If the answer to a question is "you (currently) can't", is it better to accept it or to leave it unaccepted?

While the "you can't" may be the correct answer now, it might easily change in future: if the asker leaves the question unattended it will be better not to have an accepted one, rather than having a (now) wrong accepted one.

Yes, the correct answer may change in future for any questions, but I think most of the "you can't" are much more prone to change, since someone else with the same problem might come up with a solution that was formerly unavailable (while if there already is a solution, a better one could come out but there are less incentives).


There's really no point to our trying to set a policy here, since accepting answers or not is entirely at the asker's discretion and cannot be overridden by moderation in any useful way (except to flat out delete the answer, which is generally not acceptable).

That said, I think it's fine to accept an answer that states "you can't." Acceptance is not a measure of the best answer (that's what voting is for), only a measure of the answer that the asker decided worked for him or her. It will always be possible to come back and add additional answers later, which would bump the question and allow additional voting.

Plus, the answer might never change from "you can't," and we don't know because we can't predicate the future.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "You can't" is also useful information; it may help prevent the asker from wasting time going down a false trail. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27 '15 at 0:55

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