is used on 190 questions. A few are about diagnostic software, a few are about some specific display of diagnostic information, a few are on questions asking how to troubleshoot a problem, and most simply decorate any type of question about a hardware or software problem.

is used on 1,092 questions. I didn't examine all of them, but this tag also seems to be decoration on questions about hardware or software problems.

The vast majority of our questions are about hardware or software problems, and diagnosing/troubleshooting is integral to answering most of them.

If product recommendations were on-topic, there might be use for a tag to associate with this function. Since they aren't, we would generally want a product-specific tag.

and its synonym , are used on 308 questions. Some are used like and , just decoration on questions about software or hardware problems.

Some are used on questions about debugging code of some form. Most true code debugging questions are off-topic, but we generally allow ones for small chunks of code for VBA, batch files, or other on-topic subjects. In those cases, though, we expect the OP to show their work. So those "debugging" questions are just problem solving questions, and debugging is an integral part of the process.

These three tags (four including the synonym), don't seem to differentiate anything useful. Even if they did, they are prone to misuse and should be replaced in those cases with something less ambiguous.

Should these tags be eliminated?

  • 9
    I vote yes .....
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:48
  • Hey folks, I've removed [status-planned] from this post. It looks like there might still be work to do here, and I'd encourage you to follow through with it. If staff assistance is required, please help us out by making it clear what we should do, then flagging the post to be retagged [status-review].
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 24 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


The tag seems to restate the obvious in the context of an individual question, however it might improve Super User's searchability for a user with a specific hardware problem who is searching for help troubleshooting it.

  • Those questions about troubleshooting hardware problems that are not well served by the existing tags related to hardware might need one or multiple tags with more specific names that troubleshooting. Do you have examples of troubleshooting hardware problems that are hard to find?
    – user152004
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 18:43
  • 1
    I just found that there is a community-faq related to troubleshooting hardware How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash?. I think that this is one of the specific cases that might need to be reviewed how they should be tagged.
    – user152004
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 19:29
  • @Rubén The answers to this question at Ask Ubuntu: How do I diagnose my issue, when I'm not sure if it is a hardware or software issue? have some basic information about this topic which is specific to Ubuntu. The question is tagged with the troubleshooting and hardware tags which makes it easier to find.
    – karel
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 0:11
  • I'm afraid that question might not be a good example to argue in favor to keep [troubleshooting] here, by one side because it belongs to another community, by the other b/c the corresponding per-site meta, Meta Ask Ubuntu, also has a question asking to remove their troubleshooting tag -> Troubleshooting the tag: can we diagnose it as unnecessary?.
    – user152004
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 1:25

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