Related questions have been asked. But clearly the answers are not ordered by the most votes,

The answers to this question, Where were "should", "shall", and "must" in the 18th Century?, are in arbitrary order by vote total: 85, 5, 93.

For many questions the highest-voted answer is first, but the others are not ordered in any discernible way. Does protecting stop the resort? Just curious.

This question, Did English ever have a formal version of "you"?, has answers with votes as follows in the order they appear: 557, 23, 14, 48, 53, 111.

perhaps the sorting occurs only after certain events,

  • 2
    Except for the standard “accepted answer [if the OP didn’t post it himself] is at the top” exception, I see both those Qs having answers sorted by votes.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 28, 2019 at 11:10
  • 3
    I thought this question was more about the quality of answers often not being reflected in voting patterns. Like, sometimes answers years later are obviously much better but no one pays attention - new questions are fun and votable, but old questions are old news.
    – Mitch
    Jul 28, 2019 at 13:34
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Why is the order of posts displayed by popularity and not by time?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 28, 2019 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


You sorted your answers by activity. If you click the votes button as shown below, it should sort them by votes in descending order, with the accepted answer on top (in most cases).

enter image description here

  • No, I sorted questions by votes,
    – Xanne
    Jul 28, 2019 at 9:48
  • 1
    I never noticed that. Nice.
    – Mitch
    Jul 28, 2019 at 13:30
  • @Mitch what hadn't you ever noticed? That the voting could be sorted?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 29, 2019 at 7:17
  • @Mari-LouA I don't remember ever noticing that UI control for 'active/oldest/votes' that JJJ took a screen shot of. My eye must have just considered it part of the woodwork. I thought the order of answers here was randomized so that recent or low voted answers might appear at the top so as not to bias voting to the most popular.
    – Mitch
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:51
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA Yes, I knew all that.
    – Mitch
    Aug 1, 2019 at 15:29

Answers that have been accepted by the author of the question as the most helpful (as indicated by a green check mark) are always at the top unless the author accepted their own answer. Answers with the same number of votes are sorted randomly.

The order you describe only happens for me if I have sorted by “active”. When I select “votes” it sorts 85, 93, 5.

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