macOS 14 "Sonoma" is available for your downloading and installing pleasure in our Managed Software Center (MSC). You can also attempt to upgrade to macOS Sonoma using the standard method via Software Updates in System Preferences/Settings.
If your University-purchased Mac is compatible, you will see two options to upgrade listed in MSC.
One is the usual "Full Installer" that has been available in the past for upgrades via MSC. The second is a new option that we are calling the "Quick" install.
Simply put, the "Quick" install will refresh the softwareupdate service (which has had a tendency to get frozen during checks for updates from Apple) and then open Software Update in your System Preferences/Settings. We've made this option available because upgrades via Software Update tend to require a smaller download and recently have not needed admin privileges in order to complete.
What is the difference between Quick and Full?
Quick is a smaller download. Usually around 5 GB versus the 13 GB of the Full Installer.
During the Quick upgrade, the preparation stages occur while you are logged in versus at the login window during the Full Install. The progress bar during the Quick upgrade is usually more accurate than the MSC progress bar during a Full upgrade.
There are situations where the upgrade will continue after the user has logged back in to the Mac after it has restarted. Be aware of this situation if you desire to upgrade the Mac while you are away from it and are hoping to get right to work after the upgrade.
If you chose to go the Quick upgrade route, after clicking to install the Quick upgrade (and then clicking "Update All" in MSC to execute the upgrade), you will eventually be presented with a Software Update window that should show the macOS Sonoma upgrade. Click "Upgrade Now" to start the upgrade process...now.
If the Mac has an Apple Silicon processor (M1, M1 Pro, M2, etc.) you will be prompted for a password. This is the password you use to log into the Mac which should match your NetID password. This is not necessarily a prompt for admin credentials; a prompt for admin credentials will have two fields, one of which would not be autofilled with your username if you didn't have admin privileges on the Mac and one field would not have a pulldown menu in order to change the username.
macOS Sonoma should then begin to download and the Mac will "prepare" itself for the upgrade. In the event that this does not occur, please restart the Mac and try again.
If during the process of the Quick upgrade you are prompted for admin credentials, please go back to MSC and use the "Full Install" method of upgrading. There have been a few situations where users needed admin privileges to upgrade via the "Quick" Software Update method; these Macs are usually Intel-based Macs which started out running macOS Catalina.
After upgrading, MSC may show Sonoma upgrades are available even though you just completed the upgrade. Refer to this Apple Support Page to confirm what version of macOS is installed.
Please do not run the upgrades again if this happens. This is an anomaly in MSC caused by MSC not doing a full check after the upgrade has been applied. To clear the erroneously offered upgrades, reload the MSC window by choosing "Reload Page" from the Navigate menu within MSC.