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Is Changing the Accepted Answer Frowned Upon?

As in, what if someone else posts a better answer?

Or you initially like the answer, but then find out that it's incomplete?


4 Answers 4


If it's been a while since you accepted an answer originally, but then find a far better answer has been posted subsequently, it's bad not to accept it. Someone went to the trouble of answering your question, even after you thought you were done with it, and it's nice to validate that.

However, if it has been a while, then it would be courteous to leave a comment to the originally accepted answer indicating that (and why) you've moved the acceptance to a different answer. I mention this for two reasons: (1) it indicates to the answerer how s/he can give more complete answers in the future and so encourages good behaviour; (2) it explains to the answerer why her/his rep took an unexpected and untraceable dip.

  • 1
    It is not untraceable; I had this situation the other day and clearly can see that I lost 15 points due to "unaccept". But nevertheless, a message why acceptance status has changed would be nice.
    – glglgl
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 9:17

Not really...if a better answer is provided you should select it as the Accepted Answer.

However, if you find this happening regularly, you might be accepting answers too quickly. It's not unreasonable to wait a few days even if an answer is provided straight away. That being said, some questions do have simple answers that are known quickly.

Regardless of the accepted answer, if the community thinks another answer is better, it'll vote up what it thinks is the best answer...

  • 2
    Perhaps that should be done here? ;-)
    – WarrenT
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 0:55

No, it's perfectly fine. If there is a better answer that helps you more, it is advisable to accept that answer instead. Similarly, if you find that the answer does not fully solve your problem, you should unaccept it.


Or you initially like the answer, but then find out that it's incomplete?

Definitively unaccept in that situation!

You clearly need more answers if the one you accepted is incomplete. You can't ask a new question about the same problem, it'll get closed as a Dupe of the first one, and you are unlikely to get more answers to a question with an accepted answer. Besides, if the answer is incomplete, the "accepted tick" is misleading for future visitors as well.

  • 3
    Better for everyone, including visitors who come by before you return, to do some investigation of the answer and determine its completeness before accepting it.
    – jscs
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 18:07
  • Agree with both of you.
    – Wes
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 19:12

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