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The default value of X is "Off" and it's generally discouraged to change it. If you really need to do so, change it back as soon as possible.

to do so refers to the act of changing the value of X from "Off" to something different, presumably "On". That is:

The default value of X is "Off" and it's generally discouraged to change it. If you really need to do so, change it back as soon as possible. (Correct)

However, it could be misunderstood as "If you really want to change it back - don't hesitate to change it back."

The default value of X is "Off" and it's generally discouraged to change it. If you really need to do so, change it back as soon as possible. (Wrong)

How to remove this ambiguity?

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    Be explicit: "If you really need to change the value of X to something other than 'off', change it back to 'off' as soon as possible" – Juhasz Sep 21 '20 at 17:45
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    I'm not entirely convinced the "do so" can refer to a clause that comes later. It would simply be worded as "if you need to", not "if you need to do so". For example, the phrase "If you need to, take a break" sounds far more natural than "If you need to do so, take a break". – Nuclear Hoagie Sep 21 '20 at 17:59
  • update: It seems "change it back" can be replaced by "revert it". – jsv Oct 8 '20 at 12:45
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I suggest "The default value of X is "Off" and it's generally discouraged to change it. If you really need to change it, reverse your change as soon as possible."

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  • I think that "it's generally discouraged to change it" is a poor use of language becasue it is people who are discouraged from changing it. Better ways to say it woud be "...and users are generally discouraged from changing it" or "...and it is recommended that it is not changed." – BoldBen Sep 21 '20 at 23:34
  • @ Boldben I agree with you but restricted my answer to dealing with the ambiguity that was queried, rather than reconstructing everything. – Anton Sep 22 '20 at 7:28
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    Fair enough, it wasn't intended as a criticism of your answer, maybe I should have posted the comment on the question. – BoldBen Sep 23 '20 at 9:40

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