As you may have noticed, I don't accept answers on my questions immediately. The main (and only) reason is that I fear the future readers would not add their answer if they have one.

Should I accept one as soon as it answers my question or is it good to wait a little?

I take the opportunity of this question to say that I read answers whenever they are submitted, even if one has already been accepted.

4 Answers 4


Accepting an answer is entirely your personal choice as the OP. You can do it at the first opportunity, wait a few days/weeks/years, or never accept at all. When an answer is accepted, this simply indicates that the OP found it to be the best answer to their question.

But, your question is not just for you, but for the whole community and all visitors to our site, for as long as it lives. Therefore, if the question remains open, new answers may be added at any time, and the accepted answer (the one the OP found most helpful) may not be the most highly upvoted. Network-wide, there are many questions where the accepted answer is less highly upvoted than one or more other answers.

It's worth noting that you can also unaccept and accept a different answer at any time.

Accepting an answer does not close a question, and has no effect on it other than marking it as solved for the OP. I would strongly encourage anyone who can provide an answer to a question to do so if they can offer a different perspective or approach; do not be put off by the fact that an answer has already been accepted. We are here to help each other and visitors by sharing knowledge widely. If you can contribute, do it!


Yes, it absolutely does.

It is good practice to wait a few days for other answers, sometimes of startingly good quality, to appear. Of course, this is by no means a hard rule; accept when you feel you won't get any serious new value from the question, or when you are ready to move on.


It's absolutely ok to wait a bit until you accept an answer. This leaves others room to create more answers, and for you to think about the answer and decide how good it is. Just don't wait forever. When there is an answer to your question that satisfies you, you should definitely at some point accept it. Otherwise, more and more answers will be added and clutter the site.

Note also: It is possible to change the accepted answer. Knowing this should encourage people to add high quality answers even if a lower quality answer has already been accepted.


In addition to the good existing answers, I would add that I almost never accept an answer during the private beta. We have a very limited number of visitors, which will climb drastically once we go to public beta.

Leaving questions unaccepted encourages new visitors at public beta to answer your question.

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