Recently, I've had a few questions closed or recently closed for insufficient information. Wouldn't it make more sense to ask for specific details, rather than simply closing the question? Generally, when I don't post information, it's because I'm not sure what would be relevant.

  • Most often, when we get technical questions, it goes, "X happens! Fix it!" and that's all the info we get. The asker adds no extra info to the question, and we don't have enough to help him fix it. To that end, most technical questions that fit that criteria get closed fast, as we've seen it happen all too often. No fear, though, as JQAn said; once more info is added, we're happy to re-open and keep on trying to figure it out. The closure is to prevent a question from attracting speculative answers, such as, "Well, have you tried <X>?" which, really, aren't answers.
    – Frank
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:22
  • ... I would've thought those are the most productive ones, as it's unlikely that even an expert can debug a problem remotely on his first try. Nov 23, 2012 at 15:34
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    Most often, we don't get the context behind them, and that's critical for tech support. Note the difference between, "This isn't working. How do I fix?" and "This isn't working, I've tried X, Y, Z, and it didn't work. Any ideas?" They could be the same problem, but by listing what you have and haven't tried, it saves effort trying to fix the problem. Tech support should (ideally) be carried out in the comments until you come to the root of the problem, and then you can post an answer that resolves the issue, without all the back and forth of the tech support itself.
    – Frank
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:46
  • Ahhhh, I get it. Thanks! Nov 23, 2012 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


Don't panic!

Questions can easily be re-opened once they are edited to conform to the site's standards.
Just edit it, add more relevant information, and members of the community will vote to re-open it as they did to close it.

Feel free to read the FAQ specifically this about closed questions

  • 1
    Yes, but that's not very helpful - the comments are invariably nothing more than "Closed for insufficient information," and I'm left trying to figure out what information might hypothetically be relevant to the question, when almost by definition I don't know. Can't get my question unclosed if I can't add useful information... Nov 23, 2012 at 14:55
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    You can always add a comment asking for clarification, or join us in chat -- but you just need to add more info about what you're asking (if you really can't, then it may really not be a good question that can be answered).
    – juan
    Nov 23, 2012 at 14:56
  • Hm, point. (Usually, though, it's something like "I have a bug, I have no idea what's wrong," so it's hard to come up with relevant information.) Nov 23, 2012 at 14:58
  • You might want to add comp. specs, a test from speed test.net, ping test.net, and the likes.
    – user28379
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:05
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    @linkhyrule5, you can always add the steps you already tried to speed up finding an answer, also, people will most likely want to help you if you show you tried to solve it by yourself instead of just asking "this doesn't work, help me fix it"
    – juan
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:06
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    @JQAn This. This right here. We're more than willing to help users when they have demonstrated they are willing to help themselves. Those that don't, though...those are the ones who get their questions closed and abandoned.
    – Frank
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:26

As Jqan already pointed out, closing is a temporary state, and any question which is closed can later be re-opened. Furthermore, gaming follows a policy of close first, ask questions later. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main ones are:

  • Users that abandon their questions: A lot of users won't bother improving their question, and will vanish from the site shortly after posting it never to return. In situations like this we prefer to close first so that the question gets closed. If we held off on closing it for some arbitrary amount of time it's likely the question would never get closed at all. Whereas if we close it right away this won't be a problem.

  • It's easier to improve a question when it's closed: When a question is closed users can't post answers to it. Due to this it's a lot easier to improve a question when it's closed, that way no one posts answers that won't be valid once the question is improved (and will thus require us to clean them up).

  • Re-Opening a Question is Easy: By design re-opening a question is very easy on Stack Exchange. Due to this there's really no drawback to closing a question and then re-opening if it gets improved. The only drawback would be questions being forgotten by 3k+ users, and never being re-opened, but this is a rare situation. In the vast majority of situations if a user improves their question after it being closed they'll ping one or more of the users who closed the question, who will in turn bring the improved question to the attention of other 3k+ users to ensure it gets re-opened. A users can also flag the question to be re-opened, which will also bring it to the other of 10k+ users and mods.

  • 1
    Re-opening is now Easier than Ever!(TM) with the New and Improved Review Queue! Once a re-open vote is cast, it'll show up in the review queue for others to vote on.
    – MBraedley
    Nov 23, 2012 at 17:02

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