I have posted an answer to a question and linked to my own method for solving it on Ubuntu Forums. The OP has subsequently commented that it does not work for his laptop.

Should I delete my answer or leave it?

  • 2
    If an answer gets you negative reputation, delete it. Otherwise, leave it in, as other people can find the same answer afterwards and will upvote it when it solves their problem... ;-) Once you have 1000 reputation, you will be able to see a split between down and upvotes.
    – Fabby
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 9:45
  • I was thinking that having only a small fraction of my answers accepted would have negative implications, regardless of my rep score. Is that not the case?
    – Carl H
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 8:40
  • 2
    Nope, on the contrary: if you have enough non-accepted answers you get a gold badge "unsung hero"... ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 11:10
  • Usually if it don't solve, and especially if I misunderstood something I usually <strike>answer</strike> since op usually leaves comment that didn't work, so rather than delete and have missing info I strike through the whole thing. Then if I find something else, I update answer.
    – geoffmcc
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 19:31
  • @Fabby The description of that badge says the answers have to be accepted.
    – kasperd
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 0:29
  • @kasperd: more then 10 accepted answers and maximum 25% of total answers accepted... ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 0:45
  • @Fabby It doesn't say maximum 25%, it says more than 25%.
    – kasperd
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 9:28
  • @kasperd Well, I'll be losing mine soon then as I get about 1 in 6 answers accepted... ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


It may solve someone else's related problem, so leave it.


Link-only answers are not welcome here. Please post at least a summary of the steps involved.

  • 2
    Duly noted. I've edited the original answer, and will keep this in mind for future answers.
    – Carl H
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 15:31
  • Solutions are usualy a process, requiring multiple steps, and info gathering. Update your answer accordingly.
    – j0h
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 18:18
  • I can't update my answer; I have nothing else of use to add. The OP had the same problem that I've had several times on multiple machines. I told him how I solved it. Unfortunately it didn't work for his particular machine.
    – Carl H
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 8:46
  • 1
    @CarlH Consider reposting it as a standalone Q+A if you know it works on other machines so that other people can find it in the future. Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 4:28
  • @JorgeCastro I will do but could you elaborate on how to do that, please? I've searched the help pages but am no wiser for it.
    – Carl H
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 8:34
  • 2
    @Carl Post a question, and beneath it will be a check box - along the lines of "Answer your question". See also: blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/…, blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/…
    – muru
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 8:53
  • @muru Okay, I've done it: askubuntu.com/questions/579681/ati-driver-for-radeon-6530d Is that the right way to do it? (Disclaimer: I've never seen Jeopardy, so the example was wasted on me).
    – Carl H
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 12:22
  • 1
    @CarlH Argh. I meant to add two links and instead copied the same link twice. Here's another post worth going over: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/136617/…
    – muru
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 14:47

My opinion would be no. As a general rule:

It might solve another's issue.

It also might be part of a process of elimination in identifying the solution to an issue.

The record of it having been attempted and not being the answer might streamline future problem-solving of the same/similar issues.

Also there is the social context as well: it is positive for the community to have a history of people working together to solve issues.


I'm in agreement with Deleuze on this.

Quite often I find that the responses to my questions give enough extra information to develop the solution myself.

In these instances I upvote the helpfull answer(s), and make a comment of what did / didn't work in my case.

then I will 'answer my own question' and attempt to put a complete answer where I can.

Better still if there is one particular answer that helped I would make a comment for the author to add in the additions / modification for my solution, so as I can accept it as the answer.

I guess it is a different problem if you answer is being heavily downvoted, especially if it is being done so without any comments. I always attempt to 'not downvote' but would prefer to put in a comment as to why I think that the answer is bad / wrong / dangerous. Giving the author time to modify the question if he so desires.

I actually have a question (somewhere) which was downvoted, and the initial comment was not helpful as to why the commenter thought it was a bad question. I modified the question, but he refused to say if I had made the question better / more acceptable or not


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