Close and Reopen Questions

All about voting to close (and reopen) unsuitable or duplicate questions.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Tags | Questions | Duplicate |

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams


Not all questions asked on Stack Overflow for Teams are high-quality and relevant. To ensure the best possible content, community members can vote to close questions that need additional work or are not a good fit for the site.

Users can't answer a closed question, but they can edit it with a goal of reopening the closed question in the future. To help with the editing and reopening of a closed question, the site also attaches to it a reason for the closure.

To make closed questions obvious, Stack Overflow for Teams appends a "[Closed]" label to the title of every closed question.

NOTE: We use the generic word "community" in this article, not to be confused with Stack Overflow for Teams' Communities feature.

Vote to close and reopen questions

Stack Overflow for Teams uses a community voting process to identify questions that fall below the quality threshold of the site. When a question receives a total of five close votes, the site will close the question and it will no longer accept answers. Users can cast up to 24 close votes per day.

A similar voting process reopens closed questions. When a closed question receives a total of five reopen votes, the site restores the question to a normal open state. As with close votes, each user can cast up to 24 reopen votes per day.

Regular users may vote to close and reopen a given question just once. For example: if a user votes to close a question that is closed and later reopened, they can't vote to close it again. This restriction doesn't affect moderators or administrators—they can close and reopen a question with a single vote as many times as necessary.

Duplicate questions

Users can also vote to close a question if it's a duplicate of another question. Duplicate questions dilute and scatter knowledge on the site, making it harder for users to find the right answer.

When voting to close a question, users can mark the question as a duplicate. When the site closes a question as a duplicate after five votes, it appends "[Duplicate]" to the question title.

Voting to close a duplicate question automatically adds a comment with a link to the duplicated question (if not already present in a previous comment). The duplicated question must have an answer for the site to include a link to it, unless: 1) both questions have the same author, or 2) a moderator closed the question as a duplicate.

Once the site closes a question as a duplicate, it adds a banner with a link to the duplicated question. Moderators may choose to delete duplicate questions completely, but often they'll leave them as signposts pointing to the definitive question and answer.

Sometimes, users mark questions as duplicates in error. If you see a question flagged as a duplicate but don't agree, edit the question to highlight the differences. You can also try to get it reopened by casting a reopen vote.

Reopen a question

If you see a closed question and you disagree with the reason for its closure, you should first try to edit the question to improve it as much as possible. Read the close notice and any comments carefully to address those concerns.

Additionally, you can:

  • Leave a comment on the question itself calling for it to be reopened. Be detailed, and explain clearly why the question shouldn't have been closed.

  • Vote to reopen the question (if you have reopen votes left).

Be sure that you've read the close notice and any comments on the question so you can address the concerns raised there.

Need help? Submit an issue or question through our support portal.

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