I recently wrote a reasonably long question, but noticed a mistake a few minutes after posting which would take a fair amount of rewriting.

Not wanting to waste people's time in working around that error on top of the problem itself, I deleted the question with a view to making the necessary changes and then restoring it.

However I can't edit the question without undeleting it first. I suppose I could undelete it, copy the text from the edit screen for the undeleted question, delete it again, then paste the text into a new question, but this seems a clunky workaround.

I don't want to leave the question up while I edit it since it might take some time. Then is there a reason why we can't edit our deleted questions before undeleting them?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ See also this meta.SE question. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2019 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Ah thanks for that link. It looks like the opinion there is that this situation isn't common enough to warrant tinkering with something important for protecting against spam $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Aug 5, 2019 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


Yes, there is a reason.

Edits bump your question to the top of the page. Deletion and undeletion doesn't. If you delete your question, edit it, say to include racial slurs, illegal links, and the truth about the JFK assassination, wait for two weeks, and then undelete it, you have effectively managed to deface a question and most likely, no one will notice until much much later.

For this reason, if you want to edit your question, it needs to be undeleted. Or at least, you shouldn't have been the one to delete it in the first place.


  1. Couple of issues with Roomba Turbocharging

  2. Yes, I know, you can undelete-edit-delete-wait-undelete, but there's a good chance that we'll notice this. Or at least it's much more likely that we will notice this sort of behavior. Either directly as moderators, or through community flags.

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    $\begingroup$ Many thanks for the explanation, I can see that would be a problem! Admittedly this might be more of a technical/feature question, but would the site keeping track of whether you edit a deleted question, then bumping it upon undeletion if you have, offer a solution? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Aug 4, 2019 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, that would be a solution. But it's easier to implement the existing one, which I suppose is the main reason for the choice. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 4, 2019 at 8:42
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    $\begingroup$ In keeping with how the software works now, if your intent is to provide an edit after a self-deletion, it is expeditious to make a copy of the existing post before the self-deletion. That way you can be poised to submit completely refreshed content as soon as you undelete. StackEdit is not as compatible with MathJax as it used to be, but it remains reasonably so, and you may have a local editor on your personal computer that is preferable. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Aug 4, 2019 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ If others deleted your question, you can edit it. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Aug 6, 2019 at 15:23

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