This is something I’ve been told differently how to manage out of the box records. I go over the pros and cons of them here.

Ways to work with Out of Box things in Servicenow

Jakarta and later

You should always add comments why you are changing and out of box (oob) script and change as little as possible so when upgrading its clear what you changed and why its different.

With an update in Jakarta, the recommended approach is to update the OOB record with comments of why you’ve changed what you changed, so when you are comparing the upgraded version and the customized version its easy to see what you did and why you did it.

Pre-Jakara

Knowing why things were updated in the past might help understand more.

Comment OOB and add comments

Comment out code, and adding notes stating why you change it. This had the following pros/cons

Pros Cons
Least amount of work Upgrade would show any changes
No referncing newly created scripts as new code is in oob record

Inactive and make new

Inactivate if possible, then, Copy. This is hard to see if anything has been added to the OOB because deactivating doesn’t trigger a customer update.

Pros Cons
Would never get accidentally upgraded Upgrade will not show this as needing updating
May require many updates to the newly created thing if its referenced all over.

Comment OOB, add comments, inactive and make new

Add Comment stating you are making a copy, inactivate it. Copy it. This will ensure the OOB thing comes up in a skipped update.

Pros Cons
Would never get accidentally upgraded You still have to make a new thing
Update difference still shows up so you can compare May require many updates to the newly created thing if its referenced all over.

Further Reading and Thanks

Resolving a skipped update

Thanks Andrew Barnes for the helpful input on this!