• Updating confusion

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    I’ve been using Win 10 Pro (currently version 21H1) for almost 2 years and still do not have a grip on this updating business. My mindset is stuck on older Windows versions, where I did all of my updating manually, and Microsoft left me alone if I didn’t specifically request an update. I find this new regime confusing, where it seems that I have to use workarounds to prevent Microsoft from doing whatever it wants with my computer each month.

    So my question now is what updating I should do, and how should I do it, before this month’s Patch Tuesday. But to get to that, I need to state a little background.

    My practice, following by rote what I’ve been given to understand is relatively safe practice, is to do each month’s Windows updates a few days before Patch Tuesday, and then pause everything for the next few weeks – until a few days before the next Patch Tuesday. In the normal course of events, that means that I’d be un-pausing updates this weekend, getting the last month’s updates, then pausing again before next Tuesday.

    However, the latest newsletter warns about a patching problem that affects mail servers. It then recommends deferring updates until at least January 25, although it’s not clear whether that recommendation applies to me – a mundane, solitary home user who’s not concerned with mail servers. It’s also not clear to me whether what’s being recommended is to not install last month’s updates, or to not install the ones that are due next Tuesday. In short, it’s not clear to me whether I should be pausing updates for another month without allowing updates this weekend.

    My confusion is compounded by the fact that the newsletter says (and I believe it’s been said in the past) that now is the time to wrap up any Windows 10 feature-release installation. Since I still have version 21H1, I assume it’s now in order for me to update to 21H2. I had supposed that I would do that by first allowing it in the Group Policy Editor, and then doing my usual updating routine this weekend. But if I do that, I’ll then get not only the feature update to 21H2, I’ll get all of the other various monthly updates. And for the reasons discussed above, I don’t know whether the latter should be paused until January 25 or so – which I assume would mean that the only thing I should do is update to 21H2 by using the ISO page, and otherwise leave my routine updates paused.

    Hope that was clear (it’s barely clear to me).

    So the bottom line question: what should I do, if anything, in regard to updating this weekend? Left to my own devices, I’d go into the GPE and allow 21H2, then unpause updates, get everything updated before this coming Tuesday, and then pause for another month. Is that the way to go? Or something else?


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