Most of the time, you don't want to see unanswered questions in the duplicate dialog, since you can't normally close as a duplicate of them. This behavior is intended, at least as it says here:

The search results include only answered questions (per the usual SO definition of "answered", where the question must have an accepted or up-voted answer).

But there are times when you can close against something unanswered:

  • On meta
  • Questions with the same author

But the dialog doesn't show unanswered posts in those circumstances.

In the past, I have wondered why I was mysteriously unable to find some specific posts in the duplicate dialog. For example:

  • I saw two near-identical posts by the same user. I was unable to find the duplicate in the dialog, even after typing in the exact title or using the user:1 search trick.

  • On meta, this post of mine does not show up in the dialog. I posted about this before, on MSO, but at that point I only knew it affected that one post (the joke's on whomever got rid of "too localized" I guess).

In both cases, I had to go get the URL and paste it in manually.

The best way to see this is to use answers:0. I hope you don't think there are only two unanswered questions here!

2 results

Most of the time, the results for this search are merged questions (but not all the merged questions). I have no clue why that one post shows up here. (Maybe it was merged and un-merged at some point?) This current behavior is pretty useless.

It should be very easy to fix the dialog on meta. It might take a little more effort to have the same user's posts show up on main, but I can't imagine it being prohibitively difficult.

  • 2
    It's a very often-occurring problem with me here on this site. I attempt to search for posts in the duplicate dialog only to find that a post I know exists doesn't show up; I then later search it up manually and see that it was hidden as it was unanswered. The part about questions by the same user may be hard, but the part about meta sites seems easy enough to change. Commented May 9, 2019 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Based on our current roadmap, this isn't work that we plan to do soon, as it doesn't coincide with functional areas that we plan to improve in the near future. We recognize that time and thought was put into this request and that duplicate questions can be annoying especially when they are unanswered. Hopefully this will be something we can take on in the future, but for now I'm marking as status-declined.

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