In Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers decided to

jump back to 2012 New York because they could find three Infinity Stones there.

Why didn't they simply jump back 5 years just before Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones? This way they could get all six Infinity Stones at once.

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    Because Thanos had them. – OrangeDog Jun 29 at 13:16
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    @OrangeDog - "Excuse me, Mr. Thanos, sir. Can we have the Infinity Stones so we can kill you, please? What do you mean 'No'"? – Valorum Jun 29 at 15:52
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    So basically you are asking why this didn't happen in the movie. – Muntasir Jun 30 at 6:36
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    Similarly, they could have just gone back in time to right before the snap, then tell Thor to aim for the arm, not the chest. – Thunderforge Jul 1 at 15:53
  • To be fair Tony invented the technology they used, what he says goes and he didn't want to lose his daughter. Think about it, would you take the flux capacitor out of the DeLorean? You're going to do what the science man wants! – E_McAndrew Jul 5 at 15:02

They need to get the Infinity Stones before Thanos has even one of them because there's absolutely no way in hell that he's going to hand them over, let alone taking him on when he's expecting a fight and has all six(!).

Don't forget what Banner said to Strange

Bruce Banner: No telling. He has the Power and Space Stones, that already makes him the strongest creature in the whole universe. If he gets his hands, on all six Stones, Tony...

and what Maw said to Thanos

Ebony Maw: My humble personage… bows before your grandeur. No other being has ever had the might, nay the nobility, to wield not one, but two Infinity Stones. The universe lies within your grasp.

It's important to note that Thanos (in Infinity War) was basically holding back for the entire film, at least until the very end. He's only really trying to get the stones and has little or no interest in killing those who're opposing him.

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    @iloveyou3000 That's out of sheer despair. Why bother to deal with a top notch Thanos for acquiring the stones if there's a way to avoid that? – Philip Klöcking Jun 29 at 14:11
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    @ILoveYou3000 “Avengers were ready to confront Thanos after Thanos used the Gauntlet second time” — with Captain Marvel, and peak-condition Thor. Against Thanos alone on a planet, with no satellites, no army, just him. Little bit different to re-entering the Battle of Wakanda and trying to safely extract him from Thor’s axe-y embrace. – Paul D. Waite Jun 29 at 16:53
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    @PaulD.Waite Not to forget about not meeting their other selves while doing so... – Philip Klöcking Jun 29 at 17:04
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    "...when an inferior species makes direct contact with the Stones, they’re ripped apart by the sheer force of the thing. It’s a glorious and frightening sight. In order to protect these beings, the Stones were given defensive casings: the Orb for the Power Stone, the Scepter for the Mind Stone, the Tesseract for the Space Stone, the Eye of Agamotto for the Time Stone, and”—his voice hardened—“as you know, the Aether for the Reality Stone.”" - Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest Vol.1 – Valorum Jun 30 at 16:05
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    "The Stone was placed in the Orb, as a means of controlling its raw and dangerous energy. Fate only knows how long that will last. As one who was witness to just a fraction of a fraction of its abilities firsthand, I can say with certainty that the force within the Stone cannot be contained for long.” – Valorum Jun 30 at 16:06

One possible answer is that they were never planning on having to deal with Thanos again. Remember, Thanos came to the present sort of by accident. It wasn't exactly part of their plan. Their plan was to snap everybody back, not necessarily fight Thanos for the gauntlet. Fighting Thanos was kind of just a consequence of their actions.

If they went back to any time when Thanos had them, they were gonna have to fight him for it again. It's not like he was just gonna hand them over so they could snap everybody back again. And, if they lost (again), they'd be back where they started, maybe worse. Much safer, and more likely to be successful, is the idea of going to a time where he didn't have them all. Then they wouldn't have to work as hard for the stones themselves, and they could snap everybody back no problem.

  • They litteraly went to fight him 3 week after the first snap, knowing for sure that he still have the stones and the gantlet and that he might have an army with him. – Dhon Joe Jul 5 at 9:31
  • This plan was conceived 5 years later though. I'd think they would have had much cooler heads on them then. If half the universe had just been erased you'd be pretty mad about it, 5 years down the line you're concentrating on trying to bring them back, not get revenge. Also when they went to fight Thanos on that planet they had nothing to lose. – E_McAndrew Jul 5 at 14:51

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