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Operating Systems [Mac] Big Sur Upgrade FAQ

This article answers questions Mac Users might have if they are unable to upgrade their device to Big Sur.

What is happening and why?
Campus Technology Support (CTS) is upgrading all university owned Mac Computers to streamline user experience by ensuring all devices are running current versions of macOS. 
Why is this happening?
This upgrade will bring the best security to users and provides additional technology resources to the campus Mac community through Self Service. Additionally, this will make upgrading devices easier for Mac users in the future by removing the need to contact IT staff for system updates. 
How will I be affected?
Some devices are incompatible with macOS 11.0 Big Sur and will require special treatment on a case-by-case basis.
Users whose device falls into this category will need to contact the UWM Help Desk to set up an appointment with desktop support.
An IT professional will be able to guide you in the upgrade.
Following is a list of situations which would indicate your device will require special treatment:
    • You do not have the Self Service app on your device
    • You see the message, Why can’t I upgrade to Big Sur? in Self Service
    • You do not have Big Sur available in Self Service on your device
    • You attempt a Software Update from About This Mac but are unable to complete the upgrade
    • You see your device listed in the table below

Model Identifier



iMac Intel (21.5-inch, Late 2012)


iMac Intel (27-inch, Late 2012)


iMac Intel (27-inch, Early 2013)


iMac Intel (21.5-inch, Late 2013)


iMac Intel (27-inch, Late 2013)


iMac Intel (21.5-inch, Late 2013)


MacBook Air (11-inch Mid 2012)


MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2012)


15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)


13-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)


15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Mid 2012)


13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2012)


Mac mini (Late 2012)


Mac mini Server (Late 2012)

To view your device model name:

    • Click the Apple button in your toolbar. 
    • From the drop-down menu, select About This Mac (first option).
    • This will display the current version of your macOS, followed by your devices ModelIdentifier and Model
Who should I contact?
Users should contact the UWM Help Desk to set up an appointment for service on their device. Call them at 414-229-4040 or toll free at 877-381-3459.
You can also request support online by filling out a form. This will create a ticket and someone from Desktop Support will contact you to set up a time for your device to be serviced. 
Note: When filling out the online support form, be sure to select the option for University Owned Computer or Printer.
How long will it take?
Device upgrade times vary based on device age and staff availability. When your device is ready, someone will contact you to set up a time to pick up your improved device. 
Are loaner devices available while my computer is being upgraded?
Desktop support has loaner devices available on a case-by-case basis. If you require a loaner to complete your job duties, please indicate that when you set up your drop off appointment.
I work remotely and am not able to come to campus. What are my Options? 
Workers that are not able to bring their device to campus will need to be recognized on a case-by-case basis. If this fits your circumstance, please contact the UWM Help Desk to discuss your options. 
My device is unable to upgrade to Big Sur, how do I get a new one?
If you are unable to upgrade to Big Sur and have determined with your supervisor and an IT professional that you need to purchase a new device, please fill out a Purchase Request form.
For more information on IT Purchasing, please visit our Purchasing, Computer Hardware website and/or review our IT Purchasing FAQ.

Keywords:Mac, university, owned, upgrade, jamf, big, sur, Catalina, apple, self, service, help, desk, update, return, loan, install, managed, manage,   Doc ID:89858
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2019-02-20 12:30 CDTUpdated:2023-04-21 10:04 CDT
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
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