Suppose you had a question, and you really want a good answer that would solve your problem, but noticed it was already asked by someone else. However, no one has posted any answers. The question is technically considered "unanswered", but a lot of users who would otherwise bother to give a correct answer probably skip the question completely for some reason.

What should I do in this case?

One idea is to ask a new, completely identical question, in the hope users will notice the new question and post an answer there. But would that go against SE policy?

Note: This is adapted from If you are not satisfied with answers on someone else's question, should you ask your own?, but that doesn't cover the case where the original question is unanswered. Also, it is not a duplicate of How do I get attention for one of my own questions without a good answer?, as that question asks about getting attention for one's own questions, while this one and the one linked above ask about getting an answer if someone else has already posted the same thing.

  • 2
    Put a bounty on it?
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 7:00
  • 2
    For the record: I know the answer myself, and am drafting one now. I just wanted to see if anyone else can put it in better words, so I held off on posting a self-answer immediately. I intend this to be useful for new users and possibly as a dupe target. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 7:02
  • Yeah, I was surprised you would be asking this question.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 7:02

3 Answers 3


Common wisdom has been, if it is identical - put a bounty on it, and/or make substantial improvements to it. Of course, this needs reputation, and if you're a new user who doesn't have much rep, you need other approaches. Begging for someone to bounty it is a terrible idea. Following up if someone offers to bounty is a good one - this happens sometimes.

If it is different enough, post your own question referencing the previous question and clearly mention how it is different.

If your issue is identical but there's no answer, and you can post a better question with more in-depth diagnostic information (things you couldn't edit into the original question because it would change the meaning), there's a reasonable chance that the other question ought to be closed as a duplicate of yours - make a case for it: "While this is similar to the previous question, I've noticed a few things they missed that I couldn't edit in".

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    If you can fix problems in the existing question with an edit, I recommend always starting there -- it doesn't cost rep and your edit will bump it (assuming it's not downvoted to oblivion; if it is, there's probably a deeper problem). Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 18:43

You can also promote the question - share it on Twitter, blog about it, send a link to a mailing list you're on or a related Slack. Be sure to use the link from the share under the post, creating a URL that includes your ID. That will enable you to earn badges (Announcer, Booster, Publicist) for sharing links that other people follow. Include extra detail where you share, if you can't or won't add it to the question.


You might try also mentioning the question in an appropriate chatroom.

Whether this has some chance to succeed might depend on the number of active users in the chatrooms associated with the specific site - but there is at least some chance that you gain a few additional views. (You should not put big hopes into this. but even other options, such as bounty, do not give any guarantee that you get an answer.)

After asking it chat, it is worth staying in the room for a bit - so that you are able to discuss the question there if somebody responds to your message. And, naturally, if that particular room has some established rules, you should follow them.

Using chat was among the suggestions given here: How do I get attention for one of my own questions without a good answer? That question explicitly asks about your own question - but I'd say this applies also to the questions which are posted by someone else.

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