Survey Platform - Saving & Restoring | Qualtrics

Saving and Restoring

Introduction

You have a number of options for saving and managing changes to your work in Qualtrics. This page outlines how Qualtrics saves your work, what types of saves you can make, and what options are available for restoring deleted content.

Automatic vs Manual Saving

Because Qualtrics is a web-based platform, it functions differently than installation applications. Rather than relying on a Save button, Qualtrics instead automatically saves as you work. Whenever you click outside of a question or move to a different module or section, Qualtrics checks for changes and then saves any changes. You can force a check and save by pressing Ctrl + S (on a PC) or Cmd + S (on a Mac).

There are a couple of things to keep in mind about this. One is that Qualtrics shouldn’t be open in more than one tab at once; this will interfere with the check and save and possibly cause your work to be overridden your work. Additionally, most browsers have a timeout of about an hour. If you’re working on a question and don’t force a check and save within that hour, the browser will time out and all unsaved work will be lost. Please be aware of this timeout and use Qualtrics accordingly.

Revision History

If there are major changes you want to save, you can create what is known as a “revision”. Revisions are a snapshot of your survey, and you can use them to view what a survey looked like at any given time and restore your survey to that past revision if you choose. Qualtrics will save revisions for you every 30 minutes you are in the Edit Survey Module and have made changes, or every time you load the Edit Survey Module and have made changes. You can also create new revisions yourself.

Warning: Restoring to a revision can affect previously collected data. It can restore data that was invalidated by later changes to questions, but it can also invalidate data that was collected after the changes. See Restoring a Revision below for more details.

To create a new revision

  1. Navigate to the Survey module and click Tools.
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  2. Select Create New Revision.
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  3. Enter a revision description.
  4. Click Create Revision.
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Qtip: You can’t create a revision that is formatted identical to another revision.

To review past revisions

  1. Navigate to the Survey module and click Tools.
  2. Select View Revision History.
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  3. Click View next to the version you want to examine.
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  4. Click the X to exit viewing the revision and return to the current survey.
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Revision Options

When viewing a revision, you have several navigation and action options available:

  • Jump to: Choose a different revision to view.
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  • Export Revision: Export a QSF of the revision to store as a backup or import as another version of the survey.
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  • Restore Revision: Restore this version of the survey as the active version (automatically saves the existing version as a revision).
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    Warning: Restoring to a revision can affect previously collected data. It can restore data that was invalidated by later changes to questions, but it can also invalidate data that was collected after the changes. See Restoring a Revision below for more details.

Trash / Unused Questions

Whenever you delete a question, it is moved to the Trash, located at the bottom of the Survey module. Your Trash will hold all deleted questions until you empty it, at which point the questions are permanently deleted. You can move any question in the Trash back into the survey by clicking on the question and selecting Restore.

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Qtip: If you delete a question, you also remove all associated collected results from your dataset. If the question is still in your trash and you restore it, all the associated data will also return. For further details on the possibilities and limitations of restoring deleted content, see below.

Restoring Deleted Content

It is not always possible to restore deleted content, but there are some options available that can be tried depending on the type of content that was deleted and what changes have been made since the deletion.

Ctrl + Z and Cmd + Z

In some cases, you can hit Ctrl + Z (PC) or Cmd + Z (Mac) to immediately undo a change. This includes changes to text when you’re still in a text editor and some changes to question settings in the Editing Pane.

Other types of changes, such as deleting a question or manipulating the Survey Flow, cannot be undone with Ctrl + Z.

Trash

If you delete a question, you also remove all associated collected results from your dataset. Sometimes, this change is desired, but other times you might still want the data. If the question is still in your trash, you have the option of restoring it to your main survey.  Once it’s restored, the associated data will also return.

Qtip: Rather than ever deleting a question that has data associated with it, we recommend hiding unwanted questions with Display Logic.

Not in Survey Flow

If you delete a block from your Survey Flow, all the data from all the questions in the block are removed from your dataset. The block is not completely deleted, however. If you scroll to the bottom of your survey editor, you will see the block with a red notice “Not in Survey Flow”.

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You can add the block back into your survey (and thus add your results back to your dataset) by returning to your Survey Flow and adding a Block element, setting the block to be the one you deleted.

Qtip: Deleting a block in your Survey Flow is different than deleting a block through the Block Options in your survey editor. If deleted through the Block Options, the block will be dissolved and all its questions will be placed in the Trash.

Restoring a revision

If your questions have been permanently deleted or changed in a way that you want to reverse, you might be able to restore an earlier of version of your survey using revisions in your Revision History. Restoring to an earlier revision will bring back deleted questions and alter all settings to what they were at the time the revision was created.

However, though this may bring back data, it may also affect data you’ve collected since the changes. If you’ve added or changed questions since the revision was saved, those additional questions will no longer be in your dataset if you revert back to that earlier revision. Similarly, question data may be invalidated if you’ve made significant changes to question type or format.

If it is important to retrieve data from an earlier revision, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Create a current revision.
  2. Export your current dataset.
  3. Restore to the earlier revision.
  4. Export your altered dataset.

From this point, you can either restore to the revision you saved in step 1, or you can keep your survey as it is now.

Warning: Restoring to a revision will affect survey respondents’ experience. Those currently taking the survey won’t experience a change, but any new respondents will see the restored survey.