[Solved] Why is my SPSS zip download empty (there is survey data in the survey, and it worked last week)?


I’m testing a survey due to go to field tomorrow. For some reason the SPSS export is downloading empty.

I did a test download last week and it was fine. In between now and then I have renamed all the variables so that the download is more easy to use. It still worked when I had renamed some of the variables, but I hadn’t tried since I updated all of them. The exports from last week still work fine when I download them. 

Any ideas what might be happening?


Will Victor309127 asked

    Best answer

    Lola Gill 6.97K Rep.

    In my experience an empty zip file in SPSS usually points to invalid characters within the variable names – that is where I would start troubleshooting.

    One common cause is having a variable name that starts with a number, I know variables names that start with a number are not compatible with SPSS.

    Here is a link to some FAQs on SPSS:


    I hope this helps!

    Lola Gill answered


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