Editing a survey which already has response data

It may be the case that your survey has been designed, you've distributed it and people are responding to it - however, you've just realized that something needs to be changed.

Don't worry - this is not a problem. Changes can be made instantly — but there are a few things to look out for when editing an active survey.

Firstly, you will receive a warning message prior to making any changes to your active survey, just to ensure you understand the possible impact.


If your survey has no responses yet — then editing the survey will not cause any problems; however consider that people might be responding to your survey while you edit it.
If your survey has one or more responses — the data for the existing responses may be affected, or potentially lost, by changing the questions and survey. To avoid this, consider duplicating the survey and making changes to the new survey.

Changing text in questions, headings and paragraphs

Making changes to the text in questions, headings and paragraphs - such as changing spelling - will not not affect your survey response data. You can also add in and remove paragraphs without any worry.

However, changing the text of the survey can change the meaning, so consider whether any responses received before the change will give valid data.

Changing/deleting options to multiple choice questions

Changing/removing an option to a dropdown or multiple choice question will delete any of the responses to that question for the option that was changed/removed; other responses will be unaffected.

You have a question asking for someone's preferred colour with dropdown options of: 'Red', 'Blue' and 'Yello' Having realised that 'Yello' should have been 'Yellow', you remove the option 'Yello' and replace it with 'Yellow' . The data for all respondents is retained, but those who answered 'Yello' will have a blank answer for that question.

Adding options will not affect data from existing respondents.

Note that changing the text of an answer for a multiple choice question (using radio buttons rather than a droplist) will not delete respondent data.

Adding/deleting/reordering questions

Adding questions before, after or in between existing questions will not affect existing data; new questions can be added at any point.

Deleting a question will delete all existing answers to that question; answers to all other questions will be retained.

Reordering questions by dragging and dropping around a survey page will not affect existing data; all existing answers will be retained and attributed to the right question.

Cutting and pasting a question (within a page, or between pages) will result in all answers to that question being deleted.

Changes to page order and branching

Changes to page order and branching will not affect existing data.

However, as mentioned just above, cutting and pasting individual questions between pages or within a page will result in all answers to that question being deleted.

Changes to address book and data field mapping

Data already written to the application will not be affected; changes to mapping can be made without any loss of existing data.

Be careful that your changes do not break mapping for future respondents (e.g. by deleting and re-adding the email address question).

Note: Data lost through making changes to a live survey cannot be undeleted and our support team will not be able to assist with any data loss as a result of changes made to a survey.
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