Managing End-User Notifications

User notification messages allow you to give end users notice of important updates or reboots on Windows and macOS devices. It is also possible to configure deferral options that allow users to control when an update or reboot will happen.

Default User Notifications

When a patch policy is active and scheduled and uses default settings, Automox automatically sends notifications to users for updates and system reboots. These user notifications are configured on each patch policy page.

Here is an example of the default view:

Default View - User Notifications

When you create a new policy, the default settings are as follows:

Default User Notification SettingsDescription
Enable automatic reboot after updates are installed
This means that after updating, the device will automatically reboot the operating system.
Install Notification Settings is onThe default notification messages will be issued. These can be edited.
Before installing any update is selectedThe notification message is sent prior to any update install.
Hourly Deferral OptionsIn the default setting, a user can select to defer an update by 1 hour, 4 hours, or 8 hours.
Max number of DeferralsThis is by default 3. This indicates the number of times a user can delay that an update is installed. This default setting can be configured between 1 and 10 deferrals.
Reboot Notification Settings is onThe default reboot notification message will be issued after an update installs if the update requires a reboot.
Notification DurationThe default setting for how long a notification message is shown before a reboot starts is 15 minutes. The user can decide to dismiss the message, install now, or defer the reboot. (Note: This can be configured.)
Enable Deferrals is selectedA user can select to defer a reboot by 1 hour, 4 hours, or 8 hours for a maximum of three times before the system reboots.

What to expect for default user notifications

If you choose to use the default settings for a patch policy, a user will experience the following for an update that requires a reboot. The associated patch policy is active and scheduled. Examples are shown for macOS and Windows.

  1. A system update install notification is issued with the option of deferral.

     

  2. The user can select any of the deferral options, up to 3 times.

  3. After the update install completes, a reboot notification is issued with the option of deferral.

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  4. After exhausting all deferrals, or by selecting Now / Reboot Now, the system shuts down the device (reboots) to complete the update.

Note: If a user does not select a deferral option, the system will reboot automatically after 15 minutes. The length of time a notification shows on a device is configurable. See Customizing Reboot Notifications for details.

Customizing Install Notifications

You can configure how a user receives notice of an update that is scheduled to be installed.

Note

  • The policy must be Active and scheduled for the notifications to take effect. 
  • If a policy is triggered manually, install notifications are not sent, however, reboot notifications (if configured) will still show up.

Patch Install Notifications

  1. From the create or edit patch policy page, go to User Notifications > Automatic Reboot. Then select if you want the device to automatically reboot or not after the update is installed.
    • If you want the device to reboot after updating, select Enable automatic reboot after updates are installed.
    • If you do not want the device to automatically reboot after updating, select Do not enable automatic reboot after updates are installed.
  2. Go to End User Notifications > Install Notifications Settings.
    • To configure notification messages, turn on Install Notifications Settings.
    • If you do not want user notification messages to be sent, turn off Install Notification Settings.
      Note: If you disable this notification setting for end users, an unannounced update might result in the loss of unsaved work.
  3. Choose when to send an install notification.
    • To send notification messages before the update occurs, select Before installing any update.
    • To only send notification messages prior to an update that requires a reboot, select Before an install that requires a reboot.
  4. Review and edit Install Notification Messages. If you do not configure the notification message, the default message is sent.
    You can use the default notification messages for end users or configure them as described here:
    • For updates that do not require a reboot, configure the Install - No Reboot Notification Message. Fill in the text box with the messaging of your choice. The message can be up to 125 characters for Windows or 70 characters in length for macOS.
    • For updates that require a reboot, configure the Install - Reboot Notification Message. Fill in the text box with the messaging of your choice. The message can be up to 125 characters for Windows or 70 characters in length for macOS.



  5. Choose the Deferral Settings.
    • Hourly Deferral Options:
      You can set three or fewer deferral times for notifications, which allow end users to delay an update install for a number of hours.
      By default, users are able to defer for 1, 4, or 8 hours.
      To set custom deferral times, fill in the three boxes for the first, second, and third deferral options, as needed. Leave a field blank to have fewer options. All numbers are represented in hours, only integers are accepted, and the maximum single deferral time is 24 hours.



    • Max Number of Deferrals:  
      You can set a custom number of deferrals for notifications. This setting allows the end user to defer the install for up to the provided number of deferrals. On the last possible deferral, the patch is applied as guided by the policy.
      To set the number of deferrals, fill in a number in the Max Number of Deferrals field. The default number of deferrals is 3. You can set as few as 1 deferral or as many as 10.
      If a user misses the patch notification, their system is automatically patched 15 minutes after the missed notification. (Note: The patch notification timeout can be customized using the API.)
      A user can proactively install the update by clicking Install Now (Windows) or Options: Now (macOS)

Customizing Reboot Notifications

For updates requiring a reboot, you can configure the reboot notification message and deferrals as described here.

Prerequisite for configuring reboot notifications:

Reboot Notifications


Reboot Notification Settings

From the create or edit patch policy page, go to Reboot Notification Settings. This setting must be turned on in order to send reboot notification messages.

Note: If Reboot Notification Settings is turned off, the user might lose unsaved work if the system reboots without warning.

Reboot Notification Messages

Configure the Reboot Notification Message for end users:

  • You can do nothing and use the default message.
  • You can set a custom message for reboot. Fill in the text box with the messaging of your choice. The message can be up to 125 characters for Windows or 70 characters in length for macOS.


    How long this reboot notification message is displayed on the device is configured in the next step.

Notification Duration

The Notification Duration is the amount of time a notification message is displayed to the user. 

  • The default is 15 minutes. 
  • You can configure this between 15 minutes and 8 hours (480 minutes).

For example, if you set the notification duration to 2 hours, the following happens: If the user misses seeing a reboot notification in the middle of a 1-hour Zoom presentation, that message will still be available after the meeting. Depending on the deferral settings, the user can decide to defer or reboot immediately.

Deferral Settings

From Deferral Settings you can allow users to defer system reboots.

Enable Deferrals:

  • Click the Enable Deferrals checkbox to allow a user to defer a reboot.
  • Clear the checkbox to not allow a user to defer a reboot.

Hourly Deferral Options

You can set three or fewer deferral times for notifications, allowing end users to delay a reboot. By default, users are able to defer for 1, 4, or 8 hours. 

To set custom deferral times, fill in the three boxes for the first, second, and third deferral options, as needed. Leave a field blank to have fewer options. All numbers are represented in hours, only integers are accepted, and the maximum single deferral time is 24 hours.

Max Number of Deferrals:

You can set a custom number of deferrals for notifications. When set, the end user is able to defer a reboot up to the provided number of deferrals. After the last possible deferral, the device reboots.

To set the number of deferrals, fill in a number in the Max Number of Deferrals field. The default number of deferrals is 3. You can set as few as 1 deferral or as many as 10.

A user can choose to reboot immediately by clicking Reboot Now (Windows) or Options > Now (macOS).

Important: If a user misses the reboot notification or closes the reboot notification, their system is automatically restarted 15 minutes after the missed notification is sent. To avoid this and take advantage of deferrals, enable automatic deferrals as described in the following section.

Enable Automatic Deferrals:

You can decide to allow automatic deferrals in case a user does not acknowledge the reboot notification at all.

If you enable automatic deferrals, any notification that is present for longer than the specified duration is automatically deferred for the maximum deferral time option. This also counts as one of the allowed number of deferrals.

Note: The action of closing the notification message does not count as an automatic deferral. 

Requirement: Enable Deferrals must be selected.

Example: Enable Automatic Deferrals is selected. The deferral time options allowed are 1, 4, and 8 hours for reboots. If the user does not see the reboot notification message and the notification timeout has passed, then the 8-hour deferral is automatically consumed. The next reboot notification is sent in 8 hours until the user either acknowledges the notification, or runs out of deferrals.