I found a similar question in search but didn't feel that it answered this question.

Came up here: My WiFi adapter is not working at all, how to troubleshoot?. I came across that answer while I was troubleshooting some wifi problems a few weeks back. It's pretty high up in the SEO ranking for that issue.

The most upvoted answer is many years outdated and the best approach to the problem has changed, according to @chili555, who knows a heck of a lot about linux in my opinion.

I see three options:

  1. edit the old answer (this would be a substantial edit)
  2. add a new answer and add a note about the newer answer in the old one
  3. add a new answer and let the upvotes do the work

Of the three I prefer #2.


2 Answers 2


Substantial edits that change the intent or meaning of a post should be avoided.

In this case, I would write a new answer, explain it is from this year and the top answer is old, something like

The answers here are a bit old, this one is an up to date solution.

then, given their is only one other good answer on that question, people should see it and voting should sort it out with time.

I strongly advise against adding anything about a new answer, without permission from the OP, to the old answer, it will come off as vandalism and begging for votes on the new answer and may annoy the OP or other users.

  • The issue is that people will see an answer with 60+ upvotes, assume it is correct and up to date and start working through the troubleshooting steps in that answer without checking to see when the answer was created. The answer in question here is HUGE and it's very unlikely that someone will scroll all the way down to see when the answer was created.
    – jcollum
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 19:07
  • There is really not much you can do, you could ask the OP if you can edit a line in saying it doesnt work but it might not go down well. Here are a couple of posts on old answers meta.stackexchange.com/questions/217325/… meta.askubuntu.com/questions/15015/… I will add them in the answer in a bit.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 19:15
  • 2
    @jcollum I have two counterexamples where I posted updated answers to questions that had multiple existing answers (with hundreds of upvotes at the time) and even so mine has over the years accumulated 100+ upvotes. Since a small fraction of people vote, it follows thousands of people must have scrolled past multiple answers to reach mine. Letting upvotes do the work does work, even if slowly.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 1:36
  • 2
    Totally agree with this answer. One thing that might occasionally be okay is adding an index of answers to the question, if there are many answers and it's clear what versions of Ubuntu they pertain to, for example. There's a new feature in the pipeline to tag answers with version information that, if it does arrive on AU, is likely to mitigate this problem and make such indexing unnecessary :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 5:24
  • 2
    You can however edit the main answer and add some notice at the of the answer, for now, to mention that an answer is outdated and will not work after version XX.XX or some other reason. For example, askubuntu.com/a/256018/8698
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 9:45
  • @Dan yeah I think that's very reasonable
    – jcollum
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 16:09

I agree with Mark Kirby's answer.

While we don't have much control on others content. There are few features that may help:

  • For the new answer: Start with Markdown header1 and may be quoted note for highlighting. Put a hint about answers didn't work for you.

  • From user looking for help prospective, I personally keep toggling the answer sorting switch: Votes and Active.

    Active will put last updated and new answers to the top. A lesson learned from open source projects, always watch for update dates and look for last and edge documentation. Old stuff will survive for years to come.

    May be only advanced users notice it.

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