80040401 'Software update failed' displayed against an update manager

  • Article ID: 66111
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  • Updated: 26 May 2016


An Update Manager reports:

Software update failed.

In the Update Manager details (see below) you see the following error:

[Date/Time] 80040401 Software update failed.

First seen in
Enterprise Console


The error '80040401' is purely designed to alert you to a problem with your Update Manager and is generic in nature. As such, further investigation is required to establish the root cause and a fix.

This error appears with another (specific) error code that identities the cause of the error.

Note: The release of Sophos Update Manager (SUM) 1.6.0 alerts to expired licenses. This error code can be triggered if your license has expired.

What To Do

If your license has expired:

The error will be logged for a period of 20 days. Following this period of time you will then see:

  1. An additional error being logged:

    [Date/Time] 80040401 Software update failed.

  2. The following error when opening LogViewer.exe:

    Decode operation failed. Details: License has expired. Please renew your license and force an update.

  3. The following error in the Windows Application event log:

    Event ID: 16389
    Source: SophosUpdateManager
    Details: Decode operation failed. Details: License has expired. Please renew your license and force an update.

For further information see Information on Sophos Update Manager (SUM) 1.6.0 in the Related Information section.


If your license has not expired:

Review the Update Manager details and look for an entry under "Outstanding alerts and errors" that has a different code than the two listed below:

  • 80040401 Software update failed.
  • 80040404 Threat detection data update failed.

Locate the precise error

  1. In Enterprise Console select the 'Update Managers' view.  Then right-click the Update Manager that shows the updating failure and select 'View Update Manager Details'.

  2. In the 'Outstanding alerts and errors' section locate the error that accompanies the '80040401' error.  Example:

  3. Follow the link (that appears as the error message for that error) and use the information found to resolve the issue.

In some cases it may be easier to use the Sophos Update Manager Logviewer to find the underlying cause. To do this:

  1. Open the Sophos Update Manager Logviewer.exe tool.
  2. In the 'Severity' drop down, select 'Error'.
  3. In the 'Minimum logging level' drop down, select 'Verbose'.
  4. Click 'Search'.

The Message field will contain information about the most recent error(s). Search the Sophos Knowledge base for information on the error(s) you find. If you are unable to find an article that pertains to the error message(s) you see using either of these methods, please contact Sophos Technical Support for further assistance.

Related Information

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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