I have noticed that I have a number of questions that aren't answered and probably won't be answered, and so even though they have upvotes, they aren't very useful or productive questions. This is one of them. Is there any merit to keeping questions like these or should I just delete it?

3 Answers 3


I would not advise you to delete it just because it's unanswered.

There is some merit to keeping some unanswered questions on the site. These serve to illustrate what areas our community may be lacking in expertise, and if a new user comes who is an expert in these topics and answers them they'll likely be rewarded for that. Deleting the questions, by contrast, puts the emphasis on things which we are already experts in, which is fairly limiting. We should be trying to expand that, but deleting the questions will have the opposite effect. Having your questions unanswered isn't a big problem if they are answerable. The question you linked to seems answerable to me, though I don't know the answer.

If you find the answer to your question yourself, feel free to answer it yourself. If you're still interested in the question, but it's been unanswered for some time, try editing it to make it more clear. If you think the question is already clear, consider putting a bounty on it.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with deleting the question if you really don't care about it anymore. That's up to you, and I don't think it's reasonable to try to enforce any sort of global policy with regards to self-deletions. However, I personally would not do so just because the question is unanswered, but only in cases where I think the question is probably unanswerable.


You may delete your question if you no longer wish to have it be answered, but as long as it meets the guidelines discussed in the FAQ, you are welcomed to ask this on the main site.

You may add a bounty to you question, to attract users, if you feel that the question has not received enough attention.

Sometimes questions maybe unclear and therefore users might not be understand what you are trying to ask. Adding some examples or picture can help convey to other users the context of the question that you are trying to ask.


would it not make more sense to 'close' the question rather than delete it outright? Suppose it's determined that the question is unanswerable - that's information for someone who's googling the same question.

  • 2
    Yes, in principle. However, the asker can't close a question unilaterally. They can, however, delete it so long as it doesn't have any upvoted answers. The benefit of doing this for the site is that it's one fewer unanswered question, which helps our statistics and looks better overall. However, if the asker is certain that the question is unanswerable, and has evidence to prove that, the best thing to do is to leave a self-answer explaining that. It's perfectly fine to answer your own questions, even if it's just to say that there's no real answer based on canonical sources.
    – Logan M
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 18:46

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