This is admittedly a rare occurrence, but there are a couple instance where I have posted an answer, was beat out by a few seconds by another user who posted essentially the same answer, deleted my answer, and then realized I had something else to add that could still bring value to the question.

My choices now are either to write a new answer or undelete the old one edit it (or just walk away). What I really want to do is just edit the deleted post directly, and then undelete when the edit is finished.

A few other times I'll realize I've mis-read the question and will immediately delete my post. I'd like to edit the deleted post saying something like "Misread the question, nothing to see here" for other users with 10K rep (I think I've seen one or two of these from most of the frequent SO users), but the only way to do that now is to undelete it first. Of course, I could just do things in the right order in the first place, but I don't always remember.

  • facepalm. I could swear I've been unable to do this in the past. At least I can mark my own request "completed". Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:40
  • Are you the only one with the power of the red tags?
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:44
  • Oops, it won't let me add the tag back on...sorry.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:45
  • You mean like what happened 10 seconds ago? Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:51
  • Lol, it's okay. Any of the mods have the power to apply red tags. Though if any of us who aren't directly part of the SO team started marking everything 'status-accepted' or 'status-declined' unilaterally we'd likely have some explaining to do. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:57
  • Hmm, looks like they made it so you cannot edit your deleted posts again :( Commented Nov 5, 2009 at 16:01
  • Thanks for the comment - removed the 'completed' mark based on that. Commented Nov 5, 2009 at 16:24
  • I can still edit other people's deleted posts on SO, but I don't know about <10k users.
    – mmyers
    Commented Nov 5, 2009 at 16:57
  • Looks like it works again now. Not sure what happened back then. I will report and come back if it happens to me again. Thanks! Commented Nov 14, 2009 at 11:22
  • There is certainly a bug somewhere. Just happened to me again that it says that the post is deleted and you cannot edit it. Commented Nov 22, 2009 at 19:42

3 Answers 3


You can edit a deleted post. I've done it a few times. Here's the edit list from one of my revised answers showing that I answered, deleted, edited, then undeleted.

Editor's note: This ability was later removed for self-deleted questions, because it was being abused by spammers.

  • It hasn't let me in the past - I'll try again next time. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:38
  • Perhaps a 10K thing? Though I've been 10K for a long time now. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:40
  • 3
    I have < 10K and can edit deleted posts
    – John Rasch
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 21:05
  • 1
    It must be newish, because I would get 404s when trying to edit a deleted post... Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 21:08
  • 1
    You cannot edit a self-deleted question. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 10:09

Happens to me from time to time too. You risk getting downvoted as a dupe while editing a live answer.

  • 7
    People that are downvoting similar answers are voting wrong imo.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:19
  • 1
    @jinguy, I agree, however, there are a lot of simplish questions where you see VERY simple answers happening 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes AND 20 minutes ago. It's kind of annoying to see so many people posting answers that are duplicates of things posted ten minutes prior.
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:21
  • 1
    I typically encourage authors of dupes to delete their post, and up-vote the original.
    – Sampson
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:29
  • Well, while seeing a highly upvoted answer can show the communities confidence in an answer, so can seeing 5 copies of the same answer.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 20:33
  • @jjnguy, which is OK in short time periods, but it is very annoying when people are posting almost identical answers to things that have been posted 10 minutes earlier. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 21:01

I can edit every entry in this post on StackOverflow. Go try it!

You have to have 10K rep to view the deleted entries I am speaking of.

  • Hm, perhaps this should be considered a bug?
    – bdonlan
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 0:08

You must log in to answer this question.

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