Software Center: Manage Software on Your University Windows Device

Software Center is a tool for installing, uninstalling, and updating software on University owned and managed Windows computers without the need for administrator rights. Software Center requires an internet connection to properly function.

This article includes the following:

Launching Software Center

  1. Type Software Center in the search bar at the bottom of the screen.
    Windows 10 'type here to search' menu highlighted
  2. Select the Software Center app. Software Center will open. The Applications menu item is highlighted and available software will be listed to the right.
    Software Center application open, 'Applications' menu highlighted

Installing Software

  1. Launch Software Center.
  2. Select Applications from the menu at the left, if necessary.
  3. Select the software you would like to install.
    • This example uses Cisco Secure Client.
      Software Center application, 'Applications' menu and 'Cisco Secure Client' software package highlighted
  4. A page with details about the software will open. Select Install.
    Software Center application, 'Install' option for Cisco Secure Client software highlighted
  5. The Installation status will be displayed and the software will begin to install.
    Software Center application open, Cisco Secure Client software with installation status
  6. Once the software has successfully installed, you will see the status has changed to installed.

Removing Software

  1. Launch Software Center.
  2. Select Installation Status from the left menu. This shows a list of software already installed on the computer via Software Center.
  3. Select the software you wish to uninstall. A. This example uses Clearspan Communicator.
    Software Center application, 'Installation Status' menu open and highlighted, 'Clearspan Communicator' software highlighted
  4. The software's installation page will open. Select the Uninstall button.
    • If the uninstall button is gray and cannot be selected, the software is required and cannot be removed.
    • Optional: You can use the Cancel button if you started the uninstall in error.
      Software Center application, Installation Status highlighted, 'Clearspan Communicator' installation status with 'cancel' option highlighted
  5. Once the application has completed uninstalling, you will see the status has changed to show it is no longer installed.

Updating Software and Operating System Versions

  1. Launch Software Center.
  2. Select Updates from the left menu. A list of pending updates will be shown if there are any available for the device.
    • Note: The updates might be listed in various states (e.g. already installed, waiting to install, or pending restart).
      Software Center application 'Updates' menu highlighted
  3. Double-click an update to open it.
    • If the update hasn't been installed, you'll be able to install it right away or schedule it to install outside of your business hours.
  4. Select Install. The update will begin to download and install in the background.
    • Note: The install time for an update can take up to 30 minutes or longer, depending on your device.
    • Select Schedule to schedule the update outside of business hours.
  5. Select Restart once the installation has completed.
    • Note: The restart time for a feature update can take up to 30 minutes or longer.

Checking the Device's Maintenance Window

A maintenance window is a period of time when changes to a device can occur (e.g. updates). The default maintenance windows for centrally-supported Windows devices are:

  • Daily from 10:00 pm-6:00 am 
  • All day Saturday

If a device is not centrally supported, the unit's IT office sets the maintenance window. Updates are generally configured to restart only during a maintenance window. A device with no maintenance window may update and restart at any time. 

  1. Launch Software Center.
  2. Select Installation status from the left menu.
  3. Select Upcoming at the top of the page. Your Next maintenance window will be displayed.
    Software Center application 'Installation Status' menu highlighted, 'Upcoming' menu and 'next maintenance window' text also highlighted

Setting Business Hours to Defer Updates

Business hours are the period of time that a user typically does their work. By default, the business hours for all Windows devices are 5:00 am-10:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can change the device's business hours setting. 

  1. Launch Software Center.
  2. Select the Options tab from the left menu.
  3. Use the Work Information section to set your business hours:
    Software Center application 'Options' menu highlighted, 'business hours' also highlighted
    1. Select the earliest and latest hours that you use the device using the Business Hours: From and through drop-down menus.
    2. Select the checkbox next to the days of the week that you typically use this device.

Read the Software Center user guide for more details. 

Troubleshooting Errors

  • If an application you are attempting to install is not found on any of the tabs, and you expect it to be there:
    1. Open the Applications tab
    2. Select the "Check for Software - Refresh" item
    3. Click the Install button (this may also show as Reinstall)
    4. Wait for the process to finish and look for the application you want to install
    5. If found, follow the steps for Installing Software
  • If you encounter an error, please contact Technology Help.

Adding Applications to Software Center

Contact [email protected] if you need an application installed on your device.

  • Use the Single Software Title Package Request form to request for an application to be added to Software Center on a group of devices.
  • Note: Software can only be packaged for Software Center when at least one of the following is true:
    • It has valid licensing that is owned by the University of Minnesota.
    • It is free or open source.
    • You or your department will provide the licensing information and assume responsibility in that the licenses obtained are compliant with University Policies.

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