would realistically be quite bad. It's certainly possible there are other ways they worked around this kind of problem, and that's why we're still investigating other possible solutions.

The issue of placing a system requirement on the page for memory usage was something I initially agreed with you about when it was suggested a few pages back. That was before talking to our developers about why this issue isn't fixed for every last customer. Since the root of the issue is that the Android OS itself refuses to free up memory, when by all rights, it should be freeing up that memory, placing a value as a memory requirement would be misleading and arbitrary to anyone experiencing this particular issue. If we did specify a particular value, odds are, you, Jimbo, Jaxx, et. al, would report back "But I meet that value! This should be working!" And you would be right - you probably do meet that value. But again, the core of the problem is not that we are actually exceeding available memory. The core of the problem is that there is free memory to be had, and the operating system isn't handing it over to us as it should.
Userlevel 7
There will be improvements in version 3.1 that may help to address the remainder of the OutOfMemory issues still being experienced.  3.1 should be available soon, but we don't have an exact date since Google still has to go through their QA process.  Roloc or I will reply back again when it's out.  🙂
Userlevel 3
Thanks a ton for the update Pegas.  We had some funkiness on some of the devices yesterday that wasn't related to OOM issues so we couldn't reply the update was out just yet.
I am anxious to hear how it is going after a few days of use in the field. 
Userlevel 7
Hello lynchrt,
"Definitions Update Failed" errors should be resolved. Please try updating the app from the Google Play store.
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
I'm happy to say that I can confidently state that upon updating to the newest version of Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Complete this issue has been resolved on my phone (Droid Razor Maxx). The phone is scanning and updating definitions when I turn on the phone and I am able to force a definition update w/o ANY ERRORS!!  Thanks Jim and others for all of your perseverance.
That's great! Thanks for the feedback. Droid is widely used especially in US so all of them should be fine with the latest WSA version.
Userlevel 1 solved this issue
Userlevel 7
Hi blueyestim,
First of all, I'm sorry to hear you're having this issue-it's quite out-of-the ordinary as this definition update failed issue has pretty much been resolved (and the thread has stayed quiet recently) for all but a very few individual cases (with yours falling under this category).
*I looked up your account information and everything does look fine in our system-you do have the paid version and there are 299 days remaining in your subscription.*
Pegas is right in that submitting a support ticket is probably the best way to go about this issue as mobile logs may be required to pinpoint the cause of the update hanging up and killing the battery.
That said, before submitting the support ticket, I would like for you to try a fresh uninstall/reinstall one more time. This time, instead of doing an un/re from Google Play (which I presume is what you've been doing based off Pegas' suggestion), please try uninstalling from the WSA app itself. Open SecureAnywhere, tap your Android Menu button, tap "Uninstall", enter your password to uninstall the app. Afterwards, go back into Google Play and reinstall the app. After it is back on your device, please go back into the app, tap the Android Menu button, tap "About". You will then see some info displayed. Please confirm that you're on the newest version ( Also, can you tell me exactly what make and model device you are having this issue on?
Let me know if this solution changes anything/resolves the issue. If not, please follow the aforementioned link to submit the support ticket.
Thank You!
Userlevel 7
Hey USaferWthDelusn,
I am interested in collecting logs from your mobile device and I will be sending you a private message with the instructions. Have you tried switching your connection type from 3G/4G to wifi or vice versa when updating the definitions?
Even if this sovles the definition issues, I think it would be helpful for me to take a look at the logs due to the OutOfMemoryError and the processes that are stopping unexpectedly.
How I resolved my error:
I was also getting the same message.  I was using the link provided in the notification on my phone.  I then (after a couple of weeks) decided to try using the link to the app on my phone and going in that way to download the definitions, I received a much better error that the was not enough space (or memory, I don't remember that exact error), I had about 30M free.  (whole nother story about all the pre-loaded crap that I can't move to the card nor delete and I don't want to root my phone to clean that out, I don't have a lot of internal memory left).  Anyway, I deleted a lot of what I could (deleted the FB app, cleared the cache on the Internet app (don't do data you'll lose bookmarks, etc), those were BIG and did others, if you have games move them to your card) freed up about 20M more, bounced my phone and then was able to get the definition updates.
HI there, thanks for the info, it was a lack of phone memory. Cheers Jim
Userlevel 3
this needs to be fixed asap,what good is it if i cant update it.this is unacceptable.
Userlevel 3
In one sense yes it is because of recent updates but probably not how you mean.  It is happening because our definitions get bigger with every virus that we find, thus it could happen to any user at any time who just happens to be running low on memory.  Keep in mind "low" is a very relative term in this case.
The good news is we have a fix in for this today and it is going to our QA team as we speak.  It will be in our next release which should be sometime next week.  
Again I apologize for this issue and we are as anxious to see this resolved as you are. 
If anything changes I will keep you posted.
Userlevel 7
Hello everyone!
Roloc and our development team have been tirelessly working on new definitions and memory management methods and they are finally here! :D
Thank you so much for everyone's patience and a huge thank you to our dev team for making this their top priority.
We would love to hear your feedback on the new definition release and if things have returned to normal.

Android - Version Released