I have a question on StackOverflow I asked 9 months ago, and accepted an answer that same day that helped me at the time. Things changed a few months later, and now there is a better way to solve the problem.

Should I change my accepted answer to the better way, or leave it on the way that helped me solve the question at the time?

It feels like penalizing the first answer to remove the accepted status. I could use the advice of some more experienced Stackers.


3 Answers 3


From the "How does accepting an answer work?" FAQ:

You may change which answer is accepted, or simply un-accept the answer, at any time.

The bottom line is that you should accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally.

If you think the other answer is more helpful to you now, then you are free to accept that one. The answer that is currently accepted has 29 upvotes. The person who posted that answer will still have received plenty of rep, so it's hardly a penalty to unaccept it.

  • Why is this left up to only the person asking the question? They are usually less knowledgeable than the community as a whole. Why not let the community be able to vote on the accepted answer? Because of this you have thousands of questions that have terrible accepted answers and you have to scroll to find the right answer Nov 10, 2016 at 17:29

It's really up to you in the same way voting on posts are done at your discretion. Updating it to something that is more current depends solely on the original poster.

I've had my answers accepted, only to be unaccepted after a lengthy period of time and a new answer posted by the original poster... and accepted. It is what it is.

You can always award a bounty to the unaccepted answer, if that makes you feel better.


I found myself in a similar position at one stage.

While you can (and probably should) move the accepted answer, it doesn't feel 'fair' to the good answer you previously accepted.

If I recall correctly*, I resolved that dilemma by giving a bounty to the answer I moved the tick from.

* I've given a lot of bounties over an extended period of time, I just don't recall all the details.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .