I cannot delete my own question on Stack Overflow. When I try, I get the following error message:

Sorry, this question cannot be deleted: too many existing answers, or upvoted/accepted answers (click on this box to dismiss).

  • Please don't delete posts with answers - it removes reputation of people who have answered it, and it also makes it harder for people to find how to fix that problem. This is basically what it's trying to warn you.
    – ethry
    Jun 9, 2022 at 6:25

3 Answers 3


Basically you can't. If you've asked a question and others have contributed answers which have been deemed valuable by the community, you can't delete the question because that would delete those valuable answers too.

Why do you want to delete the question? Maybe there's a better alternative, such as editing it to make it more useful.

  • 6
    Case where this might be desirable: the question is an obvious duplicate. The asker recognized this. It has been flagged. But it hasn't been marked as an actual duplicate for 2 years. The community must then downvote to - infinity to show we hate dupes, and the asker will want to stop losing rep. Jan 28, 2014 at 16:42
  • 2
    @cirosantilli: If the community is downvoting instead of voting to close, that's something the OP could justifiably flag for moderator attention.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jan 28, 2014 at 16:45
  • if the question is an obvious dupe it deserves downvotes besides the flags. If there was a way to dissociate your account from the question without moderator attention, it would save some moderation attention time. Not a very important case, so may not yet be worth implementation time though. Jan 28, 2014 at 17:13
  • 1
    @cirosantilli: I don't see why it deserves perpetual downvotes to the extent you're suggesting, and I'd really hope people don't do that. Close it, then leave it.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jan 28, 2014 at 17:15
  • I am talking mostly about cases where it has already been flagged long ago and not yet closed. I was half joking about -infinity, but it should be at least enough downvotes to reduce the total rep gained with the question to 0 (in the case of obvious dupes). Otherwise people have no incentive to not make duplicates. After dissociation, any rep (gain or loss) would then be removed. Jan 28, 2014 at 17:21
  • 7
    @cirosantilli: I really don't think it's worth trying to think of overall rep gain/loss for doing this sort of thing. There are enough social pressures (and potential bans) involved in downvotes already - there's no need to go overboard. I don't see any evidence of people knowingly asking duplicate questions in the hope that they'll get enough upvotes to counter the downvotes. I believe most people ask questions on SO for the purpose of getting an answer...
    – Jon Skeet
    Jan 28, 2014 at 17:28
  • 1
    Case for where this would be desirable: A question asked where the poster later finds a self-induced error (config, syntax, re-definition, etc.) which, when fixed, eliminates the problem.
    – Jon
    Feb 3, 2015 at 16:03
  • 2
    I would like to delete my content based on SE's recent behavior. Dec 16, 2019 at 21:24
  • "Maybe there's a better alternative, such as editing it to make it more useful." Sure, but what if editing is not working properly? I for example tried to edit such my question, but it was not actualized.
    – convert
    Oct 26, 2022 at 21:33

When it's not possible to have your question deleted, you can always ask for it to be unlinked from your account, so that it won't have your name under it.

This isn't obvious, and isn't usually suggested in response to the "Please delete my question" requests, so I thought it's worth posting this for those who come here via web search.

  • 6
    How might a person "ask for it to be unlinked from your account"?
    – 000
    Jun 24, 2013 at 17:36
  • 7
    @JoeFrambach You can flag it for moderator attention I assume. Or simply contact the team via email. Every user is within their rights to have their content disassociated from them.
    – Bart
    Jun 24, 2013 at 17:39
  • 1
    @Bart Legal frameworks and precedent for the right to be forgotten appear to have made some headway since this question was first asked.
    – user277880
    Jul 3, 2017 at 20:57
  • Certainly @orthopteroid. And disassociation should get you there. If there is personally identifying information in your content however, it may require an extra edit, which generally is no problem if it doesn't harm the content.
    – Bart
    Jul 4, 2017 at 14:04
  • "When it's not possible to have your question deleted, you can always ask for it to be unlinked from your account, so that it won't have your name under it." And what about reputation of such question? Are downvotes removed then?
    – convert
    Oct 26, 2022 at 21:34

As the error message stated, you cannot delete it because there are too many answers, people have responded to your request.

If you really need it deleted for some reason I would suggest flagging it for moderator attention and explaining your rationale for needing it deleted.