AppState utilizes a patch management plan on a University-managed Mac in order to apply OS (operating system), software, and security updates and provide consistent functionality across campus services. Keeping your software up to date is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Mac’s security. The following provides an explanation of the different types of updates that will need to be installed on your Mac:

Apple Operating System Upgrades (Major macOS Upgrades)

A new version of the operating system that offers a significant change or major improvement over your current version. For example, if you are running macOS 10.15 (Catalina), you can upgrade to macOS 11 (Big Sur) to take advantage of new features. ITS will test new operating systems to make sure they meet standards and work with campus services before making them available.


AppState currently follows the model of supporting the latest released version of macOS (following an internal testing period) and one version previous. Currently, supported versions include macOS 11 (Big Sur) and macOS 10.15 (Catalina).

Once available, ITS supports the latest available and one previous version of the operating system from Apple. To upgrade your Operating System, use the following guide:

Apple Software Updates (Minor macOS Updates)

A minor update for the current operating system or other Apple developed software (i.e. Safari),  that provides security updates, bug fixes, and/or additional functionality. For example, if you are running macOS 10.15.6 you may be prompted for an update to macOS 10.15.7. Apple software updates are required as soon as they are available and will be automatically installed and rebooted if no action is taken within 7 days. To learn more about Apple Software Updates, visit:

3rd-Party Software Updates

Updates for an application that is created by a company/vendor other than Apple (i.e. Zoom, Google Chrome, Firefox). For example, if you are running Google Chrome version 89.0.4389.90 you may be prompted for an update to Google Chrome version 89.0.4389.114.


On a University-managed Mac, ITS will deploy patches for some 3rd-party software however, it is your responsibility for keeping ALL 3rd-party software up to date.

When a 3rd-party application like Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop App or Microsoft Office is updated by ITS, you may find update notifications in Self Service on your Mac. For additional information about applying 3rd-party software updates via Self Service, visit:

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