Exit survey without offering "Submit" to user

In a web form filled out directly by respondents, is there a way to exit the form without offering a “Submit” button to the user? (This question is similar to this one, but the answer there does not completely meet this use case).

Since the form is for respondents to fill out themselves, it would be deployed as “Online-only (Single submission)” or “Online-only (once per respondent)”.

Use case:

  1. A prospective respondent answers a screening question.
  2. A calculation determines the prospective respondent is not suitable for taking the survey.
  3. The person is taken to a note (“Thank you, but …)” with a “Next” button.
  4. The person clicks “Next”.
  5. The person is redirected to a “You can close this window. No data has been submitted.” page … and no data is submitted.

Steps 1 - 4 are easy. What I need is a way to do step 5. The closest I can come is going to a note that says “Please do NOT click the Submit button below, but just close this window”, which is pretty awkward.


  1. The data remains uncluttered by records of no interest.
  2. The user does not see a “Submit” button and thus will never accidentally click Submit and see a “Thank you for submitting” message, which may be confusing or even distressing to them. (For example, they may believe that submitting a survey will result in a health team visiting them and raising suspicion among neighbors.)

@dwight, maybe after making a screening by your calculate question, you could then skip all the questions and use a note question to display your desired message at the end saying something like Thank you for participating in the survey, but you are not considered eligible for the survey!.

The respondent could submit the survey to your server. But during the analysis, you will be able to distinguish between a respondent that is eligible and not by either looking at the custom report for that particular variable or if you still do not wish to have the record of the user, you could bulk delete it.

Hope this approach helps. But our community should also be able to help you with other approaches!

In addition to Kal_Lam, if you set this note to required true, the case cannot be submitted if this note is reached.

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Thank you! That’s a clever technique to keep the record out of the database, The downside is that the user is presented with a message that may cause even more concern (an error message in red). I’m lessening this by having two last questions for a screened-out user:

  • First question is a note saying something like “Thank you, but you are not eligible. Please close this web page to finish.” If they close the page everything is fine.
  • If the respondent clicks Next instead of closing the page, they get a required note saying: "Please close the web page. Do not click “Submit” below (it will generate an error). If you accidentally click “Submit” and get an error or a message saying “this field is required”, simply close this page.
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To avoid the submit button, you might add another note as final position (also filtered for the screen-out case).

Remaining disadvantages:

  • Solution not very userfriendly in single page mode.
  • The case can still be saved (draft).
  • The user may still go directly to the end (default navigation option).

I think a KoBo enhancement request might be interesting to better treat this common use case.

Enhancement request submitted here: Clean exit of a survey without submitting it.

Thanks for your help!

Hint: In some surveys “screen-out” information might be necessary to store and analyse, e.g. refusal cases or sampling errors.

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True, and we do track that at per-question and whole-survey levels for valid respondents. In our case, the screening step is to determine whether they enter a correct access code – which we sent them by post. In essence, a simple password system. If they lack that information then they are not valid respondents and should not be allowed in.