MacOS: Application Update Notifications

Last Updated

It is very important that applications are updated in a timely manner and patched for potential security vulnerabilities.  Applications are updated in several ways depending on the capabilities of the application and the tools available from our computer management systems. The most common methods are highlighted below.

To the extent possible, UWEC Mac computers will receive a notification about the available updates through the macOS notification system when application updates are pushed. While these updates are voluntary for a period of time, they will become mandatory depending on the security risks involved. It is recommended to update the software when notified, as updating them later may interrupt your work.


Mac App Store

Several applications are available directly from the Mac App Store and are made available for initial installation from within Self Service.  Apps installed via the Mac App Store are automatically updated by Apple and LTS has no control of when the apps will be updated.  Some common examples of these apps are Microsoft Remote Desktop, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and GarageBand.

Jamf App Catalog

A majority of applications are updated using the Jamf App Catalog method.  The advantage is that Jamf builds the update installers and LTS is able to configure notifications for most applications to let the computer user know that an update is available and allow up to 7 days before the application if forced to quit and install the update.

  1. Shortly after a new version of an application is released, the app installer will become available.  If the application is not running on a computer it will be immediately updated.
  2. If the application is running, the computer user will receive a notification that the application will need to be quit in order to update with the numbers of days remaining.
  3. Once the application is quit, the application will update immediately and a update complete message will display.
  4. If the application is not quit and the computer reaches the end of the days remaining, the application will be force quit and updated without further user notification.

Self Service Patch Notifications

Updates through this method include patch notifications that appear in the top right of the main computer window.
Updates can be applied by going to the Self Service application and the Notifications section. Once in Self Service, the updates can be run on each application by selecting Update or on all the available updates at once with the Update All button.


NOTE: You will be prompted to exit out of the application if it is still running

Self Service Reinstall

For applications that cannot be updated with the methods above, it is oftentimes necessary to reinstall the newer version of the application. Once aware of a newer version of an application, LTS will make that application available for installation through Self Service.  If you have previously installed through Self Service, you may see the Install button be renamed as Reinstall, either will install the newest version available in Self Sevice.

Policy Installation

Some applications are automatically installed and updated in the background by LTS and are not applications the computer user directly interacts with or would be affected if the application needed to quit. These tend to be security tools and resources and are updated in the background by the application itself or as a computer policy that does not require the computer user to do anything.

Special Case: Adobe Applications

Adobe has its own application update process through the Adobe Creative Cloud application. Please refer to this KB for more information

Special Case: Microsoft Office 365 Applications

The Microsoft Office 365 applications have their own update process through the Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) application. When updates are available, you will receive notifications through this application to quit certain products so that they may update.  You can Snooze the update for up to 7 days before it will force quit the application and update.