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JotForm is a free online form builder which helps you create online forms without writing a single line of code. No sign-up required.

At JotForm, we want to make sure that you’re getting the online form builder help that you need. Our friendly customer support team is available 24/7.

We believe that if one user has a question, there could be more users who may have the same question. This is why many of our support forum threads are public and available to be searched and viewed. If you’d like help immediately, feel free to search for a similar question, or submit your question or concern.

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    Encrypted Form: Data remains encrypted when downloaded on Excel?

    Asked by illinoisvm on July 25, 2015 at 01:07 AM

    When I download my encrypted forms, the data within the form stays encrypted. How do I get the data to export as data and not encrypted data.

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    Answered by Sammy on July 25, 2015 at 05:08 AM

    You will need to upload the private key you had downloaded earlier when enabling form encryption, you are usually prompted to upload this private key when you access you encrypted forms.

    If you had not been prompted kindly clear your browser cache then login again and try to access the encrypted submissions

    Please refer to this guide for pointers on how to do this



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    Answered by illinoisvm on July 26, 2015 at 08:43 PM

    I can view the data unencrypted on JotForm, but when I export as PDF or XLS, I get encrypted data, and there is no way for me to import my key to either Adobe or OpenOffice.

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    Answered by Sammy on July 27, 2015 at 02:09 AM

    Unfortunately the key only works in the jotform environment and cant be used ion adobe or open office.

    I have cleared your forms cache on our end, kindly try login in to your account and export the data again.

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    Answered by illinoisvm on August 02, 2015 at 12:55 AM

    Data is still encrypted. I also am experiencing another issue where I am not getting notifications when forms are filled out.

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    Answered by Sammy on August 02, 2015 at 02:03 AM

    Were you given the option to upload the key when you were viewing the form submissions? you should receive a prompt to upload you key file. Kindly try again and let us know of the outcome

    Regarding the emails we were experiencing an issue with our mailing provider (Amazon SES), this has been resolved, kindly try submitting a test submissions

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    Answered by illinoisvm on August 05, 2015 at 09:38 PM

    I have my key, and pointed JotForm to its location when asked, but all data is still encrypted upon download.

    Email is working now.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by EltonCris on August 06, 2015 at 12:08 AM


    Thanks for reply.

    I have raised this thread to our developers so they can provide insights about this. This could be a bug or maybe intentional since encrypted data are only viewable within Jotform boundary. Anyways, you will receive updates via this thread once they're available.


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    Answered by illinoisvm on September 23, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    Any movement on this?

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    Answered by alp_deniz on September 24, 2015 at 12:15 AM


    Apologies for my colleagues' incorrect explanation of the situation here. 

    Encrypted forms cannot be exported as PDF, Excel or CSV, since it is mathematically impossible for neither our software nor us to decrypt the submissions without the private key. To correct further, your key is never uploaded anywhere, it is only loaded into your browser for client-side decryption.

    However, I see that this feature is very much required so I will add this as a feature request. It might be possible to provide a solution to it via either a HTML/Grid report or a post-processed CSV file.

    Kind regards


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    Answered by illinoisvm on October 22, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    Excellent. It would ease our process of keeping track of members while maintaining the peace of mind that their information is secure.

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    Answered by TSMDave on October 30, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    alp_deniz - this is something that would be supremely useful for us. I've had several thousand form submissions before I realized that it was setup to view only one-at-a-time, and it's becoming a major problem. 

    That being said, it looks like the JSEncryptExports.js script could be extended to parse out a CSV of the decrypted contents locally, just like it does on the screen. Is there any way that could be worked into the mix? I've really got to find another way around this. Thanks!

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    Answered by ULHS on March 04, 2016 at 09:13 AM

    Did this get fixed? We need this urgently. 

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    JotForm Developer

    Answered by mert on March 04, 2016 at 09:59 AM

    Unfortunately, there is no update for this one. When there is an update about this issue, you will be informed from this thread through email. Currently, I renewed the ticket, so our developer will come with the answers.


    Thank you for your understanding.

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    Answered by pattissimon on March 09, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    I also need this same solution. Hope to see something soon.

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    Answered by pattissimon on March 16, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    Any update?

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Chriistian on March 16, 2016 at 02:10 AM

    There is currently no update for this request. Rest assured we will let you know from this thread if there are any news from our developer.



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    Answered by owazestr on June 01, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    I am looking for this export of encrypted data feature also,  I am replying here to hopefully be subscribed to this forum thread.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on June 01, 2016 at 12:52 PM


    With your response on this thread, you are also subscribed to the thread. You should be also receiving an email with any update we have in this regard.

    Thank you! 

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    Answered by swalker286 on June 06, 2016 at 03:47 PM

    Need this also...


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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on June 06, 2016 at 04:52 PM


    Thank you for upvoting the feature request. You'll be posted on the thread once we have any update in this regard.


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    Answered by edw266 on July 01, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    I need the feature as well. I am running a large nationwide survey and need this feature or else I will have to switch to another provider--survey monkey, for example. I'm in the early stages so need to know soon. Re-coding all of these surveys is not a solution.
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    JotForm Support

    Answered by EltonCris on July 01, 2016 at 11:52 PM


    As mentioned by our developer, this isn't possible for implementation. However, there may be ways to retrieve decrypted data through table or grid reports. This isn't yet implemented so I have opened a separate feature request for your thread here https://www.jotform.com/answers/874437. We will update you on that thread once this is implemented.

    Thank you!

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    Answered by bashpros on October 24, 2016 at 08:21 PM


    Upon looking at your method for downloading Excel/CSV/PDF, it looks like your PHP code is generating the files.  I would recommend moving that to a client-side using a plugin such as the following:

    There are plugins for CSV/PDF that do just the same.

    Without doing this, you are making encryption difficult, borderline impossible for anyone who doesn't have the expertise to do it manually.

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    Answered by didst2 on October 30, 2016 at 02:12 PM

    I have the same problem.  I can view the submission in JotForm because it has my key, so why can't it unencrypted while downloading to excel or csv. Seems like this should not be hard to to since Jotform already shows it to me unencrypted in the Submissions window.
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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Jan on October 30, 2016 at 04:06 PM


    I created a separate thread for your issue. Please refer to this URL: https://www.jotform.com/answers/975813

    Thank you.

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    Answered by John  on November 07, 2016 at 11:05 AM


    Mathematically impossible? You talk as if creating CSV files browser-side is not possible. It is.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on November 07, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    I think he is referring to the possibility of decrypting the encrypted submissions to export. Since the private key is not stored anywhere in the server and it is provided only to you as a download option when the encryption is turned on. 

    Your response has been received by @alp_deniz and you'll be receiving an update if there is any other information in this regard.

    Thank you! 

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    Answered by GearBuilders on June 13, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    For what it's worth, while I don't know about Excel downloads, the form data does remain unencrypted when "printed" from the Inbox to a PDF or similar via the Print button in the form's Inbox. This is a 1-by-1 process, so probably too slow for a large database like yours, @TSMDave, it is at least a workaround in the meantime.