Important Security Information: Windows Updates for Campus Computers

With computer viruses, spyware, malware and ransomware becoming more prevalent, the need to keep computers patched is more critical than ever. Please be aware of the following information and ongoing schedule:


  • Your computer needs to be on at night to receive Windows updates. If a computer does not receive updates for two months in a row, updates will be required during business hours. You will receive a four-hour countdown notification ahead of time, but this update could cause an interruption in work. To prevent this from happening, please be sure to leave your computer on at night with your work saved so you can receive the updates.

Last Friday of each month:

  • Mandatory Updates:  If updates are not installed manually by you (see *Manual Updates below), they will be installed automatically on the last Friday of the month, after 10 p.m. and before 5 a.m. (Please note this could require your computer to reboot, so it’s important you save all your work and close all documents before leaving for the evening).
  • Important:  ITS does all we can to avoid interrupting work which is why these updates are installed after 10 p.m. and before 5 a.m. It is very important that you leave your computer on (but lock the screen using Ctrl + Alt + Del) when you leave for the evening.

Third Tuesday of each month:

  • *Manual Updates (optional):  Updates are made available to campus machines on the third Tuesday of each month after 10 p.m. This gives you time to install update(s) on your own before you are required to do so. To manually install updates, go to the Start button on your computer and search for Software Center and look at Updates. If you have updates available you can install them. If you do nothing, they will become mandatory and will be pushed out to your machine on the last Friday of each month.

Exception—Off campus computers:

  • If you have a UNCW computer that is off campus it will not automatically receive these updates. In order to receive these critical updates off campus, please be sure to VPN into campus at least once a month. The best way to do this is to connect to VPN on the last Friday of the month, in the evening, and leave the computer connected overnight. It should be updated in the morning, and the VPN connection will have terminated.

In a nutshell: Leave your campus computer on each evening and save your work. If you do this, you will receive the mandatory updates.

If you have questions, please contact the TAC at 910-962-4357.