Gateway timeout / unable to deploy error


I have a very large form and cannot find a way to decrease the amount of information that gets loaded immediately. This form is going to be used offline out in the field, so we have to have all of the sections accessible at once. I am able to deploy it every once in awhile by refreshing the page a bunch of times and clearing the browser cache, but otherwise it’s been a major hassle.

This issue started last week after some of my coworkers pulled the .xls form I had been working on and added their own sections, then reuploaded it. The form became slow at that point but still loaded within a reasonable time. Now, though, it takes 15+ minutes to load and I can deploy it maybe once per day.

The deploy error we get is:

unable to deploy

if this problem persists, contact

please check your connection and try again.


Mozilla: “Loading Error: Gateway timeout.”
Chrome: "Unchecked runtime.lastError: The message port closed before a response was received."x75
Edge & IE: “ is not responding due to a long-running script.”

We have tried deploying this from several different computers and different browsers in different states and different high speed connection types, yet all of us have the same problem – it’s not an internet connectivity problem. The form times out before it can fully load, and I can’t find any fixes or troubleshooting online.

Is there a way to reduce the amount of javascript that immediately loads? Refresh the connection to kobotoolbox before it times out? Or, maybe, load one section at a time? Any suggestions are appreciated!

Hi @tnkai,

Welcome to the community! Would suggest you to try out validating your xlsform with This helps in identifying your syntax error within your xlsform.

Hello, I have done that before each deploy - there are no syntax errors. The only warnings have to do with ODK & naming conventions for Google Sheets that don’t accept underscores (the default assignation for kobo), neither of which I am using for the form.

I would suggest going back one week and reload the XLS Form that was working well and rebuild from there, testing frequently. I imagine that someone introduced a logical error.

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I went through each of the ~5,200 lines of the xls file and found no errors other than some duplicate select_one names. I updated those and added options for them on the choices tab. I’ve done all of the standard troubleshooting, none of it helps.

Just confirming whether you actually tried working of a previous version of XLS that worked as suggested by @jblackman. If not then maybe you should do so.

It would also be important to show which errors are you exactly seeing.