Cannot Complete Survey

Copper Contributor

So I made a survey and sent it out, but a bunch of people have emailed me saying that they couldn't complete the survey because, upon hitting "Submit", the survey told them they were idle for too long and needed to refresh the page. But then when they refreshed the page, all of their answers were deleted and they had to start over.


What causes this? How do I fix it?

10 Replies

Hi @sara.breidenbach


Refreshing the page will definitely wipe the answers so I wouldn't recommend it (worst case users can open another tab to the survey and copy/replicate their first survey answers into the new survey window), but as to the time out problem, I haven't personally seen that one happen. 


Our of curiousity, how many questions do you have in the form? How long are people taking to complete it?


I might also tag in one of my favourite forum colleagues to see if he has any ideas? @Deleted




Hi Damien,

Thanks so much for your answer. The survey has about 39 questions and it takes around 20 - 30 minutes to complete. However, some who complete in that time don’t timeout.

And yes, feel free to tag whoever you want. The more help, the better.

Hi @sara.breidenbach


Thanks for your answer. We'll do our best to help!


If Chris doesn't have a solution (hoping he might), I would suggest asking Microsoft what's happening on this front as they may have been (or still are) experiencing service issues with regard to Forms.


I might also tag in @Zhongzhong Li from Microsoft to see if he has any thoughts?




Yeah, I'm not sure that's a pretty long survey. Probably a baked in Timeout for the application itself that we wont' be able to change. If anything,

Only thing I could recommend is splitting the survey up. You can customize the thank you message now, maybe add a link to the next section in that message to fill out? So have 10 questions, then submit, on thank you message, link to next 10. etc?

@Deletedand @Damien Rosario,


So I broke the survey into smaller sections and decided to test it to see if it resolved the issue.


Sure enough, I completed it and got the timeout issue myself. I completed it in roughly between 2 - 10 minutes. I haven't been able to get it again since. Below is a picture of the error message.


Yeap, I definitely have no idea what's happening there.


It seems to be that it doesn't register that you are actively using the form such as typing in text, selecting check boxes, etc.


Given that the problem is intermittent, I would suggest that it's best to log a ticket with Microsoft Support on this. Get your Office 365 admin to do that!


Hopefully you can get to the bottom of the issue.


Wishing you all the best!




@sara.breidenbach, could you share out the survey URL so I could let engineers to check.




@Zhongzhong Li - was the timeout issue ever resolved? is it something that can be adjusted and if so where.

Many Thanks


@Zhongzhong Li also, what is the timeout interval?

@Mark Dunmall  this is an old thread, if you meet any error, please be free to send me a private message with your form URL and error screenshot.