What is the "too localized" close reason and when should it be used?


It should not be used for questions that are general, i.e. are reproducible on anyone's computer, no matter whether they have an answer or not.

  • If they're closed they still just sit there on the site, but now if someone does have an answer, it can't be answered. I've answered questions on Stack Overflow before that have no answers, long after they were posted, there are even badges to encourage this behavior. You should incentivize answering those questions. I even have year old questions with no answers on Stack Overflow that haven't been closed, and I leave them out there hoping that someone will come someday with an answer

  • The Sharepoint Stack Exchange has a very small population, as more people join in there will be more faces to see the questions and answer them, but they can't do that if the question is closed.

There's no good logic in closing a question just because it doesn't have an answer. That's not what the 'too localized' reason is for. It's generally used for irreproducible bugs, and very specific programming situations that no one would ever need.


The most important metric for "too localized" is "how many people could this ever help?". If the answer is "only the one person who asked the question", it's too localized.

There are some indicators to help determine this:

  • relevant only to a very small number of people (e.g. users of a single SharePoint installation)
  • specific to a point in time (e.g. "When will SharePoint v.Next be released?")
  • impossible or extremely difficult to reproduce the situation described

It's important to close these questions for the same reasons that we want to remove or discourage anything else regarded as "noise" in the site - we want a site of high quality that attracts and engages people. Sifting through questions that can't be answered isn't interesting or fun.

  • 2
    There's an unanswered tab for a reason, so that people will go work on those questions when they want. Sometimes when I have the time I go to Stack Overflow and just go through unanswered questions. Jun 8 '11 at 2:28

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