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IT advice for staff and postgraduate students returning to campus

This web page contains information for staff and postgraduate students planning to return to campus if you have been away from campus for a significant period of time.

The information includes what to take into account when:

  1. Planning to use a Windows or Mac computer which has been unused for several months
  2. Reconnecting your laptop, mobile phone or tablet to the Trinity network after a long break
  3. Using other peripherals such as printers, wireless mice and keyboards

General advice

  • If you have been using a laptop at home and have a computer on campus that you wish to use when you return, we would advise you to bring the laptop with you to work until the computer on campus is up to date with the latest software updates and reconnected to the Trinity network. This will ensure you have an operational device for use while you wait for the software updates to get installed on the computer, which may take several hours.
  • If you have saved data to a local computer or removable media (external hard drive or USB key) while working remotely, we would advise you to upload this data to your OneDrive account (or MyZone for students) before returning to campus so that you can access your files easily no matter what device you are using.
  • If you took IT equipment home from Trinity, such as a monitor, mouse and keyboard then it is advised that you bring it back into the office when returning as there may not be substitute equipment available

Devices that have been unused on campus

Software and security updates


Windows computers connected to the Trinity network are managed by IT Services for Windows updates. If your computer has not been in use or connected to the Trinity network for a long period of time, important Windows and security updates need to be installed. To complete the updates, you may need to restart your computer. Where a major Windows 10 version update is required, the process can take from 30 minutes to several hours while the update completes, meaning your computer would be unusable during this time.

More about Windows updates


Apple frequently releases important operating system updates for Apple Macs. If your Mac has been in your office on campus unused for a long period of time, check for the latest security updates as follows:

  1. Click on the Apple menu
  2. Choose System Preferences
  3. Click on Software Update

More about macOS updates

Other software

Other software may need updates as well, and in many cases you will be prompted to install these pending updates. This could include your web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and other applications such as McAfee Endpoint Security or Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is important that you install any pending security updates for your software promptly to protect your data and Trinity IT systems.

Power-on and startup issues

  • If a computer is unused for a long period of time, you may find it will not switch on as normal. With a desktop computer, try completely unplugging it from electrical power for a few minutes, before plugging it back in and turning it on again. With a laptop, take out the battery for a few minutes if it is easy to remove before reinserting it and turning on the laptop. If this does not work, remove the battery and switch on the laptop with the laptop charger plugged in.
  • Some Trinity computers have been set up with encryption over recent months. Older computers may require a password before you can access Windows. If you need assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Peripherals - printers, keyboards, mice

  • If a printer has been unused for a long period of time, the ink/toner cartridges may no longer be in good condition. You may want to order replacement cartridges in advance of your return to campus.
  • Wireless keyboards and mice and other peripheral devices may require replacement batteries if unused for a long period.

Bringing your laptop, phone or tablet to Trinity

Software and security updates

Make sure you check for all operating system and software updates before connecting to the Trinity network, particularly if you have never connected with this device. If you are connecting your device to the Trinity network for the first time, please ensure it meets the requirements. See Teaching and Research Network and Staff Wi-Fi Requirements and Student Wi-Fi Requirements for further information.

Wi-Fi settings

If you are using your laptop on campus after a long break or for the first time, you may need to re-configure the Wi-Fi settings to get reconnected. For further information, follow our instructions for Staff Wi-Fi or the TCDconnect service (students).

Wired network issues

If your computer is connected to the wired network via an ethernet cable, but you are not getting normal network and internet access, please check that the network cable is securely inserted to the wall and to your computer. If you need assistance please contact the IT Service Desk.

Docking stations

If you are bringing a new laptop to campus and wish to use a docking station, external monitor, mouse and keyboard, please be aware that your laptop may need certain ports to be compatible with these devices.