To reopen a closed question, five (5) people with at least 3000 reputation must agree that the question is suitable for the site and cast votes to reopen the question.

But:

  • How does one actually vote to reopen? Is there a reputation level that you must have before you can see this function? Or do I just leave a comment along the lines of, "I vote to reopen"?
  • What happens if someone with less than 3000 reputation leaves a comment that they wish to vote to reopen?
  • How can one draw attention to their closed questions? Is it done via a posting new question? Or do you edit the closed question?

Related: What is a "closed" or “on hold” question?

For more information, see "What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?" in the Help Center.

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  • @Citizen Kang: is it good idea to incorporate bits from all answers into the question? so everything is in one place, easy to read/find? – Radek Jan 21 '10 at 6:28
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    @Radek: Nope, that's what the answers are there for. :) Plus, the accepted (and currently highest voted) answer is completely accurate. – John Rudy Jan 21 '10 at 17:23
  • @Citizen Kang: what I am missing in the answer to be a complete answer is 'However, you may only vote to close or reopen a question once.' And I'm not able to edit the answer. – Radek Jan 21 '10 at 19:08
  • @Pop Done & Done. Mods can do that too :) – BinaryMisfit Sep 2 '10 at 16:43
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    I came here because I keep seeing people mention that re-open votes expire, however I don't see that mentioned anywhere here. Can someone please explain that? – Rachel Feb 28 '12 at 16:10
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    I've noticed that users with less that 3000 reputation can vote to close questions, but can't vote to re-open them. That doesn't seem fair. – Anderson Green Sep 29 '13 at 20:35
  • I think this link should be text in the box telling users that the question was closed. "If you think this was mistakenly closed and wish to vote to reopen, then click here". I think currently the link is quite hard to find. – Gerry Jun 30 '16 at 23:42
up vote 62 down vote accepted

Voting to reopen

You must have the "view close votes" privilege in order to vote to reopen your own question. Users with the "cast close and reopen votes" privilege can vote to reopen any closed question, not only their own. On established sites, these privileges are awarded at 250 and 3000 reputation points, respectively (beta sites have different thresholds).

If you have the appropriate privilege, you will see a link near the bottom of the question (on the same line as "share | edit | flag") that you can click:

Reopen button

Clicking on this will ask you to confirm that you want to vote to reopen this question. If you cast the first reopen vote, your question will be added to the Reopen Votes review queue so that others can see it quickly and possibly cast more votes. After five (5) votes, the post will be reopened.

In some cases, a single vote is enough to reopen the question:

  • A single vote from a moderator can reopen any question closed for any reason immediately.
  • Questions closed as duplicates can be immediately reopened by a user with a gold tag badge for any of the question's tags.

Comments to reopen

Leaving comments about voting to reopen does nothing in and of itself. You can try and address a specific user who may have left a comment as to why they voted to close and ask them to help cast reopen votes if you think they voted in error.

You can also leave a comment asking for other users to vote to reopen if you've edited your question to a better form.

Editing to reopen

If the comments are helpful as to why the question has been closed, you can edit the post so that it's a good, on-topic question, or to explain why it's not a duplicate. The close reason, while not always accurate, should point you in the right direction of what to fix.

Editing the body of a question within five days of closure will also add it to the Reopen Review queue, where people with the the ability to cast reopen votes will assess it. A question can only be added to the Reopen Review queue once per closure via editing.

Requesting on meta to reopen

If you don't get around to editing the question within five days, or you've edited it but it wasn't reopened, you can make a request on the per-site meta tagging it . Clearly explain why the question should be reopened (why it's a good, on-topic question, or why it isn't a duplicate). This is also a good way to obtain further clarification about why your question was closed.

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    What's that green drawing? – John Saunders Jan 21 '10 at 5:04
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    What green drawing? There's just a freehand arrow pointing out the reopen link. @joh – random Jan 21 '10 at 5:08
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    @random: I see a red arrow, with a green "frog" underneath it. Time for a new pair of glasses? – John Saunders Jan 21 '10 at 9:07
  • How do you see a frog in the image? @joh – random Jan 21 '10 at 9:42
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    I see a snake that just ate a frog. That thingy on it's tail - is that a gadget fitted by Animal Planet crew to track the poor snake's path? – Amarghosh Jan 21 '10 at 11:01
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    @random: the arrow is red, the frog/snake is green. Perhaps one of us is red/green colorblind? Come on, now, don't mess with the old guy making him think he's getting senile... – John Saunders Jan 21 '10 at 13:52
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    --> The second half of this comment stream should be a discussion. Anywho, replying to the actual answer: I didn't know this. I was just about to post something about it, and similar questions actually did something for once and directed me here. – cbroughton Nov 13 '11 at 2:43
  • Why have you linked to the superuser FAQ rather than the stackoverflow FAQ? – Caltor Nov 5 '12 at 9:33
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    @random: What happens after I cast a reopen vote? As far as I've read, the question enters a review queue, but I've never seen any outcome at all from my casting of reopen votes. As in, no discussion, no notification that the question will stay closed, let alone reopening. – Dan Dascalescu Feb 25 '14 at 5:19
  • You don't get any notification at all if your vote to reopen reopens to question, or it was not able to reopen @dan – random Feb 25 '14 at 5:28
  • @random: so 1) I don't get any notifications at all about the progress of the process, and 2) the only notifications I might her are at the discretion of whoever wants to comment on the question? – Dan Dascalescu Feb 25 '14 at 5:34
  • No notifications. And only comments if you've left one/last edited and were @ notified. If you want to, ask for a feature-request. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3432/… @dan – random Feb 25 '14 at 5:39
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    It is not possible to notify via a comment an individual who voted to close when that individual did not leave a comment on the question. – DavidRR Feb 4 '15 at 13:25
  • Thanks for the answer. What about posting on the respective meta SE drawing attention to the edited question? When would that be acceptable? In my case it's sound.stackexchange.com/questions/31627/… – qubodup Oct 30 '15 at 3:45
  • say I wrote a very very bad question, and now based on the comments and a semi-answer—I got a good grip on what I actually needed to be ask. Should I edit top to bottom the question ie almost making it a similar but different question or just keep it closed and create a new question? – Honey May 31 '16 at 21:16

Regarding the second point: "What happens if someone with less than 3000 reputation leaves a comment that they wish to vote to reopen?"

Obviously leaving a comment has no effect, but to this point, would it be worth having a mechanism for reputation-deprived users to call attention to particular questions/answers so that other users with more reputation can take a look and decide whether to reopen or not?

This could also apply to other features that also require reputation, not just reopening a question. What I'm thinking of would not be intrusive (i.e. it would not send out messages or anything).

For example, I'm thinking that there could just be a list of questions that other users have requested be reopened, sorted descending by the number of users (or better yet, the sum of the reputation of those users) requesting that it be reopened. If any users who have enough reputation to reopen want to peruse that list, then they can do so. If not, then they don't have to.

Basically, I'm suggesting a mechanism that allows users with low reputation to still have some kind of input towards causing something to change, even though it requires the intervention of another user who has enough reputation to enact that change. The benefit is that you're not leaving it up to chance that enough users with high enough reputation have happened to stop by on a particular question, noticed the situation, and decided to take action.

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    i agree with you that there should be a specific REOPEN FLAG, calling for moderator attention. – tony gil Mar 14 '13 at 13:49
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    I totally agree. I am an experienced user on stack overflow, but have little reputation on math.stackexchange. My question (math.stackexchange.com/questions/1484899/…) was closed because I formulated it too vaguely. Now I have rewritten it, and it sits just there with no one noticing :( – DaveBall aka user750378 Oct 19 '15 at 9:07
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    I second the motion. I edited a post by someone else that was closed much more than 5 days ago (stackoverflow.com/questions/19275297/…), however, the edit has had no effect. I have >250 reputation, but I can't vote to reopen it b/c it's not my question. – shiri Dec 20 '16 at 16:09

This is how questions are automatically added to the reopen queue:

we decided to take... into account, things that might indicate a closed question that could use some additional review. Currently, this means that a closed question will automatically be added to the reopen queue when it is...

  • ...Edited (body edits only) within 5 days of closure by the author. Or,
  • ...Edited (body edits only) within 5 days of closure by a 3rd-party, provided the editor has not also flagged the question or voted to close it. Or,
  • ...Sufficiently popular, where popularity is calculated based on question score, top answer score, or views per month. We're still tweaking the exact thresholds for these.

As always, a reopen vote will add a question to the reopen queue if it isn't already in the queue.

First, you need to understand that closing is a temsporary state. It's purpose is to prevent answers being added to a question that is not answerable. If you feel that your underlying problem is one that SO should be able to solve, then you need to change the question in some way to make it answerable. This generally means that you edit your own question. (Occasionally, someone else may edit your question for you if they can guess what you meant.)

Editing your question automatically adds it to a Reopen Queue where others can vote to re-open it if it is now an answerable question. You may see a reopen link on your question - clicking this will vote to re-open it, though you need more than just that one vote. Caution though: if you think your question is completely clear and appropriate, but 5 people misinterpreted that and closed it, the chances are slim enough people will join you in voting to reopen it. Editing is usually the right tactic. Comments on the question may help you decide how to edit it.

Some closed questions are later deleted, which is much harder to recover from. As soon as you get comments suggesting some people can't figure out how to answer your question, look to see how you can edit it to be clearer: include some code, show the error message, explain what output you expected and what you got, include less code, or whatever it seems the question needs.

When a question is closed there will be a link under the tags that says "reopen". You, as the owner of the question (with at least 250 rep), should be able to see that when your question has been closed by the community and/or moderators. Looks like your question has already been reopened, though.

  • you're right the question is reopen so I cannot see the link. As I can remember there was no link. I have another closed question so I can check that there is no 'reopen' link – Radek Jan 21 '10 at 4:22

Leaving a comment about voting to reopen has no effect. There will be a link to click to vote to reopen new questions as I understand it.

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