Top 5 Reasons Why You Can't Complete Online Surveys & How To Beat The System!

If you are an experienced online survey participant, you've probably experienced a situation where you weren't able to complete a survey. This can happen at the beginning, middle or even near the very end of a survey. No one likes seeing the dreaded "Sorry, this survey is now closed" or "Sorry, you do not meet the requirements" screen.

Why is this happening and why do surveys suddenly 'close'? Here are the top 5 most common reasons, and some tips and tricks on how to avoid this in the future!

#1) Technical Errors

Nothing online works 100% perfectly 24/7 and online surveys are no different. Whether a survey panel is experiencing technical issues, survey software bugs or server issues, these issues do happen from time to time.

#2) The Survey Has Closed

Once a researcher or partner has collected enough responses needed, the survey software sometimes automatically closes it off. There is typically no warning or notification that a survey is close to being filled when you start it, so it can be difficult to determine whether the survey you clicked is 98% full or 5% full. The more time you spend trying new surveys, the better chance you have to complete them.

#3) Your Demographic Has Been Filled

Similar to the above section about surveys closing, if enough people in the same demographic that researchers are looking for have submitted enough responses, you might get booted from a survey, seemingly out of nowhere. For instance if a study is looking for an even, 50-50 split of women and men, as a woman, you get disqualified, the survey may still be available to men.

#4) You've Been Disqualified

Getting disqualified sucks, especially with poorly designed surveys that skip qualifying questions. However, even a very well designed survey will boot you if you do not meet the criteria for the study, and then will be prevented from completing the survey. TIP: Complete all 'profiler surveys' available and make sure all information is updated and accurate to qualify for more surveys that match your demographics.

#5) You Triggered a Block

Most survey takers are honest and human, however an industry wide problem is bots and fraudulent info that can muddy data researchers collect. Measures are taken to block these types of users from completing surveys. If you're using form filling software, are using a VPN or other type of proxy, or are rushing along, providing low quality answers on a survey, you might get suddenly blocked from it. TIP: This can turn into a bigger problem and your entire account could be flagged and closed.


Most online surveys will either allow you to complete them without issues or will quickly boot you. There may be times when you still encounter situations where you can't complete for unknown reasons. Hopefully these summarized tips provide some clarity on why you can experience issues, and what you can do about them!

If a survey has closed or has enough responses, there's not much you can do. If you are able to determine when surveys become available (always check emails for updates of new offers and surveys), be sure to try and complete these surveys sooner than later to avoid disappointment. Don't get discouraged and always try multiple offers for better chances.

Always check to see if profiler surveys are complete, or if you have missed any new ones. This will give more important information that could allow you to qualify for more surveys.

Disable any potential browser conflicts. This includes form filling software, ad blockers and VPNs. Most survey websites use automated services to detect this and also have daily monitoring on all users and activity. Although form filling software is good for first registering on websites, it can cause problems completing studies.

When desperately trying to qualify for multiple surveys (eg. saying yes to everything), or are trying to get through a tedious longer survey and are becoming unattentive, you may get flagged by a panel's system. As a survey taker, it's something to be aware of. If you are feeling frustrated, take a break or come back the next day!