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Apple Mac Support

1. Your Mac

Apple has shipped the Mac OS X (from 10.12 Sierra OS X was rebranded macOS) operating system with all Macs since 2002.  Following on from big cats, Apple have started naming their OS after iconic locations in California and the versions are usually better known by this rather than their release number.  IT Services supports the shipping version of OS X (macOS) as well as the two previous versions, i.e.

  • macOS 10.13 - known as High Sierra


  • OS X 10.12 - known as Sierra
  • OS X 10.11 - known as El Capitan

If you are not sure which version is on your computer you can find out by clicking on the Apple menu, on the far left of the menu bar, and selecting About This Mac .  The resulting pop up window will show the version:


Older versions of OS X (10.10 Yosemite, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7 Lion, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, 10.3 Panther and 10.2 Jaguar) are only supported on a 'best efforts' basis, and we cannot guarantee to provide any support for legacy versions of the Mac operating system: OS X 10.1, OS 9 and earlier.

Apple has a strict policy on support for older hardware and maintains a list of obsolete models. Hardware is classed as 'obsolete' by Apple when it has been discontinued for more than 7 years and they will not provide any hardware service or parts for it.

2. Your Mac in Oxford

From Snow Leopard onwards your Mac provides inbuilt support for connecting to Exchange servers. As a result Mac users are able to use the Oxford Nexus email, shared calendaring and address book facilities. Make sure that you follow the links specific to your operating system to get the most out of using your Mac in Oxford.

Oxford Nexus
Oxford Nexus is the central Oxford service used for email, calendaring, contacts and much more. Mac users have various options on how they can interact with Nexus:
  • All Mac users can use Mail to access Nexus email (via IMAP)
  • Mac users can access Nexus through Outlook for Mac if they are using the Office for Mac 2016 (or 2011) suite.
  • Nexus can also be accessed via a web browser.
There is plenty of Nexus help documentation including FAQs.
Wireless networking
eduroam is an international federation of academic institutions which allows its users to visit other organisations and use the same username and password as they would use at their home institution. Oxford users can use eduroam in Oxford and at other participating organisations via the IT Service Remote Access Account username and password. Instructions on configuring your Mac to use eduroam are available from Connecting to eduroam via Mac, or, here for Lion and older versions.

The IT Services shop allows you to purchase software as a member of the University or for your College or Department. The shop can supply a huge range of software for Macs from Adobe products, to Microsoft Office, to SPSS.

In addition to your familiar and favourite applications there are some must-have software applications that you will need to access the core University services, they are:

To access the IT Services VPN service you can use the in-built VPN client or for version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and earlier use the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software.
You can protect your Mac from viruses by installing the University's supported anti-virus software Sophos which can be obtained from the IT Services self-registration service.
Although the threat from viruses and other malware to Mac OS X is low, it is highly recommended that you install anti-virus software for security and to prevent passing on malware that may affect Windows users.
Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)
The HFS (Hierarchical File Server) is a centrally funded service providing backup and long-term archive services to Senior Members, Post-graduates and Staff. To use the HFS you will need to install the appropriate TSM client. You will need the same client for Snow Leopard (10.6) or above (an older version does exsist for Leopard).
Purchasing and Repairs

From getting your existing Apple computer fixed to buying a new one, these pointers will get you on the right track:

Purchasing from Apple
You can buy everything that you might need for your Mac from the Apple Store for Education which will automatically offer you the discounts already negotiated with Apple when accessed from the University network. The Apple store allows you to shop on your own behalf (as staff or student) or on behalf of the University. If you are buying in volume for your college or department the University has a special deal with Apple that applies the 1000+ price discount when purchasing just 10 or more licenses for the latest versions of OS X/macOS, iWorks, iLife and other products. If you want to take advantage of this deal be sure to place your order through the University's Apple Account Manager.
Hardware Repairs
If your machine is still under warranty, you must take it to an Apple authorised repair service to ensure you don't void the warranty. Once your machine is beyond the warranty period, it is still advisable to use an Apple authorised service. They can supply genuine Apple parts and avoid the risk of non-compatible components causing even more damage. This official Apple repair site will lead you to the nearest service providers.
Training and help

IT Services can provide training and front-line support to help you to get the best out of your Mac:

Apple training
Apple courses are provided by the IT Learning Centre (ITLC) at 13 Banbury Road.  Many of the Centre's classroom courses are applicable to Apple Mac users, with some courses being specific to the Apple platform.  In addition, University members have free access to (, a huge library of online courses which includes most Apple appications.
Service Desk
The  Service Desk at IT Services is the initial point of contact for all of our front-line user support services. We will endeavor to fix your problem straight away, if we need to see you to resolve the issue, we will arrange a convenient appointment.
Mobile devices
You can access the wireless network at Oxford from your iPad or iPhone using eduroam.  Configure the in built VPN client and you can access your Nexus account to manage your email, calendars and contacts.
  1. To date, Apple has released new versions of Mac OS X/macOS about every 2 years. Typically, each new version introduces a few features that are not fully backwards compatible. Mac software is regularly updated to use these features, which means that there can be no guarantee that Mac software (Apple or third-party) will run on all versions of the operating system. It is important when upgrading or installing software to check that it is compatible with the version of OS X/macOS that you run on your Mac. This means that we cannot guarantee that all software required in the University will run on all supported versions of OS X/mac OS as this is entirely dependent on the software vendors themselves.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 20 February 2020