Is there ever a case where you would want to accept an answer, but not upvote it?

I can't think of a single situation where this would be the case.. So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" button upvote the answer too?

  • 47
    There are many new users on SO who accept questions but don't up-vote. It almost seems like this should be automatic... if the answer is the accepted answer, it must have also been helpful, no? I don't want to slap the wrist or explain to every new user who accepts my answer when the answer has 0 up-votes (and sometimes all answers have 0 up-votes).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 15:24
  • 9
    I suppose some users think that accepting is enough and they don't need to be too generous, but I would guess that most just don't know the difference. If the up-vote is automatic then the ones who think accepting is enough could easily undo their up-vote (the up-vote shouldn't be done without telling them).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 15:25
  • 9
    To upvote, you both need to meet a rep requirement and be registered. This is not a problem on SO, but on the other sites, not everyone wants to go through the hassle of signing up just to give an up-vote.
    – user157130
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 8:47
  • 19
    I've had people comment that it solved their problem but they neither accepted nor upvoted. sob sob.. :'( Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 18:04
  • 3
    Some OPs even copy the correct answer from an answerer. Then OP posts it as an answer by him/herself. But never upvotes or accept the correct answer in the first place though ;) had multiple of those..
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 8:12
  • Related request
    – Bolu
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 11:24
  • 2
    Well if this was implemented the unsung hero badge would become almost unobtainable. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 15:40
  • 3
    I accepted an answer but ran out of votes for the day. Then I voted after midnight GMT. So there could be a problem with giving yourself >40 votes per day via accepting.
    – aschultz
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 10:50

21 Answers 21


Since it is simple enough to cast an upvote and accept the answer, I don't a see a reason to constrain the user in this manner. I agree, I've never had a situation where I wasn't upvoting along with accepting. But, everyone has a different reason/rationale for upvoting, so I don't think the system should force that upvote.

  • 55
    For the people that don't know the difference, or couldn't be bothered to click twice, I think an automatic up-vote makes sense. For the people that know they don't want to both accept and up-vote, it is also simple enough to click the up-vote button again. Overall I think this experience is better than expecting every user to know the difference.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 15:23
  • 57
    As someone who's relatively new to SO, it honestly didn't occur to me that I should upvote an answer that I've accepted. I assumed that accepting an answer that's useful to me was the proper way to express my sentiment of thanks. I'll do it from now on, but I can definitely see the rationale for having this be the default behavior.
    – Tneuktippa
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 19:12
  • 6
    I personally select and upvote only when the answer completely resolves the issue. For partial resolution I select as correct. For merely putting me on the right track I only upvote.
    – user212646
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 20:35
  • 1
    @fredsbend I hope that when you receive such an answer and upvote it, that you also come back, write up a complete answer of your own (that you came up with after being put on the right track), and accept it, too. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 16:29
  • @JoshuaTaylor I'm much more liberal now with voting. Pretty much everyone gets an upvote unless it looked like there was no effort or spreading of knowledge, or, of course, if it was completely wrong. I currently only have one question without an accepted answer (because it is unanswered). I actually prefer to comment on the post that helped and let them know, then they can edit. Like I did here. Optionally, I could edit the post myself and add those last few steps that I stumbled on.
    – user212646
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 18:47
  • 2
    So for those of us that think StackOverflow should at least remind the user to upvote in addition to accepting the answer, how would we go about petitioning the StackOverflow management to actually make that change? Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 17:10
  • On meta sites, accepting usually shows the community opinion, whereas upvoting shows one's own opinion. Those aren't necessarily the same.
    – isaacg
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:09
  • this remains a significant problem til today - users not familiar with stack will just upvote without accepting the answer. the right solution should be you can only accept an answer on a question you asked-which also upvotes the answer.only then should you be allowed to upvote anything else. the flow is awkward Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 6:28
  • 1
    downvoted because, as has been said, for one, new users may not think about it, and two, it's easy enough to undo the upvote, in what I'm sure are the rare cases where they want to accept but not upvote. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 20:12
  • Very much disagree with this. I have a lot of accepted answers that were not upvoted, often from new users (which are a common user type for some tags I often answer). I don't want to comment and ask the person to upvote as that seems tacky, but it's really annoying getting lots of accepted answered but not getting upvotes that would count for my tag badges.
    – Nathan
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 21:01

I must have more than 40 answers (July 2009), make that 150 answers, (December 2010),
actually 260 answers (June 2012), rather 408 answers (July 2013), or 603 answers (August 2014), err 941 answers (August 2016), well... 1020 answers (July 2017), confirmed: 1169 answers (August 2018), indeed 1273 answers (June 2019), wait: 1417 answers (Sept. 2020), now 1503 answers (Sept. 2021), updated 1591 answers (Sept. 2022) on non-wiki questions, accepted but not upvoted.
Mmmm, I see a trend here...

Real-time accepted, non-upvoted answers for me (compare it with yours).

Those questions are often posted by "occasional" users with very few reputation points.
Most of them never accept an answer.
Some finally get the tick thingy, but completely miss the upvote ("I have accepted the answer, now, why would I be supposed to do something else?")

As I said in the meta question "What’s the single biggest barrier to entry on SO?", they simply do not know (and do not care).

Even the new (January 2013) about page helps only moderately (but it is certainly an improvement).

So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" button upvote the question too?

Even though I would benefit from such a feature, I am not in favor of that modification.

  • Accept is for accepting an answer.
  • Upvote is for upvoting an answer.

Keeping them separate seems right in term of UI design, following the "Don't make me Think" rules, as in "making things obvious vs. hidden information".

  • 54
    Which is why the default should be an automatic upvote for accepts. Any user conscious about it could very easily cancel the up.
    – ohadsc
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 13:47
  • 6
    @ohadsc: see blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/vote-early-vote-often: you need to encourage them to vote, not vote for them ;)
    – VonC
    Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 20:47
  • 13
    @VonC Couldn't this be a step towards that encouragement? have a popup that says "an upvote has been cast in your name. to learn more about upvotes click here"
    – ohadsc
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 10:16
  • 15
    @ohadsc: any automatic action made "in the user's name" is likely to be perceived at first as an unwelcome surprise. A message reminding them that an upvote is also possible (if they have 15 rep) is good. But forcing an upvote seems wrong.
    – VonC
    Commented Oct 23, 2010 at 11:48
  • 11
    I'd go with the reminder message as well. But the current situation is absurd - half of my accepted answers have 0 upvotes, and I'm sure it's not because the users consciously avoided upvoting
    – ohadsc
    Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 9:26
  • 3
    @ohadsc: most of mines (140 accepted answers with 0 votes!) comes from users who hadn't 15 rep at the time and couldn't vote anyway;)
    – VonC
    Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 12:04
  • 20
    That's a good point. Perhaps a mechanism could be installed to allow users with < 15 rep to upvote answers only for their own questions
    – ohadsc
    Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 13:34
  • 2
    I have upvoted the question to get them past the 15 rep so they could upvote me. Is that wrong? idk. I can't help it. I think I'm addicted to rep.
    – user212646
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 20:38
  • 4
    I just started on StackExchange a week ago and encountered the problem of finding useful questions and answers (whether to my own questions or others') that I wanted to upvote but couldn't. As a solution, I temporarily favorited all of those questions. Then today, when I finally got to 15 rep, I opened all of those favorited links and upvoted the questions and answers I couldn't before.
    – Cerran
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 14:32
  • 2
    @VonC for how long you plan to update that list? ;) Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 13:04
  • @PatrickHofman for as long as I am on this site. And I am on this site every day (meta.stackexchange.com/q/122976/6309)
    – VonC
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 13:06
  • Lol. Your post was one of the first I read on MSO/MSE and it is still one of the posts that got me thinking. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 13:07
  • How does "Don't make the think" lead to the conclusion that you should force the user to think about two separate actions (upvoting/accepting) and the very nuanced distinctions between them, rather than just making the site conform to their mental model ("this was a good answer")? Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 23:43
  • @SteveBennett I would argue the distinction between accepting and upvoting is anything but nuanced. You can accept an answer as a good enough workaround, even though it is not the perfect solution you want. Considering you will vote (up or down) for more often than you will accept answers, it seems sensible to not have a special case where, in that rare occurrence where you accept an answer, it would automatically upvote it as well.
    – VonC
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 7:22
  • So you vote up "perfect solutions", but you accept "good enough workarounds"? Yeah, I'd call that nuance. And I'd also bet that there are plenty of users who would use those two actions exactly the other way around. (Me, for instance - I generally upvote anything that is useful, and I accept an answer if it directly answers the question and either solves the problem or explains why there is no solution.) Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 23:23

There's one corner case which hasn't been mentioned yet: you accept an answer, but you don't have any votes left for the day :)

  • 1
    Well then you could just uv it the next day, but people can be forgetful. Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 16:17
  • 9
    Yes, I guess I was more talking about why someone wouldn't "upvote and accept" at the same time.
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 16:39
  • 8
    There's another edge case, too. What if you can't upvote because you don't have enough reputation?
    – Steve P.
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 20:20
  • 1
    Perhaps the daily vote limit shouldn't apply when you would like to upvote an answer that you have accepted.
    – DavidRR
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 3:35
  • This answers the first question in the OP. Do you have a stance on the second question? Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 9:38
  • @sancho.s: I don't have strong feelings either way, to be honest.
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 9:59
  • 4
    @SteveP., That's not the edge case, it's the usual case.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 16:37
  • @Pacerier The real question is why Forbes is mining Quora for content to repost. Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 15:32

Accepting w/out upvoting makes sense in one situation IMHO.

If you end up using an answer that you don't like, but works.

The check should not also upvote.

  • Don't presume for the user. You'd think the world would have learned after daytime running lights.
    – user95071
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 15:58
  • 10
    Could have run out of votes for the day... Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 16:09
  • 18
    Absolutely!!! If the user is annoying and/or abusive. Arrogant or otherwise acting in a way which you do not support. But the content is accurate. I want to mark it as corrrect, so that others who view my question will be able to find the correct answer, but I don't want to upvote this person behaviour.
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:36
  • 4
    So there might be an aditional tooltip stating "if this answer is correct and you like it, consider upvoting it as well" after the answer was accepted.
    – tobsen
    Commented Feb 26, 2010 at 21:31
  • 10
    If the up-vote is automatic based on acceptance, then for those rare situations where you want to show the correct answer but not reward the user for other reasons, you could always un-do the up-vote manually (in other words, the up-vote would happen, the user would be told the up-vote happened, but it is not set in stone - though I'm not sure if SO would need to keep track of the auto-up-vote for the situation where the user later decided to un-accept that answer and accept a different answer - that's about the only technical limitation I foresee).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 15:18
  • 1
    @AaronBertrand I don't think the situation is as rare as you might think.
    – user212646
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    @fredsbend ok, I don't we could state it either way with much authority.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 1:16
  • 3
    I don't see why the default isn't to upvote upon accept. Users can always remove the upvote, or even downvote(!), if they feel the upvote is not appropriate. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 3:13
  • 2
    @AaronBertrand However, such upvote should not get locked ever. No automatic action done this way in your name should be inundoable. Well, no automatic action should be done this way in your name :/ People, it's just rep, stupid number on some website, so relax :)
    – yo'
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 7:32
  • "If you end up using an answer...", then it's useful (which is what an upvote means), right? Or are upvotes considered similar to likes (thumbs up) on social media?
    – wovano
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 21:28

Following on from what VonC said. I see a lot of occasional users who might accept an answer, but don't have the 15 rep required for an upvote. Is this a special case where SO could apply the upvote when the answer is accepted?

  • 4
    It somehow feels wrong to me to not upvote an accepted answer. For my part, once I gained the privilege, I went back and upvoted the accepted answers, but many people either won't bother or may never even come back to the site again. The upvote shouldn't apply automatically, but I think users should start out with the privilege to upvote the accepted answer to their own questions.
    – toxalot
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 8:06
  • 1
    @toxalot Perhaps, in the least users should be allowed to up and down vote on answers to their own questions regardless of rep. It is their question and if they think one answer is bunk and another is good but the community disagrees then the questioner's opinion should take precedence.
    – user212646
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 20:43

There are badges available specifically for people who get a lot of their answers accepted with zero up-votes (Tenacious and Unsung Hero).

If the system were to change as suggested, to automatically give an up-vote to an answer you then accept those badges would have to change as well.

(This might not be a bad thing, as the current position does make winning those badges somewhat hit-and-miss, depending on the intelligence of the people you've tried to help.)

  • This could easily be changed to 'X accepted answers with zero upvotes [exclucing votes from the person who accepted]'.
    – GolezTrol
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 19:17

Accepting an answer without upvoting it rarely makes sense (and never in the case of my own answers, of course). 8-)} But I agree with others that it shouldn't be forced or automated; having the system cast an upvote on your behalf seems wrong.

So how about this:

If you accept an answer and you're able to upvote it, clicking the checkmark could produce a pop-up prompt that asks whether you want to upvote it as well. Add some brief wording indicating that it's not mandatory, but probably a good idea.


Sometimes you get a number of answers, none of which quite hit the mark, but there is one that gets you 80% of the way to a solution. That's one reason for perhaps not awarding an upvote AND the correct answer.

The other reason is, as Jon points out, where you've run out of votes for the day.


Maybe some people think that +15 that you already get for an accepted answer is enough and they want to save their upvotes for other questions/answers? It's also possible that they're already out of votes for the day.

I personally don't think it makes any sense to accept an answer without upvoting it (upvote means "this was helpful", if it works and you're accepting it, it must have been helpful), but it's so easy to just click the other button I don't see any reason they should be combined into one atomic action.

  • 1
    IMHO The accept/no upvote almost always come from new users who aren't aware of the vote cap, never mind hitting it.
    – Basic
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 23:03

Keep it separate. As Bill the Lizard pointed out, a lot of times users might think that "+15 is already enough". This is particularly true for the type of questions asked by new users (the ones most likely to not upvote when accepting an answer)... Pointing out for the millionth time that someone's not using the correct operators shouldn't entitle me to 25 points... In fact, the easiest questions are already the ones generating the most upvotes as everyone feels qualified to agree.

I feel that one of the structural weaknesses of SO is that the way that rep is awarded rewards users who cherry-pick easy questions and rely on the laziness of voters who will only bother voting for answers that they can validate in 10 seconds or less... Automatically awarding an additional +10 seems an unnecessary reward (at least this is my experience in the PHP/JS/CSS tags where there are lots of inexperienced users)... There are a lot of technically correct but uninspiring answers, and providing even higher rewards for answering large numbers of simple questions provides exactly the opposite incentive that we should be aiming for... Correct answers are rewarded well enough and can always be upvoted if the OP wants.


I have several excellent reasons,

You can not upvote your own answer, leading to complications when a user answers their own question.

There are instances where the question might solve your answer, but does so in a low quality, or dirty (not best practice) manner that is not a good solution, although you do not mind using it yourself.

And finally, Nobody would be able to get the Neruto Hat then.

But seriously, as stated in other answers, it really is pretty easy to click the upvote button after accepting, so it wouldn't make much difference overall. While this was a great idea, I think it is not really worth the effort of the development team to implement.


It never makes sense to accept without an upvote, but the functionality should remain separate. It is a good way to judge people who actually 'get it' and deserve your attention.

  • @jjnguy: Either the answer is helpful and correct or not. The only time your condition should be true is if the person is not using the system properly.
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 15:53
  • @jjnguy: Which is what my answer says. What are you arguing?
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 15:59
  • hehe, all i read was your first half sentence...my bad...
    – jjnguy
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 15:59
  • 1
    As mentioned by jjnguy's answer, there may be behaviour you DON'T want to endorse, but content that you do. So I'd mark the answer as correct, but they don't deserve an upvote.
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:38
  • Also, I'm downvoting you for an incorrect answer (-1)
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:40
  • 3
    @devinb: And as I discussed with jjnguy, if it answered your question and you accepted it, it is by definition helpful. Therefore it should be upvoted.
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:56
  • 4
    If I ask "How do I XYZ given that ABC" and someone says "you just GHI F_ckstar", well, they might be correct, but they aren't getting an upvote from me.
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 19:07
  • 1
    @devinb: Sounds like it was helpful to me. Whether it was the answer to accept or not is up for debate, but not an upvote.
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 19:34
  • @devinb: The system seems to be structured so that, ideally, someone with enough rep will come along and remove the needless insult. Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 19:41
  • @pesto: Absolutely. Once that happens, the answer will get an upvote from me. Until then, it is simply "Correct" and not "encouraged"
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 20:22
  • 1
    @devinb, The point is with the auto-upvote, a user with your knowledge will correctly undo the upvote, where as without auto-upvote, some user will never know (or got the chance to correct) they can upvote the answer that he/she just marked as answer...
    – Bolu
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 15:01

When asking questions, posting answers, voting (up/down), accepting, etc., we are participating of a community that helps us all.

What I personally value most is the legacy built by the community, which makes the system useful in the long term. An essential part of this is a rating system that reflects usefulness. I have benefited quite a lot from it.

I think that the focus on this usefulness for the SO community is often relegated, in favor of the reputation earned by users. Both go together, that is how SO works, but

When a decision is to be made, usefulness + legacy should prevail as a criterion.

Following up with this rationale, if accepting goes naturally with upvoting in most of the cases, something that proactively favors the upvoting in these cases would be most convenient.

Now, the due answer to the specific question: So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" button upvote the question too?, I would say YES, with an option for explicitly not upvoting. But any other action favoring this will also be interesting.

Note that, by setting the default for an answer being accepted to “Upvote” (as opposed to “Not upvote”):

  1. One is not forcing the behavior of the OP. One is only influencing the behavior of the OP in the direction it is overwhelmingly agreed that most often (not univocally) describes reality. This is contrary to what is stated in quite a few answers and comments.
  2. One is selecting one of the two possible default actions. Setting the default to “Not upvote” is also influencing the behavior of the OP.

When you've already upvoted an answer, but you come back later and realise that you also should have accepted it? (I've done this.)

  • Heheh, true.. but that would still be both accepting the answer and voting it up
    – dbr
    Commented Jul 1, 2009 at 2:19
  • Except that if you aren't careful, you could allow people to 'upvote' a particular answer twice, which I'm pretty sure is against some form of local rule.
    – Margaret
    Commented Jul 1, 2009 at 4:38
  • 6
    @Margaret, the system should know that you've already up-voted, regardless of whether the up-vote was automatic. Or else something is really wrong with the schema.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 15:20

Is there ever a case where you would want to accept an answer, but not upvote it?

Looking at the answers, comments, and votes on both, it seems most users here believe that when accepting an answer you are likely to upvote.

It may well be that in most scenarios, on some sites, the accepted answer is also worthy of an upvote from the question OP.
Some sites might have specific niches whereby an answer is either poor and worthy of nothing or a downvote, or good answers worthy of both being accepted and an upvote from the question OP.

But this is simply not "always" the case on all sites, in all tags.

Maybe it was more true 6 years ago when this was asked? That is perfectly possible and acceptable :)

So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" button upvote the answer too?

No, because the two functions serve entirely different purposes, and I'd like to retain control over being able to accept and upvote separately based on the given scenario.

Paraphrasing from another relevant answer of mine:

  1. I upvote because the answer was good, helpful, useful, informative, etc
  2. I accept an answer when it answered my question, but it's not necessarily a "good" answer so I'm not necessarily also going to upvote

So there most certainly are scenarios where accepted and not upvoting is perfectly reasonable.

For example, in a "link only" answer, the information in the link's destination may well answer the question perfectly, so the OP can accept because "this answered their question".
But it being link only makes it a poor answer and so not worthy of an upvote.
(This is of course based on no other answers present, etc).

Or, perhaps more simply, the answer is just worthy of "accept" because it resolved my problem, but the answer author took no time or effort to explain when doing so could have been useful to me and others. Perhaps the grammar is bad, or the answer is generally lazy as if "here, I cannot be bothered, this will do you".
In which case I do not want to upvote, but accepting the answer is fair.

The point is, no matter how rare it may or may not be that we accept but do not also upvote, the fact there are scenarios where this happens means we should not automate it.


Initially I thought this was a terrible idea, given how often I've seen answers that did, yes, solve the problem, but only barely and without much generality.

But the comments suggesting that the feature be limited only to initially upvoting (when possible), while still allowing an immediate undoing of this when desired, changed my mind.

Given that provision, there really is no technical reason it couldn't work well. If someone is out of votes for the day or doesn't have the rep to upvote? You just don't add the vote, simplicity itself. If someone doesn't really like the answer that much? Just undo the vote; the button will even change colors conveniently to alert you.

There are two remaining social considerations that I can see. The first is the expectation that would develop that an accept should also mean an upvote, potentially leading to drama in cases where that doesn't happen. Well, except that that expectation already strongly exists, so I don't see that changing much.

The second is a systemic shifting of careless accepters a little further toward upvotes than is presently the case, even for answers that are borderline. I'm not really sure this is a very serious problem, and arguably it's even part of the intention. (Especially for new users that just gained upvote privileges recently and aren't entirely aware of how things work.)

Given all this, it really seems like a reasonable feature to streamline things, especially if, the first time it triggers on a given account, a popup appears to explain what just happened.


Here is an example of answer I intentionally accpected but did not upvote:


Why? The answer was good because it worked and answered the question...but I decided it did not deserve an upvote because it was rude and almost offensive (it has been edited since by a more clever person who removed the rude part of the answer, see the revision: https://serverfault.com/posts/744471/revisions).

  • 2
    So you know and you know how to undo. This is about new users who don't know the difference between them. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:57
  • @PatrickHofman Sure, but the OP did not mention the question only for new users, he asked "Is there ever a case where you would want to accept an answer, but not upvote it?"
    – jpo38
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 7:27

Well, I have read the answers and some of the comments talking about some exceptional cases but the main reason I think is that up-voting take 15 reputations. In some of the cases questions are asked by new user having just 1 reputations. So, even if they up-vote it won't show up.

However, this is where Stack Overflow comes to the party with a gold badge for such users.

Unsung Hero: Zero score accepted answers: more than 10 and 25% of total.

I myself have this gold badge. I think this is somehow good not letting users having less than 15 reputations to up-vote, otherwise they will keep up-voting their own answers with different accounts.


I sometimes get two answers that are really close to each other in quality, and would like to accept both (but can't) — so what I'll do is:

  • accept what I feel is the better answer, but not upvote it
  • give the runner-up answer my upvote

I consider this to be a little more "fair" to the 2nd-place answerer, who gets 10 points from me. The accepted answerer is getting 15 points + the prestige of having the accepted answer.

  • 26
    If they're both good answers, upvote both.
    – devinb
    Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 18:38
  • 1
    that's not the point, the point is that I can't accept both. If I could accept both or couldn't accept either, I'd upvote both.
    – Jason S
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 17:11
  • 5
    So in that scenario you would upvote and accept both, even though you thought one was clearly a better answer? I agree with devinb
    – Josh
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 15:24

It could be that though the answer was helpful, it was not at all well written.

There are several things that contribute to having a well written answer, including the way of explanation. Maybe the answer just gave a small tip that helped you reach a solution yourself, but the answer itself was not the solution. Maybe the answer misunderstood the question and gave a partially irrelevant explanation, that however helped you find your Eureka point. Maybe the answer has uncorrected mistakes indicated in the comments but are not fixed by the answerer.

In such cases, you might want to pin the answer so that others who open the question read it, but you don't think the answer itself deserves an upvote. Well, surely the op could help edit the answer or self answer his question from the new information, but not everyone may be willing to spend so much time on stack exchange, especially after they've already got the answer for themselves.


I have previously not upvoted an answer that I accepted. I did that because the person who provided the answer did so in a comment, and SO won't allow you to accept a comment as a best answer, so I had to make a new answer myself that was basically just a copy of what he had said. It didn't feel right to upvote myself, especially when I wasn't the one who had come up with the answer.

The obvious solution here, I think, is to have the system automatically upvote when you accept, but also allow you to remove that upvote after acceptance.

  • 8
    You can't vote on your own posts in any event. Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 12:37
  • I didn't know that. It's good that you can't. However, my overall point is still valid - there are cases where the person who provided the accepted solution is not the one who deserves the praise (in the form of upvotes) for coming up with it. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 2:24

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