In theory, when Windows 10 version 1903 rolls out in late May, we’ll suddenly have tools at hand that’ll make it easy to temporarily turn off automatic updating. I’m not yet convinced that all will be milk and honey, but for now there’s every reason to take control of your machine and turn off automatic updating. Wait for the dust to clear before you apply the next round of patches.

By introducing new patch-blocking capabilities in Win10 version 1903, Microsoft’s implicitly acknowledging what you and I have known for a long time: Windows (and sometimes Office and .NET) patches have a nasty habit of clobbering machines. It makes no sense to join the first line of cannon fodder. Far better to wait and, if the coast is clear, patch when millions of our compatriots have participated in the grand unpaid beta test.

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