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Northwestern University

Computer Support Policies

Northwestern IT supports Weinberg College faculty and staff using University-owned computers. Support is provided in line according to the following policies:

  1. New purchases must meet Northwestern IT standards. New computer purchases will be set up with the Northwestern IT software image.
  2. Existing Dell, Lenovo, and Apple computer hardware must meet the minimum hardware and operating system standards.

Minimum hardware standard

Northwestern IT determines minimum hardware standards based on the age of the computer and supportable model lines. The standards are intended to align with the four-year lifecycle intended by the Weinberg College Computer Replacement Program while allowing sufficient time to consider new product offerings around or soon after the four-year term.

Support Timelines

Table lists support provided based on the age of hardware.
Full support 0-4 years
Best effort 4-5 years
Out of support

5 years or older

Recommended Model Lines

Table lists recommended computer hardware models to purchase.
  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air
  • MacBook
Apple Warranty Lookup
  • OptiPlex
  • Precision
  • Latitude
Dell Warranty Lookup


Operating system standard

Installed software and configuration standard


Support coverage

Faculty visiting from another institution can receive instructions and consultation, but Northwestern IT cannot support computers owned by their home institution.

Computers purchased with personal funds (i.e., computers that are not university-owned) are not supported by Northwestern IT.

All standards will be reviewed at least twice per year. Last reviewed 7/19/2021.

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