Recommended Software

  • Cyber Essentials
  • An Office Suite (word processing, email, spreadsheet, etc.)
  • Adobe Reader
  • Backup Software
  • A Web Browser
Administrative Software
Graphic Design Software
Research Software

HMS IT Supported Operating Systems

Important! If the computer is connected to scientific equipment and runs specialized software, please check with your departmental Client Service Representative before upgrading.

Mac OS X

HMS IT fully supports the following macOS versions:

  • 10.14
  • 10.13
  • 10.12
  • 10.11

macOS 10.9 and older are no longer supported by Apple. HMS IT will provide best effort support for macOS unsupported operating systems, however the general recommendation is to upgrade to a newer supported operating system whenever possible.

Use caution when upgrading

Each year, Apple releases a major new operating system in the fall. HMS IT strongly recommends that you do not upgrade right away. New operating systems generally have many new features that are incompatible with existing software applications.

HMS IT starts internal evaluation of new operating systems as early as possible, and generally recommends waiting to upgrade until we've completed that evaluation and Apple has released its first update, usually 10.xx.1.

If you would like guidance on upgrading to a newer version of macOS, please check with your local Client Services Representative or contact the HMS IT Service Desk by emailing itservicedesk@hms.harvard.edu or calling 617-432-2000.

Windows 7

Windows 7 is supported and compatible with all HMS and Harvard University Administrative, Financial and Research applications. It is fully supported by HMS IT and Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT).

Microsoft support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020. At that point, HMS IT will provide best effort support only. For planning purposes, please keep this date in mind when budgeting for new computers.

Windows 10

All new computers purchased from Dell now ship with Windows 10 preinstalled.

If you have a computer that you wish to upgrade to Windows 10, please contact your local Client Services Representative or the HMS IT Service Desk. There are numerous considerations that must be taken into account prior to installing Windows 10. Your local Client Services Representative can assist you by making recommendations, upgrading and providing ongoing support for Windows 10.

HMS and Harvard University is now supporting Windows 10 for common applications. If you use University Administrative Applications, please be sure to follow HUIT's computer standard guidelines (login required).

  • Windows 10 Home Edition is not supported on the Harvard Medical School network due to lack of required security features.
  • Windows 10 includes an automatic upgrade feature. If you are accessing any university administrative applications and are prompted to upgrade to Windows 10, please decline the upgrade.