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I'm just trying to find out how to thank somebody here for their answer. Somebody else asked the question, but their answer helped me big time and I wanted to thank them.

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    What was the answer that helped you?
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Jan 3 at 13:38
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I'm going to expand a bit off of C26's answer, as I feel that a couple extra things should be pointed out.

If you've noticed an answer that was helpful to you, and you want to indicate to the answerer that the answer was helpful...

Do:

  1. If you have the upvote privilege, then upvote it! Voting is super important to Stack Exchange sites.
  2. If you are the question asker and the answer perfectly resolves your problem/answers your question, consider accepting it. This indicates to future visitors that the answer you chose was the one that helped you the most. Both you and the answerer get some reputation for it, too!
  3. If you feel the answer is really good and you have enough reputation, consider posting a bounty with the "Reward existing answer" reason and once you're able to, choose that answer to award the bounty to.
  4. Consider suggesting an edit to the post to make it even better if the edit is significant enough (very minor edits are somewhat frowned upon, and can end up being rejected.) The Stack Exchange model is one that optimizes for the long-term, and objective refinements to posts are always welcome!

Don't:

  1. Post a "Thank you!" answer. That's one of the most common reasons why answers are deleted by privileged users/moderators on this site and others.
  2. Upvote a bunch of the answer author's other posts. That's considered serial voting and is frowned upon. Votes made in this way are typically automatically invalidated. In more severe cases, moderators might get involved and may need to suspend offenders. Vote on the content, not the user!

If you don't have enough reputation to perform any of the actions above, that's okay! Remember first that posting an answer on Stack Exchange is like contributing to an encyclopedia of information, and it's assumed that by doing so you're trying to be helpful. The best way you can give thanks to the users who are helpful here is to do the same yourself and pay it forward!

If these answers were helpful to you, please consider saying thank you in a more constructive way – by contributing your own answers to questions your peers have asked here.

Should I leave a comment?

You don't need to, but it's not necessarily bad if you do. Comments containing little more than "Thanks" can be instantly deleted by any user with the flag posts privilege by flagging as no longer needed (here's a demonstration of me doing it here, I've changed the username of the user to anonymize it). We typically don't keep such comments around on the Stack Exchange network, as that's not really what comments are for. That said, I don't think anyone would complain about receiving a "Thank you" comment, so it's up to you.

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    I actually didn't even know that if you flag a comment that contains only "thanks" it immediately gets deleted!
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Jan 4 at 2:57
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    Yep! There are some trigger keywords for "no longer needed" auto-deletion such as "+1", "thanks"/"thank you (so much)", "-1" and the like. There are similarly lower thresholds for auto deletion with harassment or unfriendly flags for significant profanity, but the exact criteria aren't enumerated upon IIRC (and probably for good reason, lol)
    – Spevacus
    Jan 4 at 4:30
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There are at least three ways to thank the contributor:

  1. Upvote the answer.
  2. Link to the answer on other sites/forums etc.
  3. Leave a comment under the answer saying words to the effect of, "this really helped me, thank you, and I can confirm that it works/is correct".

Stack Exchange does not permit, as far as I can see, direct messaging between members.

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    When you collected enough reputation, then you can also award a bounty on particularly helpful answers.
    – Philipp
    Jan 3 at 12:07
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    Technically, point #3 about leaving a comment saying "thank you" is usually frowned upon. See the comment help page. Under the When Shouldn't I comment" section: "Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, upvote it and pay it forward;"
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Jan 3 at 13:35
  • @TimmyJim indeed, which is why I added the "...and I can confirm this works" part. Just saying "thanks man!" is not that helpful.
    – C26
    Jan 3 at 13:37
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    I would say "confirming it worked" doesn't suffice. That is what accepting an answer/upvoting gets across.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Jan 3 at 13:37
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    In general though, "thank you" comments are really not that common, and usually don't end up causing any issue. It's almost like an unwritten rule in that... yea we know you aren't suppose to do it, but for those that do, not a big deal.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Jan 3 at 13:41
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Another possibility is to reward the community by continuing to post quality questions and answers.

Provided the question has not been asked before, and it is on-topic then a fresh question helps the community to engage and grow.

Bringing new answers to questions helps broaden the info presented to future readers. Even ancient questions can be enhanced by a new answer that brings out previously-unknown info.

Cleanup work of editing questions, identifying dead links and finding replacements helps raise the overall quality of the answer-library.

Be a user rather than just a viewer.

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