ITS Service Desk

How To Manage Computer Updates

If you have been issued a college-owned computer, along with it comes the responsibility to keep it updated. In a nutshell, this means installing regular operating system updates.

Microsoft and Apple release major OS updates several times per year, and they release security updates about weekly. These updates provide additional functionality, and more importantly, they resolve vulnerabilities, which makes your computer safer and more secure. While ITS staff has the overall responsibility of maintaining our computer inventory, we depend highly on the cooperation of each computer user to help us keep our computers current.


So, we have a chore for you. Here are the steps you need to take to keep your computer updated:

  1. Reboot

That's it. One thing. Reboot. And do it often.

If you reboot your computer at least weekly, you'll insure that you're always getting the latest updates. Both Microsoft and Apple use the same process for applying updates. The OS checks for available updates regularly, and those updates are applied during the reboot process. So as long as you're rebooting regularly, your computer will be good.


We know that having to install an update can be inconvenient.; they never seem to happen at a good time. But if you take a proactive approach to be aware of the update process, regularly reboot your computer, and expect the updates to run, then you'll reduce the chance that you'll be forced to install an update at an inconvenient time.

Current Versions

To check your current Windows version:

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Click Settings (gear icon) > System > About

To check your current MacOS version:

  1. Click the Apple icon (upper left)
  2. Select "About This Mac"

We're Watching

We run regular scans of all college-owned computers to make sure updates are being applied and computers are running the current version of the OS. We occasionally find computers that are not updated. We've heard several reasons for users not updating their computers:

  • it's a student workstation that doesn't get used daily
  • a department has a shared laptop that hasn't been used in a long time
  • a user rarely reboots (or turns on) their computer

No matter the reason, all computers must still be updated. So, if we find that your computer is seriously outdated, we will contact you and ask that you simply reboot soon so that any pending updates can be installed. We expect that you'll be able to help us make this happen.

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