I've seen a few questions related to this, but they seem to be predominantly about question drafts and I want to talk about answer drafts.

Is there a reason for not clearing an answer draft if I remove all text from the textbox and then leave the page?

Sometimes I find I start writing an answer, but then reconsider posting it for various reasons -- either I feel my tone isn't neutral enough or someone already posted a better answer while I was typing mine up, etc. I don't like the idea of leaving the draft to hang around and wait for me to accidentally hit "post", so I'd like the ability to clear the draft permanently if I decide not to post.

I thought that deleting all text and leaving the page would "save" a blank draft, but that doesn't seem to work that way. I also tried George Edison's script, but the "clear" doesn't persist.

Do I have any other options other than typing up answers in Notepad just in case or being extra careful with my mouse clicks?

  • I'd be curious for stats about ones who ever accidently submitted a draft. I can't imagine that such an accident is easily made. I can however imagine that it's pretty annoying to have an useless draft. Isn't that it? :)
    – user138231
    Jun 10, 2011 at 21:09
  • @Chichiray I'd be curious about that too, actually. I haven't managed an accidental post yet, but I have come close.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 10, 2011 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


As of March 20, 2012, it is possible to manually clear drafts by clicking the "discard" link under the affected post.

  • There's no shuch button now... I have and old answer that gets loaded everytime I open an SO page... It gets loaded even when trying to edit other posts which makes it impossible to edit !!! this driving me crazy :-/ i.imgur.com/LnqXX84.png
    – Enissay
    Apr 15, 2014 at 22:33

Deleting the draft, leaving a space behind and keeping the tab with the page open for some time until the draft auto-save kicks in (as confirmed by Draft saved below the editor) works for me. I just tested it on this post.

True, it is not as quick as you want and the Ctrl+S does entirely different things, but hey it works.

  • Aha, thanks. I must've been too impatient.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 10, 2011 at 21:24
  • Just open a new tab to continue surfing :)
    – user138231
    Jun 10, 2011 at 22:12

Just start answering another question.

There's only ever one answer draft and it only appears on the question you were answering. When start answering another question the old one is cleared and a new one started. So as long as you don't return to the original question before actually posting a answer there's no danger of posting it accidentally.

  • 1
    Good to know, thanks. But unless I find a question I can answer well just at the right time, I'd only be trading a useless draft on one post for a useless draft on another.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 10, 2011 at 21:07

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