Updating macOS with Managed Software Center

Tags mac how-to

LSA Mac computers on an Operating System 10.13 and older need to be updated to 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), or 11.0 (Big Sur) for security of the computer and the University of Michigan. Keeping operating systems and software up to date is a shared security responsibility that all faculty, researchers, staff, and students using U-M computers are responsible to comply with per the U-M Information Security SPG 601.27 and Responsibilities & Expectations for Self-Managing U-M Devices.

A number of critical applications do not run on Big Sur or Catalina at this time, including all 32-bit applications and tools. If you rely on any of these applications, please do not upgrade to Big Sur or Catalina versions at this time.


 Note: macOS 11 Big Sur requires an administrator account to upgrade.
Normally, macOS updates do not require administrator privileges, however, this is a new Apple requirement built into the operating system. If you do not have administrator privileges on your Macintosh device, please contact the LSA Technology Services support team when you are ready to upgrade to Big Sur and they will be able to remotely enter administrator credentials to initiate the process.

Prior to installing the new OS

  • Install all pending updates available in the Managed Software Center.
     Tip: Verify that you have opened the Managed Software Center and not the App Store.
  • Plug in your computer to a power source.
  • Connect your computer to a wired Internet network (recommended).
  • Verify your hard drive has 50GB of free space available. To view the available free space on your computer, click the Apple menu (top-left) and select About this Mac. Then, click the Storage tab in the window that displays.
  • Allow enough time for the update. It is recommended you set aside at least one hour for the installation to run.
  • Backup your data! With any update, there is a small risk of data loss so please verify you have a backup of your data. Check our File Storage web page for a list of supported storage solutions available to you. For help with this, contact LSA Technology Services.
 Note: Verify your MDM profile is enabled.
MDM enrollment is required for the use of U-M software and to ensure your device is safe and secure.
     Open System Preferences, click on Profiles and then MDM Profile and click Approve.
     If the profile is already set to Verified/Approved, no further action is needed.

Install the new OS

  1. Launch the Managed Software Center application. This application can be accessed in two ways:
    • Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, type in “Managed Software Center” and hit enter.
    • OR Navigate to the “Applications” folder in Finder then double click the Managed Software Center application.
    • Do not do any update through the Mac App Store on University owned machines.
  2. Click on the "Updates" button in the center of the grey bar at the top of the Managed Software Center application.
  3. Under “Other available updates” click the “+” button on the “Install macOS Big Sur” option.
If you do no see Install macOS Big Sur listed, your Mac may not be compatible with Big Sur. Please contact LSA Technology Services for assistance.
  1. Click Update (or the plus symbol) next to it in order to add to your updates.
  2. Click the Update All button in the upper right-hand corner of that window.

What happens next:

  • After Managed Software Center finishes, the Install macOS Big Sur tool will launch.
    • If you need to restart the installation, or it does not start automatically, you can find the Install macOS Big Sur item in your Applications folder and manually launch it.
  • Proceed through the macOS install assistant. You will be prompted for an administrator account.
    • If you have administrator privileges on your computer, log in with your uniqname and U-M password. If you do not have administrator privileges on your computer, please call the Technology Services Service Desk for assistance.
  • Your computer will restart after several minutes. Enter your password, if prompted, to continue the installation.

After the OS is installed:

  • Your computer will reboot. Log in normally when prompted.
  • Managed Software Center may launch shortly after you log in and may run for an extended time to upgrade applications to Big Sur-compatible versions. It is important you install all updates (restart may be required).
  • You may see a number of prompts to approve application notification on your Mac after logging in.
  • You may have a Relocated Items shortcut on your desktop.


Article ID: 1727
Wed 5/27/20 10:36 AM
Thu 7/29/21 8:54 AM