Closing a survey

From LimeSurvey Manual

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To stop a survey, you can either "expire" or "deactivate" it.

Attention : It is strongly recommended to use the expiry option to close a survey. The explanation is stated below.


You can manually expire the survey if you edit the survey details and set an "Expiry Date".


Alternatively, when trying to deactivate the survey (when click the "stop this survey button), an option to expire will be offered which performs the same function. If used:


  • No results lost
  • No respondent information lost
  • Change of questions, groups, and parameters is limited
  • An expired survey is not accessible to participant (they only see a message that the survey has expired)
  • It's possible to perform statistics on responses inside LimeSurvey

To make the survey available to your participants again, change or remove the expiration date from the publication & access panel.


Click on "Stop this survey" - located on the survey toolbar:


Once loaded, click on the Deactivate survey button


  • All results lost (you cannot access them via the LimeSurvey user interface)
  • All respondent information lost
  • A deactivated survey is not accessible to a respondent (only a message appears that you are not permitted to see this survey)
  • All questions, groups, and parameters are editable again
  • It is recommended to export your responses before using this option

Help! I accidentally deactivated my survey - what now?

If you closed your survey accidentally, it is important that you don't change anything in the survey. Compatibility is determined by comparing column types and names, the ID field being always ignored.

Then and only then the following steps will work:

  1. Activate your survey again
  2. Select Responses from the survey toolbar.
  3. Click on Import and select the "Import answers from a deactivated survey table" menu entry.
  4. Choose your source table.
  5. Click on the "Import" button located on the upper-right part of the screen.