I come across a question, and an answer has already been accepted. I feel that I have a better answer, or an answer that can go more in depth than the answer that has already been accepted. Should I go ahead and answer said question? Or since the person who asked has already accepted an answer, should I just let it go?

I don't want to run into a situation where I'm answering questions and getting downvotes or stomping on someone else who already got their answer accepted.

  • 1
    You definitely should if you think you have something new or better to say. It is not about the asker alone, but about all the other people who can and will read that question. The asker is only one, that's why anyone can vote on answers and not just the acceptance is what counts. And even that can be changed, if yours is better, nothing stops the asker from changing the accepted answer to yours. How could that ever be a bad thing? (Of course I assume you're not talking about an ID question, because there it's pretty clear that if an answer was accepted any additional answers are useless.)
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 23:40
  • 3
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with improving on an accepted answer at all.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 0:22
  • @NapoleonWilson: I disagree with your last point actually. As long as the new answer could answer the OP's question (i.e. it fits the description) I'd add it - it could be useful to future members. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 8:41
  • @AndrewMartin Well, the question isn't ever useful for any future visitors at all in that case. But I shouldn't have mentioned ID questions, nevermind.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 13:35
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    Thanks for all the info guys! Kinda new around here, but been doing my best to keep things the right way, so just wanted to make sure!
    – New-To-IT
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


There's nothing wrong with answering questions that have already been answered, even if they have an accepted answer.

When someone posts a question on this site, it's meant to be of use to both them and any current or future members of the site. That's why we will close questions that are too specific to the original poster - they provide no use to other members of the site.

So in your case, provided your new answer offers some well reasoned insights not contained in the existing answer, it'll certainly not be downvoted.

Of course, it may not become the accepted answer either - but that doesn't matter. As long as it provides useful information that could help either the original poster or any other interested parties who read the question.

  • 3
    Indeed. I'm currently waiting to snipe the, "Longest single take tracking shot," question, which had the accepted answer taken from me two days after my answer was accepted. :D The answer they accepted instead is absolutely the correct one, but it can be taken back. Oh, it can be taken back....
    – MattD
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 21:12

I would definitely say that you should go ahead and provide your answer to the question if and only if your answer provides some new and/or indepth insight not already provided.

There are several questions I've seen here and on other SE sites where new answers were provided several months or even years after an answer was accepted, and they added absolutely nothing to the already given answers. Maybe the user didn't read all the existing answers, maybe they just assumed they'd get a few upvotes (99.9% of the time it's a new member with very little rep) or just didn't understand the flow of SE. Whatever the case, IMO it just adds clutter when it's done and often results in downvotes.

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