Is there a way to delete a question after it's been answered, and the answer has an upvote?

Imagine that I have asked a question, that is later considered by me or the community as not useful and/or too specific. Or it gets a lot of downvotes for some reason. While it is not closed or flagged as a duplicate yet, someone could still answered it. Once answered, I cannot delete it any longer.

Is there a way to delete such question? Without having moderator privileges (to delete at will), is casting close votes the only way? I think I should have more control over the fate my own questions.

(On another example, I had a self-answered question where I was able to delete it only after unaccepting my own answer.)

  • Can you add a link to the question? Mar 30, 2013 at 23:29
  • yes, see update Mar 30, 2013 at 23:31
  • 2
    It would be unfair to other users, who took some time and effort to answer your question, to allow you to delete any old question. If that question was deleted then the user in question would be denied the 25 rep earned. You need to have a very very good reason before we'd arbitrarily delete posts where there is other user's rep at stake.
    – Kev
    Mar 31, 2013 at 4:07
  • 1
    (unmarking == unaccepting)? Mar 31, 2013 at 10:08

3 Answers 3


You are not permitted to delete questions with upvoted answers to avoid abuse (e.g. asking a question, getting the answer you want, and deleting the question and denying others rep).

If you want to delete it now, flag a moderator and explain the circumstance in the custom field.

Truthfully, in my opinion, your question is not so bad. It is about a programming tool and a specific problem that you were having. Further, it contains good specific detail and some of your own attempts to solve the problem, and it got a good (if maybe simple/obvious) answer. So I upvoted it, and I'd encourage you to keep it.

  • Thank you. As I commented on the other answer, it looks like some serial downvoting occured, as four more questions got a -2 at the same time. That matter I will leave to the automated mechanisms SO already has. Mar 30, 2013 at 23:37
  • 2
    Preventing denying others a useful question and answer that already exists and may have come to be relied on is really the more significant of the 2 reasons the system prevents this (with the other, less significant one relating to rep). A question with an upvoted or accepted answer can't be deleted by a single binding delete vote cast by the OP; this is not to preserve answerer's reputation, but because upvotes indicate the community considers the post valuable. Similarly, a question with two answers of score 0 cannot be deleted by the OP, because that means it generated community interest. Mar 31, 2013 at 0:25

If your question is really: "not useful and too specific" then you could flag it as does not belong here > too localized, or needs moderator attention and concisely state your case.

  • Thanks, I forgot I can also flag it. Mar 30, 2013 at 23:54

You can delete your own question if there are no (upvoted) answers.

But if you delete too much, you can lose the ability to ask questions.

If other people have answered, they spend time into your question. And I wouldn't be fair for them to delete it.

Besides, all content on SE sites belong to the community.

  • I agree both the time and effort put to get my question answered and the community must benefit from this. Still, the question here is rather stupid and not very useful, as looking at it now. Another reason is that it got downvoted suspectingly as part of serial downvotes I experienced earlier today. I know I have to wait for the reversal scripts to kick-in. Still, it is good to clean up your own junk from time to time, that's one of the ways to improve Mar 30, 2013 at 23:34
  • @IvayloSlavov: That's a positive impulse, but do you see why it's not fair to the users who put time into answering your question? (Besides, I wouldn't worry about "looking stupid"- nobody is reading through your questions and trying to judge you ;-) Mar 30, 2013 at 23:57
  • @DavidRobinson Yes, I completely understand the philosophy behind SE sites, I believe. I also believe to get the better of it someone has to give the better too, and that is what I am trying to do. Indeed, having a second thought, it could still be useful to keep that question. And I learned why I cannot delete questions whenever I want, which is also kind of an achievement :) Mar 31, 2013 at 0:02

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