When we answer our own questions, I agree that giving other people time to answer before a user can self-accept increases the quality of the accepted answers. However, I think that a user should be set it so that they self accept automatically if no-one answers within two days. This should of course only be used when you are posting the answer to a question you already know the solution to.

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  • Your new mantra: "I will not obsess. I will not obsess. I will not obsess..." Sep 11, 2009 at 0:18
  • @dmckee: Just a suggestion =P
    – Casebash
    Sep 11, 2009 at 0:33
  • Just because I've submitted an answer to my own question and I haven't accepted anyone elese's answer doesn't automatically mean my answer is the one I want to accept as the 'correct' one. Just check the box manually.
    – Dhaust
    Sep 30, 2009 at 6:39

5 Answers 5


Heh... This was a bad idea when it was suggested as a solution for users that don't accept anyone else's answer. In this case, it just seems... pointless. Surely, you can find a few spare seconds in your busy life to click a little checkmark next to your own answer!


Why should you impose a time limit to accepting your own answer? Nothing is stopping you from going in and accepting it yourself down the road if you feel that you won't get any responses on it. I definitely disagree with the idea of setting some type of auto accept after a time frame (someone suggested an auto accept on questions in general yesterday or the day before and I disagreed with that as well).

Accepted answers are meant to be answers that actually solve the problem. An automated process can't discern whether an answer was good or not, and even more so if it's your own answer. If you think your answer solves the problem, then accept it. You don't need a time limit on it. If you answer it, accept it. If you want to wait for other people to supply better answers, wait and then come back later and accept it.

Otherwise if your own answer doesn't actually satisfy you (which is why you are waiting to begin with, excluding the two day requirement set by the system already) you shouldn't be accepting the answer anyway because that would be doing a disservice to people looking in the future for help themselves. If they see you accept your own answer and it wasn't actually solving the problem, then they are wasting their time thinking that it will.

  • This misses the point of self answers. Sometimes I solve a problem, then post both the question and the solution simultaneously on Stack Overflow for others use or critique if I make a mistake. If no-one else posts an alternative solution or points out a flaw with mine, then I accept my own solution.
    – Casebash
    Sep 11, 2009 at 0:03
  • 1
    There is nothing stopping you from accepting your answer and if pointed out to be wrong revoking that check mark and giving it to someone else. There is also nothing stopping you from just letting it sit and when you are satisfied that no answers are coming along, accept your answer. There is also nothing stopping you from leaving your question alone as unresolved. But I will repeat if you answered your own question and it works, accept the answer. Your wanting to assign a time limit before auto accepting your own answer doesn't do anybody any good and it just allows you to be lazy.
    – TheTXI
    Sep 11, 2009 at 0:06

That doesn't make any sense to me. Who's to say that all questions can be "acceptably" answered in two days, or twenty days, or ever? There have been times I have provided an answer to my own question just to present it for discussion/voting... not to presume that mine was automatically correct.

If we're going to start automating "user-accepted answers," why have the feature at all?

  • Again, this should only be used when you are answering a question you know the answer to.
    – Casebash
    Sep 11, 2009 at 0:03

I think that this feature could be useful, but most people wouldn't actually use it properly, so it probably will never be implemented.


I think it would be a better idea to auto-accept the highest voted answer if the questioner hasn't accepted one in (for example) 30 days.

That way, if the questioner can't get off their enormous butt long enough to click on a big honkin' tick graphic, the community decides. That gets immediate answers for all those orphaned questions.

Of course, if they're actively watching their questions and are not satisfied with the answers to date, give them a button that restarts the 30-day timer.

In any case, They can always go back and change it if they find a better answer.

  • 1
    But what happens if the highest voted doesn't actually solve the problem?
    – random
    Sep 30, 2009 at 2:07

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