I noticed this over on SO, and didn't even know this was the case there:

Why can't I accept an answer in the first 10 minutes after asking the question?

The answer (quoting from Jeff Atwood) was:

It is our strong belief that if you accept an answer in less than 15 (now 10) minutes after asking the question, you have not given the community an adequate chance to fully answer your question before rushing to accept.

I'm curious if this has ever been discussed as being implemented on ServerFault? NOTE: I'm not in favor one way or the other. While most questions tend to take 10 minutes or more to accept there are some where the OP gets a quick answer and then just accepts it, whether right or "best" and then the question either dies or another expert's "better" answer gets neglected.

However, on the flip side, it also means that the OP has to bother to come back after 10 minutes if the first quick answer is truly the RIGHT one.

Personally, I don't think the issue is with the "answers" but with the "questions"...however I'm still curious why such a prominent feature there on SO was never implemented here on SF.

  • 4
    Actually this is already in place on SF and has been for quite a while. Apr 17, 2014 at 19:04
  • 1
    15 minutes is probably too short, if anything, given the SE ideal of letting the best answers float to the top via voting. Apr 17, 2014 at 19:06
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton - really? I was racking my brain trying to think if it was or not without posting a "test" question. I was thinking that there were times when someone would post a Question, someone would answer within 2-3 minutes, and the OP would say "thanks!" and check the answer as done.
    – TheCleaner
    Apr 17, 2014 at 19:16
  • I was racking my brain trying to think if it was or not without posting a "test" question. - A test question/answer from you would have different results from a new/low rep user. I am almost certain high rep-users can accept a lot sooner. I don't know the exact thresholds/times.
    – Zoredache
    Apr 17, 2014 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


There is a graduated timescale here.

Brand new users (I'm not sure of the rep threshold, but it's pretty low) have a 2 day limit on accepts. This is in part to short-circuit rep-farming.

Once you've earned some trust rep the limit drops to a very low, minutes really, number.

There is also the rep-sideffect of questions with accepts on them get fewer views (thus fewer upvotes), so it's in your interests to wait on that checkbox a bit.

  • 1
    I often wait a day or two before accepting an answer anyway, even if I immediately got a good answer that solved the problem, just in case something better comes along. Apr 17, 2014 at 21:02
  • Exactly. The reason why I like the StackExchange sites is there is a truly great balance of heuristics here that allows anyone to post, but ensures that virtually any cruft has a mechanism to shoo it away. Apr 18, 2014 at 3:49
  • A 1-rep user was just able to accept my answer in two hours. No idea if he'd tried prior to that. Apr 22, 2014 at 3:32

I think while answers on SO usually involve many different ways of "solving" a programming problem, this is much more narrow on SF. Many times there is only "one" right solution (Disable the Firewall - it worked) - theres no "better" solution to that (other than "open only the ports you Need - never ever disable the Firewall).

So while I understand why the limit was invented, I don't know how "valuable" it is on SF.

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