Windows/MAC Workstation Security Updates & Patching FAQ


To enhance data security posture, IT Services is implementing a new process to manage the regular installation of critical security updates to Windows and MAC computers.   

What does that mean for you, the end user? It means that once a month, your computer will install necessary security updates automatically. Once installed, you may be prompted to reboot your machine with the pop up message shown below. 

If you are ready to reboot your computer, SAVE ALL WORK YOU HAVE OPEN. Then Click the YES Button to begin the reboot process. Do not do any further work until the reboot has completed. 

If you are not ready to reboot your computer, click the No button. This will snooze the reboot prompt for 2 hours. You will be allowed to Snooze the process 5 times before being forced to reboot your computer. 

If you do not click either button, your computer will automatically reboot in 30 minutes. 


Recommendations we have include:
  1. Don’t wait until the you’ve reached the 5th Snooze period.
  2. Don’t ignore the prompt.   If you do, your computer will reboot automatically in 30 minutes with no additional notification.
  3. Make the time to reboot to complete the installation of the updates, occasionally larger updates can take a few extra minutes to complete once the computer starts back up.
  4. Save your work frequently.   Better safe than sorry.


1) How often will updates be installed on my Windows machine? 

Answer: Updates will be installed once a month. You may be asked to reboot your machine more than one time depending upon the updates needed. That is normal and reboots should be performed as required. 

2) Does my computer need to be connected to the Queens' network in order to receive updates? 

Answer: Yes. The computer needs to be either on the Queens network (by being onsite, turned on and connected to your docking station or wifi) or connected to the VPN while away from campus. It is good practice to connect your computer to the VPN once a week (if you plan to be off campus for an extended period of time) to receive critical updates as needed. Staying connected to the VPN for roughly an hour should ensure updates are processed as needed. 

*If away for an extended period of time, your machine will pick up where it left off and install all updates once re-connected to the Queens network. Note: that this may require multiple reboots in order to catch up on needed security updates. 

3) Do I have to reboot my machine?

Answer: Short Answer, YES. If a reboot is needed, then you will be given a pop-up box in the lower right hand corner of the screen. You should reboot your machine within the day the pop up is shown to ensure that your machine is kept up to date and secured from threats. 

4) Will I lose any work that I have in progress?

Answer: It is imperative that you save all work you have open before clicking the Yes button to reboot. If not, you may be at risk for losing data. *We also suggest that you save all work when clicking No (to snooze the reboot), just to be safe. ;-)

5) How long does the reboot take?

       Answer: Reboot times will vary depending upon several factors such as, machine make and model, number of patches to be installed, size of patches. In most cases, the reboot should not take too much longer than what you are used to. In some cases you will see the below messages while the installation completes:


6) What happens if my machine or applications do not function correctly after the update and reboot? 

Answer: I.T. does extensive testing of all updates but we are unable to test every combination of software and plugins that might be in our environment. That is where your assistance plays a critical role. You should contact the Helpdesk immediately either by opening a ticket at or calling us at 704.337.2323. Your help is greatly appreciated in identifying possible concerns with updates so that we may stay ahead of any possible issues. 

7) Will I be able to work on my machine while the updates are being installed? 

Answer: Yes, the updates will be installed silently and the only user interaction will be needed if a reboot is required. At which time, SAVE ALL WORK AND CLICK YES TO REBOOT OR NO TO SNOOZE (UP TO 5 TIMES). ON THE 5TH TIME, NO OPTION WILL BE GIVEN AND YOU WILL BE FORCED TO CLICK OK TO REBOOT OR REBOOT WILL COMMENCE IN 30 MINUTES TIME. 

8) Can I opt out of receiving updates? 

Answer: No. These are updates are crucial to the security of our technology environment and must be installed as needed. 

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