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Step by step guide to upgrade the operating system on school issued Mac and Windows 10 computers.


  1. Complete a backup of your key data.

  2. Make sure your computer has been updated fully prior to the upgrade using the following articles from Apple and Microsoft:

    1. Macs

    2. Windows

  3. Quit all your open applications.

  4. Connect to a fast and reliable internet connection, such as the eduroam wifi or the wired internet connection in your office.

  5. Connect your device to power and make sure your power cables are securely connected at both ends.


How long will it take to perform the upgrade?

This Upgrade requires a large data download and times can vary depending on computer hardware and your internet connection. In our testing, the upgrade finishes fastest when done on campus. On average, newer computers take about an hour to complete on campus. Older hardware that is off campus may take several hours or more to complete.

To prevent the upgrade from interrupting your work, we suggest starting the upgrade at the end of a workday, and making certain the upgrade is running before leaving it to run overnight.

Upgrade Windows 10


What version of Windows am I running?

Check to see what version of Windows you're currently running with the winver command. 

  1. Click on the Windows Search Circle or Search Field in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

  2. Type:   winver  and press the Enter key

  3. Check the 'About Windows' popup to see if the version of Windows that you're running is current (20H2). 

  4. Follow the instructions below if the version doesn't say 20H2.


  1. Click here to Download the Windows 20H2 Updater.

  2. Find the Installer file that you just downloaded (most likely in your Downloads folder or on your Desktop).

  3. Right-click this file, click on "Open with..." and choose Windows Explorer.

  4. Double-click "Setup" (or Setup.exe).

  5. Proceed through the installer prompts.

  6. Run any remaining Windows Updates to bring your computer completely up to date.

Software Center Method

  1. If you attempting the upgrade off campus, open a VPN connection.

  2. Open Software Center

    1. Click on the Windows Search Circle or Search Field in the lower left hand corner of the screen. (Or right-click on the Windows Logo, then click on 'Search') and type:  Software Center

      1. or

      2. Software Center
  3. Click on Software Center in the list that comes up.

  4. Select Operating Systems from the left hand column.

  5. Click Upgrade Windows 10

  6. Click the Install button.

  7. A window will pop up to confirm you are ready to upgrade. To proceed, click the Install button.

  8. After a minute you will see a progress bar as the computer updates.

    1. The upgrade process may take an hour or more.

    2. Your device may restart more than once during this process. This is normal.

    3. Once the upgrade has completed, log in to your computer and follow any onscreen prompts.

  9. Run any remaining software updates to bring your computer completely up to date.

Upgrade macOS


This is for all macOS machines with version 10.15.7 and under that can support Big Sur from a hardware standpoint.

  1. Open CIT Self Service (click the magnifying glass icon🔎 in the top right-hand corner of the screen and type in CIT Self Service).

  2. The upgrade will appear on the Featured tab, or you can click the OS tab.

  3. Click on the Upgrade button for Upgrade macOS.

  4. Review the upgrade notification, and when ready to proceed, click the Upgrade button.

    1. Your device may restart more than once during this process; this is normal.

  5. Once the upgrade has completed, log in to your computer and follow any onscreen prompts.


Upgrade is running slowly

The speed of the upgrade depends on a variety of factors including your internet connection, the age of the computer that's being upgraded, and the age of the OS that the computer is currently running. To prevent the upgrade from interrupting your work, we suggest starting the upgrade at the end of a workday, and making certain the upgrade is running.

What will happen if I do not upgrade by the deadline?


macOS will offer the user a one time option for postponing the upgrade at the deadline. The Mac will then perform the upgrade at the new time. If the Mac is off at the time when it has been postponed, it will perform the upgrade the next time it has been turned on.


Windows computers will only perform the upgrade when they are connected to the campus network. If the Windows computer has previously downloaded the upgrade, it will automatically close all applications and initiate the process on the deadline. If the Windows computer has not completely downloaded the upgrade by the deadline, it will attempt to download the upgrade then begin the upgrade process. 

The computer doesn't have enough space to perform the upgrade

If the computer does not have enough space to perform the upgrade you will need to clear space on your hard drive. One way to preserve space on your hard drive would be to move files to a /wiki/spaces/HELP/pages/76777280. Click here to create a request for advice on how to make space on your computer to perform the upgrade.

I don't see the Upgrade in the Software Center

If you are currently away from the SUNY Geneseo campus, you must first connect to the Virtual Private Networking (VPN) before proceeding. If the upgrade option still does not appear, please attempt the upgrade using the Manual Method

I'm getting an Optane (™) Memory Pinning error

Using add remove programs to uninstall the Optane pinning program. This should resolve the Optane (™) Memory Pinning Error after a reboot.

How can I tell what OS version I'm currently running?


  • Security upgrades - The most important reason to upgrade systems is to patch the vulnerabilities that exist in older operating systems. Both Apple and Microsoft have changed the way they handle their older operating systems and CIT has to keep up by enforcing a new upgrade process.

  • Efficiency - Both Apple and Microsoft have made the code running their operating systems smaller and more efficient. In recent years, it's become more common to have upgrades improve a computer's performance.

  • New features - New operating systems come with new features which empower clients with the ability to do more with existing hardware.


Updates vs. Upgrades

An update is when patches of code are released in order to fix minor stability or security issues. An upgrade is when the old operating system is replaced with the newest and supported version.

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Paige Piccola

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