Love your device

It's important to install updates on your devices to ensure that they are protected. ICT will push out updates to College devices periodically, however you will need to check for updates on your own personal devices. Rebooting keeps your device running efficiently and ensures security updates have been installed. Updates can be just security patches and cause no real change in how you use your system or can be more significant changes like a brand new operating system.

The College also offers Windows Defender (for Windows and Mac) to protect hardware against viruses. This software should be preinstalled on Imperial College London devices managed by ICT. ICT recommends you have antivirus software installed on your own personal devices to protect you and your data. 

Installing updates

A video on the importance of keeping your devices up to date


Windows users

Rebooting will force updates to be installed on your PC. You will also receive notifications asking you to update your PC periodically; we advise you to set aside some time to install these updates.

Whilst we work remotely, we have disabled the function to reboot the desktop PC you are accessing on campus. We advise you to reboot your machine when you receive a notification or to visit the Software Center application (Search “Software Center” from the Start menu) to install your updates.  You can also reboot your machine by opening the Task Manager using the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys. 

Windows 7 to 10 upgrades

From January 2023, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, which means that they will not offer any technical support for issues, software updates or security fixes. This means that we need to upgrade your operating system from Windows 7 to 10. Find out more by visiting our Windows 10 webpages. 

Mac users

Mac users will receive notifications when they need to update.

You can manually check for updates on your Mac by going to System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Software Update.

College Mac users need to be running Big Sur, Monterey and Venura to be supported and for Microsoft Office applications to work. Visit our Upgrading your macOS web page for more information on how to update your Mac. 

Opting out of updates

We understand that updates can be time-consuming and come at inconvenient times however it is important that your device is up-to-date to ensure it is safe when using the College network and applications. We will give you a seven-day warning when we have an update to push out. We advise you to install the updates on the first instance of a warning, however, you will be given the option to ignore this warning. If you are running a lab experiment or specific equipment that will only run on a certain operating system, please contact the ICT Service Desk and we will assist where we can. If you would like to opt-out of forced reboots as the monthly cycles do not work with your work patterns, please fill in this form on ASK

Update notifications on College machines

The below tabs explain how notifications will look on your computer when we need you to update and reboot. 

College device update notifications


Staff who use a Windows 10 PC will receive notification of a new update that has been installed that requires a reboot. If you choose to press “snooze” then the notification will appear every 4 hours until a reboot happens.

If after six days you have not rebooted your PC, you will receive a notification informing you that a forced reboot will occur in 24 hours. If you still do not reboot you will get one final notification four hours before your machine will automatically reboot

Note: Please make sure you only click restart at a time when you have up to 20-30 minutes free for the update to take place.

Below is a reminder of the notifications you will receive


Notification Type 1: More than 24 hours from restart deadline

Upon completion of the Windows/Office 365 install, staff will see the following notification informing them of a forced reboot in roughly 7 days.

Restart notification 1

Snooze = Removes this notification for 4 hours.
Restart = 
Restarts device with no further notifications.

Notification Type 2: Less than 24 hours from restart deadline

If Restart has not been clicked in the preceding 6 days, the following message will appear. It is like the above but now features a countdown bar.

Restart notification 2

Snooze = Removes this notification for 4 hours.
Restart = 
Restarts device with no further notifications.

Notification Type 3: Four hours from restart deadline

If the member of staff has chosen not to click restart, then for the final 4 hours this notification will appear. This message is non-dismissible and will carry out the reboot at the end of the 4 hours.

Restart notification 3

Restart = Restarts device with no further notifications.


Security updates

This below is an example prompt that you will get to install the security updates on your Mac. You will have three chances to postpone and the prompt will not appear if they have any video conferencing software running so it won’t disturb presentations. After your third chance, you will have to install updates. 

Mac security update


OS update notification

We now require every member of the College using a Mac to be running Mojave, Catalina or Big Sur 

If your Mac is not running the correct operating system, the below screen will start showing and filling the screen for 30seconds at a time. You will need to update your system as soon as possible to stop this notification from showing.