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Performing a macOS Update and Best Practices

An overview of the EIT Service Desk's recommended best practices when it comes to updating your macOS device.


As of July 2024, the Service Desk is removing restrictions for major macOS updates, such that users can perform updates without Service Desk input. The following are a few recommended best practices that users should keep in mind when performing such updates.


All Engineering* Apple computers that are administered by the Service Desk are enrolled in the Code42 backup service. This will automatically back up user data to the service's cloud servers.

In addition to Code42, we strongly encourage users to keep an individual Time Machine backup. Time Machine is Apple's built-in backup program available freely on all macOS devices. In order to run Time Machine, users will need to purchase and set up an external drive for use with the program. The EIT Service Desk recommends this external drive for use with Time Machine. Instructions on how to set up your drive for Time Machine can be found here.

While the Service Desk recommends running regular backups through Time Machine in addition to Code42, it is also highly recommended that users run a manual backup before performing a major OS update. This is also done through Time Machine. Instructions can also be found on this page.

*Computers purchased by the Physics and Mathematics departments are enrolled by Code42 on a case-by-case basis, depending on if individual licenses have been purchased.

Power & Network

In order to ensure that the update is properly downloaded and installed, please ensure that your macOS device is connected to power for the entire duration of the process. If the computer loses power or runs out of battery during the update process, it could have negative effects on the machine. Additionally, the device will need steady networking for the duration of the download portion of the process. Please ensure that the device is either connected to Eduroam or hardwired Ethernet for the duration of the update.

Performing the Update

Once the preparations for the update have been completed (backup and power/networking), the actual process is fairly simple. The download for the major version of macOS that you're looking for can be found on Apple's official update page, under the "User the App Store" section. Each link will open the macOS App Store. Once the App Store opens, it'll ask you to confirm that you want to download the update installer. Once the confirmation is given, it'll open System Settings and start the download. Once the download is finished, an install button will appear. Click this button, and the installation will begin. To ensure that the installation is completed properly, the Service Desk recommends leaving the device alone until it is done. The device may restart several times to complete the update. Once the computer shows a login screen, the installation is complete.

KeywordsmacOS os mac apple imac macbook update policy policies bestpractices practices best   Doc ID138073
OwnerTyler T.GroupUMD Engineering IT
Created2024-06-24 09:44:34Updated2024-06-24 12:35:11
SitesUniversity of Maryland Engineering IT
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