Updating macOS

Tags mac


For security of the computer and the University of Michigan, LSA Mac computers need to be updated to the most recent versions of 13 (Ventura) or 14 (Sonoma). 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.


Note: macOS updates require an administrator account to upgrade.

In the past, macOS updates did not require administrator privileges, however, Apple has now added this requirement to all supported operating systems. How to determine if you have administrator privileges:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. In the System Preferences window, click on the Users & Groups icon
  3. On the left side of the window that opens, locate your account name in the list
    • If the word Admin is immediately below your account name, then you are an administrator on this machine
    • If the word Standard is there, then you are not an administrator and your account cannot be used to install software or make administrative changes

If you do not have administrator privileges on your Mac device, please contact the LSA Technology Services support team when you are ready to upgrade to and they will be able to remotely enter administrator credentials to initiate the process.


Step-by-Step Video


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 25GB 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.
  • Set aside at least an hour for the installation to run. Your computer will be unavailable while you upgrade to the new operating system.
  • 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.


Install Required macOS Updates

  1. Click Update Device on the reminder prompt to open the Software Update menu in System Preferences
  2. Click on the Update Now, Restart Now, or Upgrade Now to launch the update (the button may differ depending on the type of update)

NOTE: Depending on which macOS version you are currently running, you may see a "More Info" link in System Preferences. If desired, click More Info to upgrade to the newest macOS version available for your device.


  1. Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the update

Install Optional macOS Updates

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Click Software Update. The system will check for available updates. If an update is available, continue with the next step.
  3. Click Update NowRestart Now, or Upgrade Now to launch the update (the button may differ depending on the type of update)
  4. Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the update


What happens next:

  • You may be prompted for an administrator account
    • If you have administrator privileges on your computer, log in with your uniqname and U-M (Level-1) password. If you do not have administrator privileges on your LSA Mac computer, please contact the LSA Technology Services support team.
  • 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 versions compatible with the new macOS. 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 Recovered Items shortcut on your desktop. Learn more about Recovered Items.
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Article ID: 1727
Wed 5/27/20 10:36 AM
Tue 12/19/23 1:48 PM