Enforced Windows system updates


Published: 20Jan2021

On February 1, 2020, IT Services will begin enforcing restarts for all IT-managed Windows systems with pending updates. 

This measure is being taken to protect McGill systems and data from information security threats. Though many users restart their systems in a timely fashion, some delay restarting for up to several months. Regular patching is essential for information security and ongoing computer maintenance. Restarting is often required to complete the patching process. 

Starting February 1, you must restart your computer within 7 days of being notified that a restart is required. If you do not restart within the 7-day grace period, your system will automatically restart when you least expect it and you risk losing any unsaved data. 

You will be reminded to restart until you do one of the following: 1) schedule a restart, 2) “Update and Restart” manually, or 3) the 7-day grace period expires and a restart is performed automatically. You will also be prompted to install third-party drivers on an ongoing basis. Some of these updates will also require you to restart your computer. In case of BIOS and other firmware upgrades, your computer may restart multiple times before Windows loads. This is expected behaviour. 

To ensure no data is lost due to this change, please adopt the following best practices: 

  • Save your work frequently. 
  • Do not leave applications open with unsaved changes. 
  • Sign-out when you are not using your system, rather than locking your screen or simply disconnecting a Remote Desktop Session. 

For more information on Windows updates, visit the IT Knowledge Base article Windows 10 updates using Windows Update for Business (WUfB)  

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