Requests for macOS upgrades


This article contains essential information for users considering a request for their Apple Macintosh device to be upgraded to a different version of macOS. Please read carefully before raising an upgrade request with the Service Desk.

Update 24th October 2022

This date sees the public release of macOS 13 (Ventura). Until further notice, we will not be offering upgrades to this version. It is necessary for the final, public version (rather than the Beta version) to be tested with key systems to ensure that upgrading will not produce unwanted results. Please do not ask to upgrade to Ventura at this time. Once Ventura has been approved, upgrades are likely to be made available for machines enrolled in the Jamf management system, via the Self Service app. If your Mac is not enrolled in Jamf, please create a request for this at

Urgent update 10th February 2021

Apple have now released a supplemental update to Big Sur, Catalina and Mojave. If you are running one of these versions of macOS already, you must install the update as soon as possible to address a significant security flaw. Your device should be running one of the following versions as a minimum version number:

If your OS is set to update automatically, you will be prompted by the system and not require administrative privileges to run the update.


To facilitate upgrade work, your Mac must be enrolled in the Jamf management system. If this enrolment has not taken place on your device, please contact the IT Service to arrange for this to happen ASAP. Upgrades will be undertaken using the Jamf system in some cases. However, if your machine has changed primary user, needs to be upgraded several versions or simply has not been re-imaged in some time, the preferred upgrade route is to erase the hard drive and start afresh using the latest version of macOS possible.

Upgrades to macOS can be complicated and time-consuming, so careful thought needs to be given to the appropriateness of any work, especially if the upgrade is being carried out remotely.

Apple continue to provide security updates to their operating system for some time after newer major versions have been released. Based on historical patterns, the latest macOS, plus the previous two versions are kept secure. At the time of writing, this means that Monterey (macOS 12), Big Sur (macOS 11) and Catalina (macOS 10.15) continue to receive updates. If you are running any of these versions, they are all capable of running key University systems such as Microsoft Remote Desktop, Office, OneDrive and Teams. Therefore, it is less likely that we will agree to upgrading your operating system at this time. You will need to state a clear case as to why an upgrade is necessary, rather than optional, in your situation. Mojave (macOS 10.14) is now considered end-of-life and should be upgraded. Any machine running this version or earlier should no longer be connected to the wired campus network.

If you are running macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or older, we may need to consider the age and warranty status of the machine and look to replacing the device rather than upgrading the OS. Upgrades from very old versions such as Yosemite cannot be considered.

NB - even if you have been granted administrative permissions for your Mac, this will not include permission to upgrade to another major release of macOS, so users must not carry out their own upgrades. As a rule, IT will set automatic updates within the same major release, so you may be prompted to install patches and are free to run these. Administrative privileges are not required for this.

Should we agree to upgrade you Mac, there are a number of key considerations and prerequisits. Any upgrade, particularly if done remotely, comes with risks of not working as expected and may take several hours to complete, during which time the device will be unusable. You will need to consider what happens if a failed upgrade renders the machine unusable, especially if the machine is in use off campus.

Particular attention should be paid to compatibility of encryption management & antivirus software, plus any applications critical to the user's work. Please note that Catalina and newer versions only allow 64-bit applications to be run. If your software only exists as 32-bit, you will lose functionality if upgrading beyond Mojave.

User actions

In preparation for the upgrade, users will need to: