Can you use the browser's Back/Forward buttons to save a response?

The SurveyMonkey system saves responses through two different methods:

Determine how you want to administer a survey and if you want to do the following: 

arrow Allow One Response vs. Multiple Responses?  Yes or No

arrow Edit/Complete Response Later vs. Finish in One Sitting? Yes or No


NOTE: Do not use the web browser's navigation buttons.

  • No matter which collector method you choose, the navigation buttons of [Next] or [Done] must always be clicked on the bottom of the page to save the response.
  • If a respondent answers questions on a page, clicks the back button on the top of the web browser, the survey will move back to the previous page and not save the current response.



Option A - Saving by Cookies: The Web Link Collector

When administering the survey using a Web Link, this returns anonymous responses.

The survey saves a response by page as the respondent clicks the [Next] button and successfully moves to the next page.

ENABLE COOKIES: The cookie placed by us tracks the page (not specific question) where a respondent exited the survey. Some browsers do offer restricted cookie settings. If the respondent's browser is set to dump cookies each time it is closed, the cookie will be refreshed and a new or blank survey will open the next time the link is accessed.


Scenario 1. - DO NOT ALLOW Multiple Responses and Allow Respondents to Resume

If you want to allow one response and enable respondents to return to an incomplete survey, the following detailed topic outlines an example: Can a survey be saved halfway and finished later?


Scenario 2 - DO ALLOW Multiple Responses

arrow   Allow Multiple Responses? Choose Yes 

arrow   Allow Responses to be Edited? Choose from the following editing options:

  • No, once a page in the survey is submitted, respondents cannot go back and change existing responses.
  • Yes, respondents can go back to previous pages in the survey and update existing responses until the survey is finished or until they have exited the survey. After the survey is finished, the respondent will not be able to re-enter the survey.
(*The Email Invitation collector does not show "Yes" as an active option as it only allows ONE response at all time.)


What do these No/Yes settings mean when allowing MULTIPLE responses:

Can respondents do the following in this scenario?

Edits Disabled

YES: Allowed Edits
Use the [Previous] button to go back:NoYes
Go back to a page and Continue with a current response (if the Done button has not been clicked or the browser window has not been closed):YesYes
Re-enter at any time to Edit (even after completion or the browser is closed):NoNo

NOTE: When allowing multiple responses on the Web Link, no one can return to edit or finish a response. If multiple responses are enabled, all respondents MUST finish the survey in one sitting.


Option B. Saving by Link - The Email Invitation Collector:

When you upload your emails into SurveyMonkey, customize a message, and then schedule the delivery by us, the responses are saved by the actual link and not through a cookie.

NOTE: This collector type does not allow multiple responses. Only one response is allowed per link due to the tracking function.

With the Allow Responses to be Edited setting, those who receive the link through the email invitation can finish an incomplete survey or edit surveys from any computer.

  • The survey links in the message delivered by our mail server are encoded to a specific email addresses uploaded into the collector. These links remember the page where respondents exited the survey. The [Next] or [Done] buttons function the same way in that they must be clicked in order to save the survey up to that point.
  • Respondents can begin the survey from a work computer, exit the survey early, and then re-access the email to finish later on a home computer. This survey link always takes the respondent to the last completed page.