How to Save Forms to Continue Later

Last Update: October 20, 2013

Got Lots of Form Pages? Make JotForm Save Submissions on Each Page. Let's say that you have a survey which includes over 10 pages. Your user starts to fill out your forms but suddenly something happens, maybe the computer shuts down or the user has an urgent call and closes your form without submitting it. It is possible to prevent this, JotForm has an amazing feature that saves the forms for each unique user and for each page the form is filled. That way your users will be able to continue to fill out your forms whenever they are available. But, the tricky part is you have to keep a session id. 

Note: This method requires Page Break in order for it to work and as a matter of fact our session system will not be able to handle a large amount of records in drop down menus. So please be aware of it, before to implement this method.

1. Create a form to get name and e-mail. On the title, explain the user why this is necessary. This will be referred as the first form from now on.

First Form Example:

2. Create another form that they will be redirected to. This will be referred as the main form from now on.

Main Form Example:

** By the way, did you notice that our page break buttons’ text are both editable? Select the page break form. Then, from the top toolbar select the button to edit the text of the button. **

3. When main form is finished click “Preview” and then click “Open in new tab” button.

4. On the new tab copy the Form URL.


5. Close the tab and go to “My Forms” menu and click “Edit”  on the first form you created.

6. On your first form go to “Email Alerts” and click “Add new email” button.

7. Select the “Autoresponder Email” and click “Next

8. Enter your name and e-mail. Recipient E-mail field should be related with the E-mail form on your form. So it should be E-mail by default. If it is not selected please select E-mail. Click Next.

9. Erase all the data in the text area and write something meaningful for the user. Because this will be sent to his/her email.

10. Copy the Form URL that you have from your main form and at the end of the URL add a question mark “?”, after the question mark write “session”, next to it add the equals “=” sign and click E-mail on the form fields. So far your URL should look like this:

Example: http://www.jotform.com/form/1234567890123?session={email3}

After you have written “?session=” select E-mail from the right corner of the page which is in “Form Fields”. You can also hyperlink it using the formatting toolbar above.

11. Click Finish and save the form.

We've covered the part where our main form will be emailed to our users when they submit their names and e-mail addresses. They will be able to complete their forms whenever they want from their e-mails. However, we also need to do a redirect page after they have submitted the first form.

12. At the first form go to “Setup & Embed” tab and click “Thank You”, select Thank you message and enter the same URL you created on the autoresponder message.

DEMO: http://form.jotform.co/form/32927314628862

If you any questions or difficulties with any of the steps above, please post a comments below.

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42 Comments...

alysyncurd - August 30, 2011 at 10:39 AM    

That was quite helpful. I haven't tested it yet though.

Is there a way to customize the name of the recipient inside the "Thank You/Redirect" form?

Please let me know if possible...anybody?
e-mail me @:

alysynknowsnet@gmail.com

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ResAdmin - September 05, 2011 at 09:46 AM    

I will give this a try.

How is this better / different from using {edit_link}

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Astroskidder - September 05, 2011 at 05:42 PM    

This works well, but it does not seem to save any of the Radio Button inputs?

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ownerlistedhome - September 06, 2011 at 01:18 AM    

If the user completes the form and then decides to make change to his or her answers at a later date will you be sent an e-mail notification that changes have been made?

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englipediaES - September 07, 2011 at 03:04 AM    

Two things:

NUMBER ONE: Bug? I think I might have found a bug with the Saving Form function you outlined above, and might I add the explanation was easy to follow.

Let me first explain how I understand this feature. Each time the the 'back' or 'Save & Go to Next Page' buttons are pressed, the form is saved? Correct?

Now, here's the problem I'm seeing, the File Upload function looks to be working but doesn't work 100% of the time and the following is when it doesn't work.

Usually, a file is something that is slotted last on a form, so right after you upload it, you click the Submit button. However, with this Save Form option you've laid out, the file isn't sent.

Let me better explain. Let's say I upload a file and then push either the 'back' or 'Save and Go to Next Page' button.

Then, I close out the window. By pushing one of these two buttons, I've saved everything I've entered into the form, and from the looks of it, it LOOKS like I've saved the uploaded document as well.

Okay, so I go over to my email address and retrieve the URL of the form and open it back up. Go to the page that contains the uploaded document, and the link to the document is still there, too, or a small thumbnail if you have chosen to upload an image.

However, when you hit the Submit button, the document isn't sent along with the form, only the text is sent.

Bug???

NUMBER TWO: While this Save Form feature is cool for people submitting forms, the people receiving these forms receive two emails: 1.) When the submitter completes the first page of the form, and 2.)When the submitter actually send you the completed form.

Is it possible to not receive the first notification?

---------------------------

Here's a link to my form. It's bare bones but it's set up just like you explained above: http://www.jotform.com/form/12491925242 (if you do check out my form, please note that I haven't redirected the Thank You page to any URL yet.)

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virgy - September 07, 2011 at 06:27 AM    

quando creo un modulo e lo salvo , come faccio a crearne un'altro senza che si modifichi il precedente ???

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virgy - September 07, 2011 at 06:29 AM    

quando creo un modulo e lo salvo, come Faccio uno crearne un'altro Senza Che SI modifichi il precedente??
scusate ma pima si e' inserita la parola stati uniti in automatico .-)

cchl - November 23, 2011 at 01:15 PM    

Yeah this did not save my answer after I clicked Save and Finish the Form button. I'm still confused.

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dittaeva - December 09, 2011 at 10:16 AM    

I have three issues with this:

1. Why not redirect directly to main form (with session ID) after submission of first form?
2. How do I know the name, and e-mail of the submitters of the main form without asking them for that information again? Doesn't look like it's possible, but if session id was saved to the response it would be easy enough. Another way to make it work could be to trigger sending of e-mail trough button (next).

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dittaeva - December 09, 2011 at 11:18 AM    

Instead of this solution I think I'm going for:
one form, with;
1. a submit button named something like "send e-mail with edit submission link" (my form is in Norwegian) and explaining text, after questions from first form. Which will take the respondent to:
2. a thank you page with link to edit submission (see http://www.jotform.com/help/96-How-to-Make-a-Clickable-Edit-Link), and
3. send thank you e-mail with edit link.

The challenge is to explain things so that the repspondent does not get confused when seeing the thank you page twice, and with an edit link. Luckily the thank you e-mail seems to be only sent once.

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dittaeva - December 09, 2011 at 11:34 AM    

Oups, my above "solution" isn't solving much since it does not save to the original submission when turning pages, so you still need the session id-link. I guess the thank you e-mail could provide both, though....

You really should do something about this....

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mservice - January 31, 2012 at 04:49 AM    

My main form: http://www.jotform.com/form/20225407335 located here: http://mservicegroup.com/app
works flawlessly with only collapsable sections and no page breaks. Great!

BUT the problem is I've followed the above instructions precisely but the Page Breaks cause entire collapsable sections to permanently disappear entirely, AND the Next/Save button does not function except to validate the form, which is unwanted.

I have to make the form savable, hence I'm on this guide page.
(Users complained that their form lost all of their many form answers if they accidentally navigated away or pressed the wrong button).

My confirmation link (saved form link) is: https://www.jotform.com/form.php?formID=20225407335?sid=chaseholden@gmail.com (for my example) and each section 1-9 are numbered.

Form opens with missing sections despite them all being visible. Pressing the first and only Next/Save button does not work, ie doesn't save. Attempting to revisit the page for editing also fails at: https://www.jotform.com/form.php?formID=20225407335?sid=chaseholden@gmail.com&mode=edit despite the first 2 sections having been saved by using the Page Break button.

Please Please Help!
Why is this peculiar behavior happening?

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velocepublishing - February 06, 2012 at 06:19 AM    

I'm creating a form with multiple pages. I've created four 'form' pages, and one 'login' page.

Following the steps above, I can get everything to work for the first two pages (login and page 1), but when trying to create the email for subsequent pages, the option to insert 'E-mail' for recipient email isn't available – only fields on that particular form.

How can I create a form with more than two pages? (A single page form that I tested didn't save the input data).

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cgarrity - February 28, 2012 at 03:24 PM    

Is it possible to use a field other than email for the session? For example a unique identifier that was provided to each respondent prior to filling out the form.

In this case I would have three fields on the first form:
Name
E-mail
UniqueId

Then I would use {uniqueId} for the session= instead of the email field - should this work?

I tried this, but when I clicked the link from the autorespond email I didn't see any of the data I had already entered.

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ChloeBear - May 19, 2012 at 07:34 AM    

Hi,

Is it possible to pre populate an email field in the main form using the email entered in the first form?

ywamharpenden - May 25, 2012 at 07:19 AM    

I was just wondering can we not just use the redirect to a custom url?

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ywamharpenden - May 25, 2012 at 09:51 AM    

I've just found a bug.

I have a section using a matrix and allowing the user to input data into the table. When I save it and then go to continue the form the data inputted into the table is lost.

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tower59 - May 29, 2012 at 06:47 AM    

I am wondering about the security of this. If the form contains sensitive information, could someone access the session by guessing who a respondent might be and entering jotform...?session=example@bigcompany.com?
Also, if the form is embedded in my site, is it possible to link the user to my site rather than to jotform directly? Thanks.

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miamicrepes - July 09, 2012 at 12:02 AM    

1-What about creating an account for repeat customers?

2-What if a customer wants to change an order such as start time and date? I'm a caterer

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miamicrepes - July 09, 2012 at 12:18 AM    

I found the article about updating form submission via auto responder email

I still am wondering about a customer creating an account. Can they create a username and password?

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masglobal - July 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM    

So far so good... I am almost done with creating this.

Quick question, I need all forms to be secure. Do I add https:// to the thank you and auto responder or change the address to the secure.jotform one?

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weightwins - November 29, 2012 at 06:51 AM    

Do you have an idea as to how many dropdown menus 'a large amount' is? I use quite a few because I need to ask people what their height and weight is - but I need to use metric and imperial, which means I have about 7 fields, of which half are hidden.

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tower59 - December 04, 2012 at 10:34 PM    

When a user hits "save and go to next", they get dropped in the middle or the bottom of the next page. Is there a way to add an automatic back to top when the next or previous page loads?

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regional - January 09, 2013 at 11:00 AM    

Is there a limit to how many text, drop downs, checks, and radio buttons you can have on the main form before it becomes too complicated to save and return to? Are their any restrictions or complications that can occur with a "heavy" form?

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aliaswave - January 12, 2013 at 06:42 PM    

Can you use different url?

Since mine is embedded in wordpress it goes to a full page browser window instead of page in which the form is embedded?

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AdminHAPPY - January 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM    

We are wanting to embed our checklists in to the Google Sites, we prefer our clients didn't have to enter their name & email address everytime before completing the form as it is an extra step - whilst necessary for jotform, unnecessary for user in this case as in they will be in their own portal site and will have signed in for that. Is there anything on the horizon to develop this method of Saving Forms to Continue Later?? I see other form builders can do it so guess it can be done. Would be good to know if on agenda for development???

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WCSPC - February 28, 2013 at 07:20 PM    

This is a great explanation and the main form is saving info for a further session. My problem is that the autoresponder email is not being received at the email address given.

Can you tell me why this may happen please?

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bscsigns - March 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM    

I am planning to use this for internal field work, I noticed that if i complete the form once than go through the process again, it pops up the form i did previously, is there a way to allow one email address to access multiple variations of the same form?

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Mike Figueroa - April 08, 2013 at 01:26 AM    

Why has this been deprecated? Is it still usable? Is there a replacement coming?

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socraticus - May 21, 2013 at 04:06 AM    

I have created 2 forms.
First form (http://www.jotform.com/?formID=31396271951357) and main form (http://www.jotform.com/?formID=31395192399364).
Unfortunately Main form did not save my answer after I clicked Save and Finish the Form button.
Can you tell me why?
Thanks

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notforprofitins - December 12, 2013 at 08:52 PM    

can I make the link on the thank you page clickable?

Can I somehow automatically forward the person to the new form?

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Alain - December 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM    

If I'm using an iframe the changes are not recorded. pe:

If I'm using directly the link "http://form.jotformeu.com/form/33434524664354?session=lassalle@free.fr" it works fine!
How do you explain that? What I have to do? Thanks

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BJ2 - March 02, 2014 at 11:34 AM    

HELP!!!

I did my best to follow your instructions above, however, whenever I fill up the "first form" and go to main form link, the data from first form were NOT shown on the main form...I am really confused how to set it up properly.

This is my sample first form.
http://form.jotform.me/form/40604171058447

Moreover, there's no "population bar" or completion bar above...

if you can, please, kindly fix my forms...

I will wait for your kind reply.
Thank you so much in advance!!!

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Mariag73 - May 08, 2014 at 02:39 PM    

Hi, created two forms and ran a test. Here's the link http://form.jotformpro.com/form/41275078362961

Can't seem to get inputs to save to the main form. As the administrator, I could see Submissions had all saved the inputted data, but when I went back to the form using the edit link as a survey user, the main form i had filled out looked blank when I returned to it. Why can't the survey user see what they put in previously like the admin can? Can you help me figure out what I did wrong? Thanks

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Mariag73 - May 08, 2014 at 03:22 PM    

okay, i got the main survey form to save data, but not uploaded forms. They were submitted, by do not show up as attached when user returns to continue work on their survey - it looks as if nothing had been attached.

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scsoforms - May 20, 2014 at 02:58 PM    

I can not seem to get my form to auto save information. Any help would be appreciated. I have done all the above multiple times. The link below is to the first form.


http://form.jotform.us/form/41395790094159?

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sorglenda - June 18, 2014 at 07:47 PM    

How do you paste name and e-mail from the first form to the main form?
Is there a way to use more than one condition? For example, go to the main form compatible with the e-mail and a month of the year. Of course, the first and main form have both questions.

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eduantony - July 17, 2014 at 06:18 PM    

Olá , estou realizando este tutorial, mas nã esta dando certo as informações não estão sendo salva no formulario para edição posterior e os campos preenchidos estão abrindo em branco.

http://www.jotform.com//?formID=41976350755665

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Hi