How to ask an effective question

Technical Level : Basic

One of the most difficult things about getting a problem fixed is explaining it so that others can understand. The more information you give and the more organized it is, the faster we can help you fix your problem.

You want to design your question effectively.
The question has to draw knowledgeable people to it. It should be short and to the point so that people who can help (and those who have a similar problem) will and can finish it

Before doing any troubleshooting you should back up your data!

Your question should include:

A brief description of your problem or question as the title. For example: "My computer wont boot" People who answer questions will not usually even look at questions that start " I need help"

Further description in the body For example I just installed a program and now it will only boot in "safe mode". You should include the essential points but not 2 paragraphs about what you were doing at the time.. A short description is easier to understand and will save the reviewer time.

Any Error messages that are displayed.

Is it repeatable? Does it ALWAYS happen or just when you do something?

Include a basic description of your system, It should include  information  you can find out using basic tools ( Speccy & Belarc).  You can also get your basic system information by typing msinfo32 into "run"

The operating system (ie windows 10 "preview" 64 bits)

The CPU or processor (ie Intel or AMD and which it is)

The video card (it may be called the graphics device)

The amount of RAM (random access memory)

Other devices (like the hard disc-- especially if it is an SSD)

If a particular software package is the issue include the developer and version number.

Especially important What Malware (Anti Virus) are you using and what version.  They are frequently the cause of freezing and crashing

Additional information we could use:

Software or hardware you have recently installed

Changes to the operating system like running a registry cleaner, or overclocking, etc
How long have you had this problem for
The troubleshooting you have already tried that did not work

‘If you have a question about this topic, Ask the community’. 

If this wiki has proved helpful please click me too at the bottom of the wiki.

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Co-Authored JMH3143/ ZigZag3143

Concise guide..  If a user has not posted the question clearly what we do is to ask them to refer below article

"Suggestions for asking a question on help forums"

But obviously it has not addressed the very important facts in a concise manner.. 

For example, this is the empirical example of the author, which is very true.. 

"A brief description of your problem or question as the title. For example: "My computer wont boot" People who answer questions will not usually even look at questions that start " I need help" "

 Thanx for good work
H.A.V. Aravinda
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Only comments relating to the above Wiki article are acceptable here.

Please repost  your comment{s} in the appropriate Forum section.

Thank you for your understanding.

Microsoft MVP.
Windows Consumer Apps,
Windows Experience,
Windows Insider.

Much appreciated!

Thank you for the info.

One "people liked this" vote sent your way!.


Ken, I've been hunting for an article about how to ask a question, and this one eventually turned up in a Google search. It was only after studying the article that I noticed it's classified under Windows, and so doesn't apply to, say, Internet Explorer or Office. I think this should be reflected in the title for the benefit of searchers. It's probably a good idea to put some keywords (BSOD, Windows crash, SFC, ...) into the summary, since that's the part that shows in search results and is included in the page's Description and Search.Description meta tags that are intended to be read by search crawlers. 
Noel Burgess | Certified Pedant | Claims to know a bit about Windows Live Mail

Hetti, Thanks for the cross-reference.
Please include a reference to this wiki ("How to ask an effective question") in the article you referenced,

"Suggestions for asking a question on help forums"


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Last updated September 18, 2020 Views 17,597 Applies to: