I just voted mistakenly up-voted an answer, then tried to cancel it by clicking on the down arrow. Of course, that changed my a down vote, which wasn't I wanted even less. So I changed it back to an up vote, which is no big deal. I'm wondering, however, if there's a way to just cancel the vote entirely.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You click on the arrow again, as is suggested by the mouseover text which says > This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear (click again to undo) $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, but on my Mac the parenthetical text is not shown. $\endgroup$
    – saulspatz
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:33
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's somewhat unintuitive that upvoting is a toggle. $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2018 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ The mouse-over text reads "this question shows research effort; it is useful and clear" to me, and has no parenthetical comment about clicking again to undo. I'm on a Windows laptop in Chrome. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2018 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @StellaBiderman is this also like this on posts that you actually voted on? The parenthetical only appears on such posts. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Aug 27, 2018 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ @quid No, it appears not. When I have actually voted on a question I see the parenthetical. I hadn't realized that a difference existed. $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2018 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


Once you vote on a question or answer you have 5 minutes to undo or change your vote. You can undo an upvote by clicking on the upvote arrow again and likewise with downvotes. After 5 minutes your vote is locked and you can neither undo nor change your vote. However, any edit done to the post removes this lock and you can then undo or change your vote. If you vote again, either by undoing and redoing or by changing your vote, a new 5 minute window starts.

  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes a question get an answer, but not a full one. Hoping to get a full answer, I sometimes like to upvote the partial answer. Later it turns out it is, for whatever reason, the best answer there is, good enough to be accepted but not good enough for an additional upvote. What to do? $\endgroup$ Sep 20, 2020 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. It is unfortunate that one can't change their downvote given by mistake after 5 minutes, especially if people give answers and ask questions on topics related to their work, while they work. $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2022 at 8:13

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