I was just trying to improve a suggested edit from the review queue and received this message:

You cannot edit an old revision while there is a pending suggested edit.

This seems really counter intuitive as I was trying to improve the suggested edit when I received it.

I'm assuming that it has something to do with suggested edits needing to be approved by 3 reviewers, and apparently while I was trying to improve the edit 3 others approved it, but the wording of the message doesn't make sense for the context.

Here is the suggested edit in question: https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/2375605

1 Answer 1


Just trying to improve an already approved suggested edit will not cause an error message because you are allowed to submit your improvement up until a new edit or suggested edit is made.

Based on the error message you received, my guess is your improvement was not submitted until after that edit was approved AND another edit was made and/or suggested edit was suggested. So you were in fact, trying to edit a post with a pending suggested edit.

I don't know when you tried to submit the improved edit, but that post had 4 different edits within the span of 9 minutes, including 3 suggested edits by the same person. So you mst likely got caught up in the rush of edits to the post.

The edit you tried to improve was approved by the OP @ 16:51Z so your improved edit was submitted at some point after that. The same editor made a different edit less than 4 minutes after the OP approved his first edit, which appears to have been improved while in the review queue @ 16:55Z, although the suggested edit was first reviewed at 16:53Z, so it is very likely it was submitted within 2 minutes of the approval of the previous edit. If your edit was submitted after this other edit was suggested, this would have caused the error message you received.

  • Wow... I guess this sort of makes sense, but I still think the message could offer a little more information as to whats going on. The way it reads, without all of the behind the scenes info, seems a little murky.
    – apaul
    Jun 24, 2013 at 19:54
  • I'll admit it is somewhat misleading, but (1) this situation is probably fairly rare and (2) to come up with custom error messages for every unique case, it would increase the complexity of the system as you now have to check which unique case before selecting an error message to display. Jun 24, 2013 at 20:11

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