Automatic Restarts for Windows – phase 2

October 9th, 2023

As part of our continuing security improvement initiatives, Digital and Technology Services (DTS) will be starting monthly ‘Automatic Restarts’ for university-managed Microsoft Windows devices.  

Microsoft provide monthly updates to keep our Windows systems secure and, they also occasionally introduce new productivity features to help us in our work. If devices are not restarted regularly, they are more vulnerable to cyber threats.  

Following a successful pilot of automatic restarts within DTS, Libraries and IT Reps in September, DTS will now proceed with its second phase of the rollout plan.  

When will this start?

From Monday 23 October, the rollout will be extended to all Windows devices within the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Social Sciences.  

Following the second rollout, in November, we will complete the rollout by including all university faculties and professional services departments.   

Who and what devices does this apply to?

The monthly Automatic Restarts will only apply to Windows devices that are university-managed, i.e., Desktops, Laptops, Surface Pros. Note, PCs in central computer rooms and known servers already have their own separate restart rules. 

Such devices are issued to staff, associates, and postgraduate researchers (PGRs). Please note, if a user of their device change roles to a different Faculty and take it with them, the device remains associated to their original role.  

What will happen each month?

In the week following the second Tuesday of each month, users get a pop-up message prompting the user to restart the device at a convenient time. A future date and time of two weeks will be shown. Users can snooze the message up until 24-hours before the deadline.  

Then a final 24-hour warning pop-up will appear before the device automatically restarts, this cannot be snoozed.  

The two-week countdown will only start, and the pop-up message appear when the device downloads its updates and are ready to be installed. Note, if a device has multiple pending updates, users may receive a restart notification twice in one month.  

What if a Windows device cannot be restarted?

We are aware that some devices will need to be excluded from the Automatic Restart process. Submit this exemption form to request a device to be excluded from the monthly automatic restarts. The exemption is by device, not its user(s). Devices that are approved to be exempt will only receive a restart reminder message.  

Your feedback and FAQs

To help us assess how effective the initiative is, we are asking users provide feedback on the experience and any issues by submitting this form. 

For more details and FAQs about automatic restarts, visit this Workspace page. We welcome your feedback for any improvements. 

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