Operating Systems


Apple distribute macOS completely free of charge through the AppStore (found on your Macintosh in /Applications). Be sure your macOS is kept up to date for reasons of security, privacy and compatibility: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Software Update


MIT provide licenses to students for Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise. We ask that you use Windows 10 64-bit if possible. Note: MIT's Microsoft Windows 10 licenses expire after graduation (including those installations in virtual machines and Boot Camp). More information can be found here.

To register for a license and download the installer:

  1. Make sure your computer is ready for installation immediately (all necessary backups have been made and you have enough spare time). The installer will work for only a few days after downloading. If it expires or you delete it, you will have only one chance to download it again
  2. Make sure you have all the drivers the computer requires, on CD or USB thumb drive. This is especially important for network drivers since there will be no way to download new drivers without network access
  3. Have an empty 8GB (minimum) USB flash drive ready
  4. Visit msca.mit.edu/cgi-bin/windows for download (web certificates required). Get the ISO file unless you know for sure that you need something else
  5. Burn the downloaded iso to USB with a tool such as Rufus, and install from there

If you are connected to the MIT network, Windows will connect to Microsoft to activate itself automatically, when first installed and every 6 months thereafter. This activation is necessary for Windows to continue functioning. There is more information about Windows 10 activation at kb.mit.edu.


Windows Activation: After a new Windows Enterprise (from MIT) installation, or after being off campus for 6 months, you are asked to activate Windows. The solution is to follow IST's guidelines for Windows activation.

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