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Why it's important to keep your device updated 

It’s important that you install the latest versions of Apple software to keep your device secure. The University Managed Desktop (UMD) service will also work better on the latest software versions. The University Information Services (UIS) Apple Support team test updates and upgrades for common software to ensure that the services work on the UMD. This includes: 

  • Microsoft 365 
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) 
  • eduroam wifi 
  • common web browsers 

It is not possible to test all software to ensure it is compatible with the UMD.


The difference between updates and upgrades 

Software releases are categorised as either updates or upgrades.


  • Released quite frequently (every 6-8 weeks). 
  • Example update: macOS Ventura 13.2 to 13.3. 
  • Minor functionality changes. 
  • Important security fixes are included. 


  • Upgrades are released yearly (often in October). 
  • Example upgrade: macOS 13 Ventura to macOS 14 Sonoma. 
  • Major new functionality and interface changes mean the screens might look different. 
  • Important security updates. 
  • Upgrades may break incompatible software. 


How long do I have to install the new software release? 


  • For example, macOS Ventura 13.1 to macOS Ventura 13.2. 
  • You will be prompted install this update within 3 days of the software being released. 
  • You will be forced to update your device after 10 days from the software release. 


  • For example, macOS 13 Ventura to macOS 14 Sonoma. 
  • It will be optional for you to install the upgrade after it is released.
  • You will be forced to update your device after 4 months from the software release. 


How to update your software 

By default, your managed Apple macOS device will download the latest version available when it is released and notify when it is ready to be installed. 



You can also use the Support app to check if any updates or upgrades are available for your device. The Support app sits in the System Bar and will have a red dot on it when there is something to install.

Select the shield icon and then select the tab with the red notification. This will take you to the relevant location to update your device. 



You can also check for new software releases if you open ‘System Preferences’ (macOS 12 or earlier) or ’System Settings’  (macOS 13 or later). The ‘Software Update’ and ‘Software Update Available’ icon notification will show a red alert if there is new software available.




Software update and upgrade reminders 

UIS has also implemented another service called ‘Nudge’. This will prompt you when updates or upgrades need to be installed. 

You will have the option to defer the available update or upgrade a defined number of times. You have the option to be able to defer for either an hour or a day. If the update is not installed by the required deadline or the maximum number of deferrals is reached, the Nudge application will not allow you to continue working until your device has been updated or upgraded. 



 This window shows important information around the update and upgrade process. 

  • Required OS Version: The minimum version that is required for your device. 
  • Current OS Version: Your current macOS version. 
  • Days Remaining To Update: The number of days remaining before we enforce the update/upgrade.
  • Deferred Count: How many times you can defer the update or upgrade before it is enforced.
  • Defer: A drop-down box allowing you to defer the update or upgrade for either one hour, one day or a custom time and date 

Select ‘Update Device’ (or ‘Upgrade Device’) to go to the 'Software Update’ section of 'System Preferences' or 'System Settings'. 



Select ‘Upgrade Now' to start the macOS upgrade process which may involve downloading a new macOS installer package.

Get help

If you have any queries please contact the UIS service desk by emailing