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To reopen a closed question, up to five (5) people with the ability to cast reopen votes 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 which 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 without the ability to cast a reopen vote leaves a comment that they wish to vote to reopen?
  • How can one draw attention to their closed questions? Is it done via posting a new question? Or do you edit the closed question?

Related: What is a "closed" or "duplicate" question?

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


✝: Five reopen votes is the default number of reopen votes, or close votes, required. However, on some Stack Exchange sites, the required number of votes has been reduced to 1 or 3, and may be different for the main site and its per-site meta. For example, it's one vote on Hardware Recommendations, three votes on Stack Overflow, and five votes on Meta Stack Overflow and Hardware Recommendations Meta. In addition, users with a gold tag badge can unilaterally close questions as duplicates or reopen duplicate questions, provided they use the tag for which they have a gold tag badge. Moderators can unilaterally close or reopen any question.

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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, 2012 at 16:10

3 Answers 3

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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).

From: "What limits are there on how I can vote? - Close/reopen votes":

"50 close/reopen votes per day per user on Stack Overflow, Mathematics, Server Fault, Super User and Ask Ubuntu, 12 close/reopen votes per day per user on Stack Apps, 24 close/reopen votes per day per user on all other sites (source)".

If you have the appropriate privilege, you will see a link that you can click in the post menu near the bottom of the question (on the same line as "Share⠀Edit⠀Follow⠀Flag"):

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 a certain number of reopen votes, the post will be reopened. The number of reopen votes required is the same as the number of close votes required to close on the site (five on most sites, three on some sites including Stack Overflow).

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.
  • On Hardware Recommendations, a single vote from any user with the required reputation will reopen the question.

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 after it gets closed may also add it to the Reopen Review queue, where people with the the ability to cast reopen votes will assess it. The question will only be added to the queue if you check the box to indicate that the question's original close reason has been addressed:

This edit resolved the original close reason and the question should be considered for reopening.

If the question is edited, reviewers will be shown a diff view of the edit by default. For this reason, you should make sure that any edits after closure should make clear why the question should be reopened. If you or someone else makes a minor edit and doesn't follow up with a more major edit, reviewers may only see the minor edit and thus disagree with reopening, which may force you to resort to the next option. (While edits where you don't check the box don't add the question to the queue on their own, these edits will be shown to reviewers if the question ends up in the queue otherwise, e.g. by someone voting to reopen.)

Requesting on meta to reopen

If you've tried the above options but it wasn't reopened, you can make a request on the per-site meta tagging it .

You should only do this if:

  • You tried the above three options and users still disagreed with reopening it, which will be indicated in the close notice and in the post history.

  • You can't exercise any of the above options (because the question is deleted or locked).

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, beyond what's in the close notice.

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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. Feb 25, 2014 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, 2014 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? Feb 25, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2016 at 21:16
  • It seems that the tag is reopen-closed rather than reopen-request (maybe this changed since the answer was posted?)
    – prosoitos
    Oct 28, 2018 at 19:28
  • @prosoitos It depends on the site. Meta SU uses reopen-request. Nov 16, 2018 at 0:57
  • Oh, ok. My comment was for SO and I didn't realize that this was not homogeneous
    – prosoitos
    Nov 16, 2018 at 0:59
  • One some ultra specific sites, it's barrely impossible to reach the 3'000 points. This makes it "a niche" privilege to cast such votes.
    – s.k
    Apr 3, 2020 at 7:31
  • Note some stackexchange sites might not use this system. On math.stackexchange my attempt was closed and I was told to instead post an answer to the question math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/34447/….
    – Kvothe
    Apr 8 at 15:19
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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, 2013 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 :( Oct 19, 2015 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, 2016 at 16:09
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First, you need to understand that closing is a temporary 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.

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