There are a lot of times when I just post a question, and a couple minutes after, I get an answer that just completely answers the question without any problems.

Take this one. I posted it, and seconds after someone comments with an answer.

Should I delete such questions? I feel like it’s no use to post questions which are too obvious.

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    $\begingroup$ You have the option of encouraging the commenter to post an answer, or writing up an answer yourself based on what you have learned, and then accepting that answer (or waiting to see whether someone posts a better one). $\endgroup$ Feb 8 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ Deleting a question that has an acceptable answer means that other people who come to MSE with a similar question in mind are deprived of that answer. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ I find it extremely irritating when users delete their questions after getting answers, whether posted or in comments. When they do it to me, it makes me feel like they don't appreciate the answers, or they are cheating, coveting their tracks, and have made me complicit (whether that's what happened or not). Sometimes I post hints or answers in comments with the intention of later expanding (if nobody else does) when I have the time. Deleting prevents that. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin All the more reason to discourage people from answering questions in the comments. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Feb 8 at 23:10
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson I've had it happen to posted answers about as often as to comments. So that is not exactly a compelling argument. $\endgroup$ Feb 9 at 1:49
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    $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin When a post with an actual answer is deleted, flag it. We will generally undelete self-deleted questions which have an answer. There is no such protection if the answer is in the comments. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Feb 9 at 2:11
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I don't think the question you posted is "obvious". That it's a lead up to a more interesting question (as per the second comment) means that you should leave it up for an answer to come in (maybe ask the second commenter to elaborate?). $\endgroup$ Feb 9 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


Thank you for asking. I appreciate your looking to learn about community norms and expectations. That seems to me like a reasonable thing to wonder about.

Usually, it's best to leave your question as is, in those situations. We are looking to build up an archive of knowledge that will be useful to others. Often answerers write their answer not just for you, but for others who might have the same problem as well. Thus, deleting your question after it is answered might be perceived by some as impolite or bothersome.

Also: if your question was one that others might have and that others with the same question can find via search, then it's often better to leave your question undeleted, so that others can benefit in the future. Alternatively, if in retrospect you realize your question wasn't such a good one (maybe you realize after you see the answer that you should have done more research or you didn't articulate the problem statement well or it is too narrowly specific to help others in the future or it was too obvious), then normally my advice would be to leave the question as is, and take that as encouragement to step up your game when asking your next question in the future. If you realize that you are asking questions that are too obvious, maybe don't keep doing that in the future, and take that as an opportunity to spend more time trying to solve it on your own, search for relevant material, diagnose the concept you're struggling with, and/or articulate a good problem statement that will be useful to others. We can all improve and do better -- the key is to be willing to learn and adjust, as it sounds like you are open to.


Here's something I would like to add to what D.W. has said in their answer. There's a chance somebody already started working on your question and by the time you are contemplating deleting your question, they may have worked on it for 15-30 minutes. Maybe more, who knows?

Now of course, if you delete the question, they can still go ahead, post the question, and answer it themselves. But would that be fair. I don't think so.


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