When asking questions on Stack Overflow, sometimes a user will give an answer which fixes some of the problems, but not others. However, this fix allows me to fix all of the problems in the code.

Is it proper etiquette to accept the answer that does not answer the question completely, but still lead me to getting where I want to be?

  • 1
    This might be a sign that your questions aren't specific/focused enough. Dec 25, 2013 at 22:31

5 Answers 5


I would do one of two things:

  1. If it is a simple next step, put a comment and then mark correct
  2. If there is a lot to do after their help, mark them with the correct answer, but put a self answer with the complete answer. Then I would edit the question to link to the answer marked correct and the answer that I created.
  • 5
    I think this is the best approach, except for the part involving editing the solution into the question. The question should be distinct from any answers.
    – user200500
    Feb 28, 2013 at 20:55
  • I'm sorry, my answer was to vague. I didn't mean add the solution into the question, I just meant making a note in the question that Answer A help lead to Answer B with links. This way the complete answer doesn't get buried under the "correct" answer for people coming in a year or so down the road.
    – Nick
    Feb 28, 2013 at 20:59
  • 2
    @Nick It's still not proper there I think... It should be either as a comment in the answer or as a premise.
    – Alenanno
    Feb 28, 2013 at 21:23
  • @Nick honestly #2 it a bad idea. See my question where I did this and its a huge mess. Imagine if you had the same question I did and arrived at the this page. Do you really want the whole history to arrive at the answer Feb 28, 2013 at 22:14

In such a case I'd add the missing details either as comments or another answer. You could perhaps convince whoever answered to edit the answer, or edit the answer yourself (see Is it OK to edit a correct answer for fullness instead of answering?).


Yes, you can accept any answer you feel helped you. You might also want to leave a comment explaining the decision for the benefit of future users.


I would suggest that you either self answer the question, but do it thoroughly, so that the answer might be the most helpful one too the community. So bring in all answers that was helpful or could have been helpful (some time many are good suggestions even though they don't lead you to the correct answer, it might help others). Upvote everyone that contributed to the answer.

If this is to much work or you can't be bothered (shame on you :) then accept the answer that helped you most.


I would definitely say yes. Why? Because the problem you had has been solved and the answer gave you enough information to solve it. It's not always possible to give a complete answer to a question. Accepting an answer is also a valuable indication to other users with the same problem that the answer actually contains a solution that works. Of course as others have mentioned already, adding a comment to the answer with some additional details would also be valuable for other users.

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