For the first time while using Stack Overflow, I stumbled on an answer which is highly upvoted, but completely outdated (not usable anymore).

Here is the question: How can I find out if the iPhone user currently has a passcode set and encryption enabled?

The accepted answer was correct before (several years ago). However, it's incorrect now (for newer operation system).

What should I do about it:

  • Edit it to state exactly the limitation (OS version)?
  • Downvote it?
  • Upvote comments that it's not useful anymore?
  • Write my own comment?
  • Flag it?

I would love to write my own answer. However, I don't know it and I am not sure that there is good answer for this question (since Apple doesn't like applications getting info about device).

  • 3
    "Write your own answer" is usually the best idea. It should float to the top eventually
    – Pekka
    May 2, 2013 at 20:07
  • @Pekka: In this case, I don't know the answer and there is a chance that there is no good answer (Apple really doesn't like when you try to get info about the device which isn't exposed through public API). May 2, 2013 at 20:08
  • 2
    @VictorRonin then let that answer stand, with an edit stating that it only works on iOS 4.x. It is still potentially useful to people targeting 4.0, just not people targeting greater than that. May 2, 2013 at 20:09
  • @Pekka웃: Stack Overflow is not a wiki. New answers to old questions do not float to the top. The old question-answer pair should be treated as, well, old. It should not be twisted by answers from the future.
    – Andomar
    May 2, 2013 at 20:37
  • 1
    @Andomar New answers to questions do float to the top, that's exactly how it's supposed to work - if the question is still valid.
    – Pekka
    May 2, 2013 at 20:41
  • @Pekka웃: 90% of voting occurs in the first few hours of a question's lifetime. And that's good-- it would be silly to twist an old question to correspond to a newer version of iOS. Stack Overflow is not a wiki.
    – Andomar
    May 2, 2013 at 20:45
  • 1
    @Andomar you're making that statistic up. New answers replacing outdated old answers is explicitly how Stack Overflow is supposed to work. It may not always be appropriate for very version specific information but in general, Stack Overflow is a Wiki as far as answering old questions is concerned. See the FAQ: What is the etiquette for correcting old questions with incorrect answers?
    – Pekka
    May 2, 2013 at 20:48
  • @Pekka웃: You're right about the statistic which is very surprising. I know the wiki is part the "vision" of SE Corporation. It does not work like that in practice, which is one reason that duplicate closes are endlessly frustrating. IT advances quickly, and a question asked in 2012 is different from one asked in 2013 for that reason alone.
    – Andomar
    May 2, 2013 at 21:02
  • @Andomar very interesting query! Wouldn't have thought the distribution to be this extreme. Re a 2013 question being different from a 2012 one, I'd say that depends on the tag. It's true for some, but not so much for others.
    – Pekka
    May 3, 2013 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


It would be disrespectful to downvote, flag or even close an old question.

Instead, you could edit it so it says at the top:

This answer was valid until ios 4.2

A version of this question for later versions of ios can be found here.

This informative, and respects the participants of the old question-answer exchange.

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