I've got the following message on one of my "not have an accepted answer" question:

"Have you considered accepting an answer or starting a bounty for this question?"

Am I obligated to accept an answer for a question that I haven't gotten the answer for the thing I was asking for?

  • Well, this means you have actually considered accepting an answer but none actually solves the problem stated in your question as far as you can tell. Now for the ‘or’ part: have you considered starting a bounty for that question?
    – user156620
    Apr 18, 2011 at 0:16
  • I prefer to save the value of the bounty and try to solve it by my self.. Apr 18, 2011 at 0:18
  • Okay, so you’ve considered both! That’s probably what the commenter wants: that the OP is aware of those options.
    – user156620
    Apr 18, 2011 at 0:21
  • I'll always try to consider all my options .. Apr 18, 2011 at 0:23
  • Was that comment deleted, or do you have more than one account on StackOverflow?
    – user1228
    Apr 18, 2011 at 12:06
  • @Will: Sorry Will, I didn't get you .. Apr 18, 2011 at 12:32
  • @AkramShahda: I don't see the comment you are speaking of on any of the questions on the StackOverflow account linked to this account.
    – user1228
    Apr 18, 2011 at 12:35
  • @Will: I guess it is available just for the owner of the accout.. Apr 18, 2011 at 12:42
  • @AkramShahda: Nope, I can see everything you can. Can you shoot me a link?
    – user1228
    Apr 18, 2011 at 12:48
  • @Will: Link of what ? Apr 18, 2011 at 12:52
  • @AkramShahda: I wish to see the comment "Have you considered accepting an answer or starting a bounty for this question?" that you claim was made on a question of yours. Can you give me a link to the question where this comment can be found?
    – user1228
    Apr 18, 2011 at 13:13
  • @Will: It is on my profile page .. Apr 18, 2011 at 13:20
  • @AkramShahda: Never mind. It is not a user comment. I realize this now.
    – user1228
    Apr 18, 2011 at 14:28

4 Answers 4



You are under no obligation to accept an answer.

Acceptance shows others the answer that actually solved your problem or helped you the most when solving the problem.

Ignore anyone who tries to bully you into accepting answers when none of them answer your question to your satisfaction.

However, if you are finding that no one provides an "answer for the thing" you were asking for you might want to consider editing your question(s) to provide more, clearer information as to the nature of the problem. You should have done some investigation of your own so add that - it might contain the piece of information someone needs to say "Yes! I know the answer to this".


If you feel that none of the answers solve your problem, then you should go back and answer it yourself with what you did to move past the problem, and then accept your own answer.

If someone came close to a solution, then accept their answer and edit it or comment on it with why it wasn't perfect, but how it helped resolve your issue.

If you are asking subjective questions (ie, you are looking for an "ideal" or "best" solution) that bring a lot of work arounds, but no answer is 'elegant enough' for you, then yes - people are justified in looking at your future questions and moving past them because they can see they have a low chance of meeting your needs.

But they are your questions, and your reasons for selecting or not selecting an answer are your own. Don't let other users badger you to accept an answer that doesn't fit your requirements.

Users with a low accept rate will receive fewer answers because it's obvious that very few answers meet their standards.

  • Users with a low accept rate will receive fewer answers It would be cool to see some statistics on this... Because logical as this sounds I actually seriously doubt it. I for one don't even know where to look for the accept rate. I answer a question if I think I know the answer... Often I don't even look at who asked it in the first place. Could be that that's just me, but I suspect there are many more people that only care about what was asked, not by who. Aug 19, 2015 at 19:53
  • @StijndeWitt Given that the accept rate metric was removed from the user card, this would no longer be the case.
    – Pollyanna
    Aug 19, 2015 at 20:50
  • LOL sorry I have a tendency to revive dead answers :p Thanks for responding! Aug 19, 2015 at 20:53

Although you are not obligated to accept an answer, your accept percentage will show up on your questions.

If you have a track record for low acceptance rates, it may discourage other users from answering your question.

While you should only accept answers that helped you, it's a good idea to make sure you do accept answers that helped you so that the community members get rewarded who did help you. This will also help ensure that you get the best possible answers to your questions, since more users will participate and take you seriously.

You can also help improve your answers by making sure your question is clear and has enough detail. If you find that you aren't getting answers worthy of acceptance, you should ask yourself if your questions are written in a way that draws the best possible answers.

In summary, it's your choice whether or not to accept an answer, but if you don't accept answers this may affect the quality of future answers.


No, that's just a reminder in case you forgot about that question. If you don't have an answer you like, you can either start a bounty (as it suggests) or you can just ignore the message.

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