Global settings

From LimeSurvey Manual

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General description

If you click on Configuration and then Global settings in the main toolbar you will get to the Global settings.


The Global settings dialog is only available to administration users with the right Settings & Plugins. It can be used to adjust certain settings of LimeSurvey in a global context. Once you enter the Global settings dialog and saved once then the values will be overruled by the settings in the Global settings.

Settings and their explanation

Overview & Update

  • System overview: This is pretty much self explaining. Here you can get a short insight on the number of surveys and other statistics in your LimeSurvey installation. For debug purposes you can also find a button to show your PHP Info.
  • Updates: For automatic Updates Please use the ComfortUpdate feature.


  • Site name: Give your survey site a name. This name will appear in the survey list overview and in the administration header.
  • Default template: This setting specifies the default design template used for the 'public list' of surveys and for new surveys or surveys using a non-existing template.
  • Administration template: This setting specifies the default design template used for the LimeSurvey administration.
  • Default HTML editor mode: Sets the default mode for integrated HTML editor. Valid settings are: inline (default), popup and none:
    • inline: Inline replacement of fields by an HTML editor. Slow but convenient and user friendly
    • popup: Adds an icon that opens a popup window with the HTML editor. Faster, but HTML code is displayed on the form.
    • HTML source: No HTML editor, just the plain html source
  • Question type selector: Choose 'Full selector' to get a question type selector with preview and 'Simple' to get a plain select box.
  • Template editor:: Choose 'Full template editor' to get a enhanced editor (with syntax-highlighting) when editing survey templates and 'Simple template editor' to get a plain editor field
  • Time difference (in hours): If your web server is in a different time zone to the location where your surveys will be based, put the difference between your server and your home time zone here. For example, I live in Australia but use a US web server. The web server is 14 hours behind my local time zone. So my setting here is "+14". In other words, it adds 14 hours to the web servers time. This setting is particularly important when surveys timestamp the responses.
  • Session lifetime: [only available with database sessions] Defines the time in seconds after which a survey session expires (provided there is no action from the participant). When using regular, file-based sessions, it is up to the system administrator to define the right values for "session.gc_maxlifetime", "session.save_path", etc. in the PHP configuration because when setting this locally via the application, not only the webserver settings but also similar settings by other applications may overwrite the setting for file-based sessions. The maximum value on this is 65000 (seconds). Please use a reasonable value. When using database sessions, make sure then MySQL setting max_allowed_packet is set large enough, some surveys generate over 2 MB of session data.
  • IP Info DB API Key: Allows integration with the IP-Info-DB service that let's you determine the geographic location of survey takers based on their IP. To have a key, you need to register for the API.
  • Google Maps API Key: Allows for integration with Google Maps.
  • Google Analytics Tracking ID: Allows for integration with Google Analytics. Surveys can over-ride this  site-level value.  The tracking ID can be inserted into templates using {GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_API_KEY}.  The full JavaScript that Google Analytics expects (including the key) can be included in templates via {GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_JAVASCRIPT}.
  • Google API howto:
  1. Register/login on Google Analytics (GA):
  2. Create a tracking ID (the site should not point to the survey, but to the part before 'index.php?') The tracking ID should be UA-xxxxx.
  3. Go to your survey's global settings in LimeSurvey.
  4. Put the tracking ID into the appropriate field (Google Analytics tracking ID). It's probably the best to set GA to track all pages as you can have more info.
  5. You don't need to do anything in shipped templates, as the {GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_JAVASCRIPT} part is already there.
  6. Activate the survey.
  7. Do the survey.
  8. Go to the GA panel main site (select the appropriate account in the left-hand upper corner if you have more than one). You should see some graphs with the statistics. Beware of the dates in the upper right corner.
  • Google Translate API Key:  The Auto Translate feature uses version 2 of  Google Translate's API.  Google charges for this service.  In order for the Auto Translate feature to work, you get an API key from this site, and enter the key in this field.  Please note that this is currently a global feature, so any installation that has an assigned Translate API key will all charge translations to the same account.
  • Character set for file import/export: You can specify the character set most suiting you and your system, if you experience problems with exporting/importing.
  • Side-menu behaviour: How the side-menu should behave while editing surveys.

Email settings

  • Default site admin email: This is the default email address of the site administrator and used for system messages and contact options.
  • Administrator name: The real name of the site administrator.
  • Email method:  This determines how e-mail messages are being sent. The following options are available:
    • PHP: use internal PHP mail function
    • Sendmail: use sendmail mailer
    • SMTP:use SMTP relaying. Use this setting when you are running LimeSurvey on a host that is not your mail server.
      • Make sure that you are using your SMTP configured e-mail (Global settings -> E-mail settings) at the survey settings (At the moment you create a survey or after you create it Edit Survey Settings -> General)  if you use SMTP, otherwise there might be a chance that the following error is displayed: SMTP -> ERROR: RCPT not accepted from server: 553 5.7.1 : Sender address rejected: not owned by user.
    • Qmail:Set this if you are running the Qmail mailer
  • SMTP host: If you use 'SMTP ' as email method then you have to put your SMTP-server here. If you are using a different part than port 25 (standard for SMPT) then you have to add the port number separated be a colon (example: '')
  • SMTP username: If your SMTP-server needs authentication then set this to your user name, otherwise it must be blank.
  • SMTP password: If your SMTP-server needs authentication then set this to your password, otherwise it must be blank.
  • SMTP SSL/TLS: Set this to 'SSL' or 'TLS' to use SSL/TLS for your SMTP connection
  • SMTP debug mode: If you switch this on then on sending invitations or reminders a detailed connection log and error message will be given (if an error occurs). Not for the faint of heart, but this can give valuable information why a SMTP relay does not work. Usually you want this to be off.
  • Email batch size: When sending invitations or reminders to survey participants, this setting is used to determine how many emails can be sent in one bunch. Different web servers have different email capacities, and if your script takes too long to send a bunch of emails, the script could time out and cause errors. Most web servers can send 100 emails at a time within the default 30 second time limit for a PHP script. If you get script timeout errors when sending large numbers of emails, reduce the number in this setting.  Clicking the 'send email invitation' button on the token control toolbar, (not the button on the right of each token), sends the maxemails number of invitations, then displays a list of the addresses sent to and a warning that "There are more emails pending than could be sent in one batch. Continue sending emails by clicking below. There are ### emails still to be sent." and provides a "continue button" to proceed with the next batch. I.e., the user determines when to send the next batch after each batch gets emailed.  It is not necessary to wait with this screen active.  The admin could log off and come back at a later time to send the next batch of invites.

Bounce settings

  • Default site bounce email: This is the email address where bounced emails will be sent to.
  • Server type: If set to 'Off' no bounce processing functions will be available. Set this to POP or IMAP to check a related account for bounces.
  • Server name & port: Name of the server and (if needed) the port separated by a colon.
  • User name: The user name for the POP/IMAP account
  • Password: The password for the POP/IMAP account
  • Encryption type: If encrpytion is used please set the right one here (SSL or TLS)


  • Survey preview only for administration users: By default, preview of inactive survey is restricted to authenticated users only. If you set this to 'No' any person can test your survey using the survey URL - without logging in to the administration and without having to activate the survey first.
  • Filter HTML for XSS: By default your survey manager will not be authorized to use dangerous HTML tags in their survey/group/question/labels texts (for instance JavaScript code). This is intended to prevent a survey operator to add malicious script in order to have a true admin raise his permissions on the system. If you want to use any script objects like Javascript scripts of Flash applets in your surveys you will need to switch this off (Specific script for video hoster can be used). The XSS filtering is always disabled for the superadministrator. In order to see the effects of XSS filtering, it is advised to use a regular user account.
    With XSS enable, some expression manager system can not be used : see XSS and Expression Manager
  • Group member can only see own group: By default non-admin users defined in the LimeSurvey management interface will only be able to see other users if they belong to at least one group this user belongs to. If you set this to 'No' they can see all users (for example in Survey security settings )
  • Frame embedding allowed: This option can be used to indicate whether or not a browser should be allowed to render the survey page in a <frame>, <iframe> or <object> . You can use this to avoid clickjacking attacks, by ensuring that your survey is not embedded into other sites.

If you set it to 'Allow' there is no restriction. Setting this to 'Same origin' then the content is only loaded if the survey runs on the same domain and port as the including <frame>, <iframe> or <object>.

  • Force HTTPS: By default this is set to "Don't force on or off". Switch the setting to "on" to force the connection to use HTTPS.
    Attention : If your server doesn't support HTTPS properly, you can lock yourself from the system! Therefore test the "check if this link works" link first.If the link does not work and you turn on HTTPS, LimeSurvey will break and you won't be able to access it.
    Hint: If you activate https by error, you can deactivate it in application/config/config.php file using ssl_emergency_override to 1.


  • Show 'no answer' option for non-mandatory questions: When a question of a radio button/select type that contains editable answers (i.e.: List & array questions) is not mandatory and this is set to 'Yes' (default), an additional entry 'No answer' is shown for each subquestion - so that participants may choose to not answer the question. Some people prefer this not to be available. Set this to 'No' to turn this off.
  • Repeating headings in array questions every X subquestions: With array type question, often you'll have a lot of subquestions, which - when displayed on screen - take up more than one page. The repeat-headers setting lets you decide how many answers should be displayed before repeating the header information for the question. A good setting for this is around 25. If you don't want the headings to repeat at all, set this to 0.
  • Show "There are X questions in this survey":
  • Show question group name and/or description:
  • Show question number and/or question code:


  • Default site language: This is the default language to be used in your administration , and also the default language for the public survey list if none is given.
  • Available languages: If you don't want all languages to be available in the administration language select boxes you can here define the language that should be available only.


  • RPC interface enabled: Using this feature you can activate/deactivate the LimeSurvey RemoteControl2 interface API, either using JSON-RPC (recommended) or XML-RPC.
  • Publish API on /admin/remotecontrol: If you activate this option then under the specified URL a short description of the API functions will be available. Usually you should not need to activate it and should only be activated for debug purposes in general.