FAQ

Frequently asked questions on Microsoft Q&A.

Getting started

What is Microsoft Q&A?

Microsoft Q&A is a global, community-driven platform for timely, high-quality technical answers. Microsoft Q&A has replaced MSDN and TechNet forums for English users. Microsoft Q&A will replace MSDN and TechNet forums for non-English forums in the future.

Why Microsoft Q&A?

We know how important it is for customers to have access to fast, accurate answers to questions about Microsoft technologies. However, MSDN and TechNet forums are outdated. Microsoft Q&A provides the set of capabilities that our customers need and want, and it is based on a robust, scalable, and reliable new platform and architecture.

What are the major benefits of Microsoft Q&A versus MSDN and TechNet forums?

Microsoft Q&A uses the same user authentication as Microsoft Docs and Learn content for a more consistent experience across the platform. This integrated experience allows us to better prioritize and answer questions, and give users clearer paths between documentation, learning content, and answers. Microsoft Q&A also offers a much better set of permissions that equips our moderators with improved tools to keep a healthy engagement on the site.

What are the major benefits of Microsoft Q&A versus Stack Overflow?

We love Stack Overflow. We will continue supporting our customers who ask questions there. We also are surfacing answers from Stack Overflow in Microsoft Q&A.

Stack Overflow has specific criteria about what questions are appropriate for the community whereas Microsoft Q&A has an open policy regarding this, where all questions about Microsoft technologies are welcomed. More importantly, via Microsoft Q&A we can create unique experiences that allow us to provide the highest level of support for our customers. It is hard to get a full picture of the customer who is asking a question on Stack Overflow. But on Microsoft Q&A we can connect the asker to their actual product usage and support contract. This enable new opportunities to offer the highest quality support.

What is the difference between Microsoft Q&A and Microsoft Tech Community?

Microsoft Q&A is first party experience for technical answers on Microsoft products. Developers and IT Pros can solve problems with the help of community experts and Microsoft engineering. The experience includes a rich knowledgebase which ingests content from a variety of sources (e.g., MSDN Forums, Stack Overflow) to help customers get the answers they need quickly.

Microsoft Tech Community provides a connection between customers, Microsoft and community experts to share best practice and ideas, receive supportive encouragement and learn through discussions and blogs across Azure and Microsoft 365 products and programs. ​

How do I report a new feature or a bug for Microsoft Q&A?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click Site feedback. Please search the existing feedback to see if the same bug or request is already proposed or reported. If so, simply vote on the feedback item. If the feedback is not yet reported, please create a new one. Our team will review it and update its status as it moves forward. For more information about feedback, see the Site feedback help article.

What happens after I submit feedback for Microsoft Q&A?

The Microsoft Q&A team will evaluate all feedback and provide updates on the status of each item. For more information on the feedback evaluation process, see the Site feedback help article.

Should I report product feedback on Microsoft Q&A?

No. The feedback section on Microsoft Q&A is only for the site. For product feedback, please continue using the current channels.

Where can I report offensive content?

On the offensive thread, click the Gear icon. Then click Report. From the drop-down box, select the reason for the offensive post. Add additional information in the text box below it. Click OK.

A moderator will review this report and act on it.

Is Microsoft Q&A mobile-friendly?

The site is accessible and usable on mobile devices.

How do I create an account?

If you have an account through Microsoft Docs or Learn, you can use the same account information here. If not, in the top right corner of the Q&A site you will see an option to sign in, which takes you to the process to create a new account.

How do I sign in?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, select Sign in. You can use the same user profile that you use on Microsoft Docs or Learn.

Can other users see my email address?

No. Take a look at another user’s profile and you’ll notice that an email address is not listed. The same goes for users who look at your user profile.

Asking and answering questions

How do I ask a question?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click on Ask a question. As you type in your question, we will show you similar questions that have already been asked. Make sure to investigate these because someone may have already answered your question.

You can find more details on best practices when asking questions in the How to write a quality question article.

How do I know if a response is correct?

If the asker accepts a response as correct, it will be shaded green and marked “Accepted Answer”. If not, look for answers that have votes, this means users have found those answers helpful.

How do I know if a user is knowledgeable?

If a user participates in and contributes positively to the community frequently, they will build up reputation points. The more reputation points a user has, the more likely they are to have expertise on the topic they are commenting on.

Also, a user might be a product expert if they get 3 accepted answers within a tag in a 30-day period. You can find more details on the Community experts article.

We also show Microsoft affiliations in the user’s cards, such as Microsoft Employee and Microsoft MVP, so you know if the answer comes from a Microsoft-trusted source.

How can I sort all the questions?

At the top right of the questions pane there are five icons, giving you the option to sort the questions based on when the question was last updated, created, how popular the question is, or how many votes or views the question has.

How do I answer a question?

Once you find a question you want to answer, you can write a reply at the bottom of the question’s page. If the asker thinks the answer is correct, your response will be highlighted in green and marked as “Accepted Answer”.

For more information on best practices while answering questions, see the Writing a quality answer article.

Who can answer a question?

Anyone that participates on Microsoft Q&A. If you know the answer to a question, support the online community by answering it!

Can I vote my own threads?

You can’t vote your own questions, comments, answers, or feedback.

Can I vote on a thread more than once?

No, you can only vote on a thread once.

What are tags?

Tags are topics related to your thread that help group and organize all the content on Microsoft Q&A. You can add tags to any kind of post by searching from a wide range of topics at the bottom of a thread that you are creating.

Do I have to add tags to a new question?

Yes, a minimum of 1 tag is required for each question. This helps the experts on that tag to monitor and answer your questions. The more tags you add the more information the community receives, making it easier to find similar questions and answer them.

How do I follow a tag?

Following a tag allows you to get alerts on the tag related to a particular service. To follow a tag, click on Tags on the header, and hover the tag you want to follow. Click on the Follow button.

If you want to receive notifications when a question is posted on the tags you follow, click on your Avatar, and then Settings. Make sure you have an email for notifications. Then, on Q&A email notifications section, select Questions in tags you follow and click on Save. You can find more details on the Email notifications article.

Can I create a new tag?

Users can’t create new tags, however if you have a suggestion for a tag that you think would be helpful to the community please submit it on the site feedback section.

How do I find a question like mine?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click on Ask a question. As you start typing your question you will see suggestions of related questions from Microsoft Q&A, MSDN and TechNet forums, and Stack Overflow. If you can’t find anything that matches, try exploring the tags that are related to your issue.

How do I find tags that I’m interested in?

In the search bar at the top of the screen, start typing out tags you are interested in. Related questions, users, and tags will be suggested for you to explore. You can also sort tags by popularity to see what the community is currently interested in.

User profile

What are reputation points?

Reputation points are earned by participating in and contributing positively to the community. For more information on reputation points, see the Reputation points help article.

How do I earn reputation points?

There are many ways to earn reputation points, including answering questions, proposing new bugs or features, voting on answers, and more. To learn about all the ways you can earn (and lose) reputation points, see the Reputation points help article.

How can I manage my settings?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click on your avatar in the top right, then click on Settings. This will take you to your profile page where you can provide a notification email address as well as your Microsoft Q&A email settings. You can find more details on the Email notifications article.

How do I update my profile?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click on your avatar in the top right, and then click on Profile. Here you will see options to update the different parts of your profile.

How can I subscribe/unsubscribe to get email notifications on different kinds of threads?

In the Microsoft Q&A header, click on your avatar on the top right, and then click on Settings. Under Manage your email preferences you can choose what kinds of threads on Microsoft Q&A you get notified about and how often. You can find more details on the Email notifications article.

How can I see all the questions I save in a collection?

Click on your avatar in the top right of the Microsoft Q&A header and click on Collections.

How can I view all the questions and answers I’ve interacted with?

Click on your avatar in the top right of the Microsoft Q&A header and then click Profile. Under Activity you will see all your activity history.

Moderation

What can moderators do?

Moderators are a part of the Microsoft Q&A community to maintain high quality content. Moderators can delete reported items, ban users, redirect threads, close threads, and edit content to keep threads relevant and appropriate.

If a moderator’s message gets flagged, can they cancel that report?

They can’t, only another moderator will be able to.

Can moderators mark answers as “Accepted Answers”?

No, only the author and site administrators have those permissions.

MSDN and TechNet forums

What happens to the ongoing conversations in MSDN and TechNet forums that are closed to all new and existing threads?

You will still be able to view the forums, you just won’t be able to ask new questions or create new responses. You can also see the questions surfaced in Microsoft Q&A whenever you ask a question or search on the site.

Will the content from MSDN and TechNet forums be migrated into Microsoft Q&A?

No. When a user searches for something that doesn’t appear when they’re browsing on Microsoft Q&A, we use machine learning to display read-only questions and answers from MSDN and TechNet forums.

Will I lose my MSDN and TechNet reputations?

Currently you can’t carry over your MSDN and TechNet reputation. We are working to give you the opportunity to link Microsoft Q&A and MSDN and TechNet forums. When this is an option, your current badges and points from MSDN and TechNet forums will be displayed as part of your Microsoft Q&A profile.

Can I keep the same user profile I have on MSDN and TechNet forums?

To use Microsoft Q&A you’ll need to make a new profile (though you can keep your MSDN or TechNet identity). The new user profile you will create for Microsoft Q&A will be linked to Microsoft Docs and Learn. So if you already have an account for those sites, you can use the same one on Microsoft Q&A.

I’m a moderator in MSDN and TechNet forums, will I be a moderator on Microsoft Q&A?

All moderators in MSDN and TechNet forums can continue being moderators. Follow the process described on the Microsoft Q&A moderators article.