Survey Platform - Testing/Editing Active Surveys | Qualtrics

Testing/Editing Active Surveys


Once you’ve created your survey, you’ll want to test it to be sure it looks and behaves exactly how you need. Similarly, if you need to make changes after you’ve launched your survey and started collecting results, it’s important to understand what types of changes are acceptable and what types might not be best for your data collection. This page outlines your options for testing your survey and for editing an active survey.

Testing an Active Survey

Once your survey is active, you can test it through the Preview Survey Link, Anonymous Link, and Personal Links. However, we recommend testing through the Preview Survey Link as these test responses will not count toward your account’s total response limit.

Qtip: If you want to see how your dataset or reports will look before sending out your survey, you can also generate dummy data through Generate Test Responses in the Tools menu of the Survey module. These test responses will not count toward your account’s response limit.

Testing with the Preview Link

The Preview Link lets you see the survey as your respondents would. You can also submit preview responses this way and see what your data will look like on the backend. Any responses you submit this way will not count toward your response limit and will be flagged in the results for easy identification and deletion.

To preview your survey, click the Preview Survey button in the Survey module. From there, you can then click through the survey yourself, or copy and paste the URL to send to your testers.



You can also get the Preview Survey link to your testers via the email distribution options within Qualtrics. Just select Send Preview Email instead of the Send button. For more information on this visit our Emails Overview page.

Testing with the Anonymous Link

If you decide to use the actual Anonymous Link for testing, go to your Distributions module and and select the Get a single reusable link option.

When testing with this link, you might experience some of this behavior:

  • When I click on the link, it takes me to the middle of the survey. By default, the survey has Save and Continue enabled in your Survey Options. This option means that if you close the survey without finishing, the next time you click on the link, you will be taken to where you left off previously.
  • I just edited my survey but the changes do not show when I’m testing. The first time you click on the survey link, survey settings are locked into place. To see any new changes, you can clear your browser cache or open the link in a different browser.

Testing With Individual Links

If you need to test that your survey is retrieving information from a contact list, you can add yourself as a contact and send an Individual Link to yourself. Be sure to include all the same information for yourself as your other contacts have.

Editing an Active Survey

You can still make changes to your survey even after it’s activated, but you’ll want to be cautious about making changes if you have already collected real data. Certain survey alterations can invalidate or delete parts of your already collected survey data. This section will describe which changes will delete data, and which changes will not delete data.

What kinds of changes are OK?

The following edits will not delete previously gathered survey data:

  • Superficial text edits (e.g., fixing a typo or changing the font)
  • Adding questions or answer options
  • Rearranging the order of questions or of blocks in the Survey Flow.

What kinds of changes are not OK?

The following edits will delete or alter previously gathered survey data:

  • Changing the question type
  • Rearranging answer choices with Copy & Paste (use Move Up and Move Down in the choice menu instead)
  • Deleting questions or answer options (deleting a question or answer also deletes all response data associated with that question or answer).

We recommend never deleting questions or answer choice options. Instead, we recommend hiding unwanted questions and answer options with Display Logic, which will preserve the already collected data.

Qtip: If you accidentally made some unfavorable edits to your survey, you may be able to undo them or restore a previous version of your survey. See our Saving and Restoring support page for more details.

What will respondents see if I make changes?

Only respondents who have not yet started the survey will see new changes you’ve made to the survey. Respondents who have already started taking the survey will not see any changes. If you want these respondents to experience the changes then they will need to start their survey over. Send them a new Individual Link (if you distributed the survey through email) or ask them to clear their browser cache (if you distributed the survey through the Anonymous Link).