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I'm trying to figure out the proper way to handle a question that does not have a valid answer (accepted by the author) and does not warrant a bounty (at least, in my opinion)?

  • Delete It?
    • What if other users have found or will find the question/comments/answers posted useful?
  • Ignore It?
    • My accepted answer rate will fall


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@BalusC No, 0 voted still counts as an answer for accept rate. It just doesn't affect its presence in the "Unanswered" tab. – Grace Note Feb 8 '11 at 17:39
up vote 4 down vote accepted


If the question has no good answers, deleting it will not get you good answers! To address the point about your accept rate, keep in mind that you probably do not want a 100% accept rate! The very reason for this is what you are saying: the fact that you have a rate less than 100% means some of your questions are difficult questions. That (probably) means they're good questions.

In the blog, Jeff says directly that an accept rate of > 70% is good:

It is considered good manners to accept answers on your questions, eventually, but accepting answers is not required. I personally consider anything at 70% or over quite good, meaning you accept answers on 7 out of 10 questions that you ask. There are certainly cases where you don’t get an answer you like, or the question is inherently unanswerable.

As for your ultimate question of what to do, the following might be useful:

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If you can make an edit to the question that helps to add detail or clarity to the question then it will get bumped to the front page again and might get you more attention and maybe even an answer.

Other than that, ignore it if you feel it's not worth placing a bounty. Accepted Answer Rate is merely a guideline and indicator to the user that they should be accepting answers. People should be answering questions based on the merit of the individual question's content.

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If you have a better answer than what is listed, post that and accept it. Otherwise either accept and existing answer or leave it open. Deleting is not an option if any of the answers have upvotes.

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Note that it isn't possible to delete questions with upvoted answers. Only questions without upvoted answers are deletable. – BalusC Feb 8 '11 at 17:35
@BalusC, updated my answer to mention deleting is not possible. Thanks – jzd Feb 8 '11 at 20:30

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