How to restore data from a deactivated Limesurvey survey

You might run into problems if you deactivate your survey at Limesurvey instead of setting an expiry date (which we recommend to restrict access to a survey), because once a survey is deactivated, a backup of the results table “lime_survey_12345” (12345 refers to the survey ID) is created and it is renamed to “lime_old_survey_12345_20120101235959”. The last part of the table name marks the date (2012-01-01) and time (23:59:59) the survey was deactivated.

If you now want to view results, generate statistics or export the response data, you have a problem: Limesurvey doesn’t show any available data because the response table was backed up and renamed.

To get access to the results, proceed as follows:

  1. Activate the affected survey again.
  2. Go to the “Responses & statistics” screen.
  3. Click at the “Import responses from a deactivated survey table” button (see screenshot below).
  4. Choose your source table.
  5. Click the “Import responses” button.

This is how it looks like at the Limesurvey 3.x interface:

Re-import responses from deactivated survey
Re-import responses from a deactivated survey at Limesurvey 3.x


And at the older Limesurvey v2.0x versions the option looks like this:

Import answers from a deactivated survey table
Import answers from a deactivated survey table at Limesurvey v2.0x