Error Loading Survey

Hello there,

I am very new to Kobo and XLSForms…

I have a problem with an already deployed survey.

I want to edit a question, but I received this message when I try to load it on Kobo:

Error loading survey: cascading choices can only reference one choice list

I have tried to download the XLSForm (which I did not create) and it has 113 questions, so I have no idea what part of the form is the error. I don’t know if anyone can help me!


I am also worried about making changes to an already deployed form!

Hi @ErinMacLeod,

Please be informed that this is due to the change you have made with a cascading select question in your survey form. To understand more about cascading select, please see the support article here.

Regarding your second concern:

Please see the community discussion that has happened in the past. It should help you sort out your issue:


Thanks for this - my colleagues and I spent a long time yesterday reading all of that information, but there is no where in the survey where there is an issue. In fact, two days ago we could edit in KoboToolbox, but all of a sudden now we can’t. I don’t know what to do.

I would love to know if there is any good consultant who works with Kobo who could take a look at this - because I’ve had no luck and neither has my team.

And now the message I get is that there is an unnamed translation - but this cannot be the case. The survey seems to work totally fine and I cannot see any issues - I just can’t edit the survey in Kobo and the error messages seem to change! Over the past week these two issues have strangely just developed…

Hi @ErinMacLeod,

Do you have multiple languages for your survey project? If no, seems like you accidentally added a language option to it.


Yes. We have multiple languages and all are named.

@ErinMacLeod, if yes please check out the xlsform properly. There must be some labels or choices that have been left out untranslated. Generally if the labels or choices are left untranslated you see this error message!


Honestly - I am not trying to be annoying, but they are all translated and this error is new this morning. Same with the cascading choice question. Last week there were no errors - Last year when the survey was deployed there were none of these errors. But yesterday and today we now have multiple errors. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know whether to just pretend it isn’t happening or what…

@ErinMacLeod, could you provide me your KoBoToolbox user name and the project name so that i could have a look from my end.


I can’t thank you enough…

Name: monitoringevaluation
Project: VOICE Annual Partnership Review 2019

We’ve had 10 submissions before all of these errors started.
The only change from the initial survey was adding choices - but there was no change to any formulas.

Hi @ErinMacLeod,

Will get back to you when done! (Probably by tomorrow)


Thank you SO MUCH!!!

Just wondering if there was any solution…

Hi @ErinMacLeod,

Apologies for the delayed response! I downloaded the xlsform and uploaded and deployed through my account and sees to work fine. Did not see any error message while deploying.

Thus my way-out for your issue would be to download the xlsform and then upload it again as a different project keeping the previous survey untouched.

Please let me know if you require any support for this!


Hi @Kal_Lam,

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the form. I’m relieved that it doesn’t seem like there is an issue with the form. Unfortunately, I have to keep this survey up because the data is being entered right now across a large number of countries and I can’t really change anything - it would really be difficult to do this.

I hope that this is just an odd bug with my KoboToolbox - because the results I am receiving seem to demonstrate that there is no problem with the survey. The only problem is that I am unable to edit it in KoboToolbox because of “errors”.