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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.

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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 Forms: Decrypt submission data with no key?

    Asked by JKOlsen on August 31, 2016 at 03:45 PM
    I have business information that I can't recover at this time.  I think JotForm has not done well with letting users know about this - I thought the encryption was something JotForm was defaulting to and don't recall seeing anything about the Encryption Key being stored on my computer.  Very disappointed in JotForm at this time.

    The more I'm looking at the screen, the more certain I am that I NEVER saw the option of creating my own, downloading, etc when I created the most recent forms. I NEVER saw anything about saving it on my computer. 

    Also I'm a Mac user and I don't see any info about where this key might be found in my OS.


    BTW searching for a '.key' file in mac brings up every keynote file.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on August 31, 2016 at 04:06 PM

    We are sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused. Please be noted that the Form encryption is not enabled by default on any account. However, we have an option to enable it in the account settings so that you can create the form with default encryption.

    You'll be prompted to download/create a private key to the form when the Form encryption is enabled and generally the key downloaded will be having jotform.key which will be downloaded the PC's default download directory. If you do not have the key, you may try searching for jotform.key.

    We request you to go through the guide below that can help you with more information using Encrypted forms.


    Please get back to us if you need any further assistance. We will be happy to assist. 

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    Answered by JKOlsen on August 31, 2016 at 09:12 PM

    No, that isn't satisfying at all.  I NEVER saw a popup indicating I needed to download/create a key. These forms originally go back more than a year as I created duplicate forms then renamed them for this year.  I have two macs with time machine backups  on both and I do not find a file jotform.key  anywhere on either computer and I have backups going back several months.  I have a number of really important encrypted forms that I cannot access.  I need help with this.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by jonathan on August 31, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    We understand your frustration on this. It is known that once the private key to remove the form encryption is lost, it will be very difficult or near impossible to recover the form data that were encrypted.

    But as already mentioned by our colleague, the Encryption option is not ON by default on accounts and forms. It is only an available option.

    If you checked in your My Account data page, it is not enabled for the account by default.



    And to enable it on a form, you will have to manually enable it also in Settings/Preferences of the individual form.


    Can you please tell us the URL of your encrypted form that was affected.

    I'll try ask help from the higher team support if there is a way for them to remove/disable the encryption on your form that you need the data.

    Please understand that I cannot promise you daylight here. We'll see how it goes once we identify which of your form it is.


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    Answered by JKOlsen on September 01, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Hi Jonathan I truly appreciate whatever assistance you can provide.  I am sure I turned on encryption inadvertently without realizing the ramifications, but am completely distressed that I can't locate any download that may have occurred.  I have no idea how I might have missed any popup indicating I had to do a download or set a key. I recall I wanted to have this company data secured so undoubtedly did tick the encryption option. I do all the computer work for this program and have always been on top of things like this so I'm feeling pretty depressed right now for not foreseeing how this could go.

    I was testing out an alternate browser at the time (Opera) and I'm not sure if that could have had any effect on the issue.  FWIW I am back to Chrome now.

    The files are https://www.jotform.com//?formID=61024740484956 and https://www.jotform.com//?formID=61024933160951 

    Can I remove the encryption for future submissions or will that cause an additional set of issues at this point?


    Thank you for all your assistance.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Charlie on September 01, 2016 at 02:42 PM

    You can disable the Encryption, it won't affect the old submissions that were previously encrypted. The change on the encryption feature will apply on new submissions only.

    I have forwarded the concern about the decrypting of the data on form 61024740484956 and 61024933160951. Unfortunately, as mentioned in this guide, we do not store a copy of your encryption key, it will only be available for you to use, so with this we cannot guarantee that the back-end team can descrypt your submission data.

    We will update you on this thread as soon as we hear any news. Apologies for the inconvenience.

    Apologies for the inconvenience.

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    Answered by JKOlsen on September 12, 2016 at 03:21 PM

    Charlie...checking in with you if there is any progress....



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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kevin_G on September 12, 2016 at 06:15 PM

    Unfortunately, we have not received any news from our second level, I will ask to the assigned developer and will let you know if there is any update. 

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    Answered by JKOlsen on September 12, 2016 at 06:17 PM

    Ok well we need the data so we have sent out a new request to our responders asking them to resubmit.  Not sure what else to do at this point unless something is available now. But thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kevin_G on September 12, 2016 at 07:24 PM

    I understand and we do apologize for the inconvenient. 

    I have already asked for details, we should wait for an answer to get more  details about this, I have also checked your forms and I can see the encryption feature is currently turned off so new submissions should not be encrypted. 

    We will update you as soon as possible. 


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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on September 21, 2016 at 01:59 PM

    It seems that your response is not posted on this thread. However, I see that you are checking for any updates on this issue. However, unfortunately, there are no updates in this regard yet. You'll be posted here if we have any update from our backend team. 

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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    Answered by JKOlsen on September 26, 2016 at 03:53 PM

    We need to have the info this week or we have to go back to all of our businesses to redo the info they sent.



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    JotForm Support

    Answered by Kiran on September 26, 2016 at 05:09 PM

    We are very sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Your message has reached our backend team and they'll be responding once they have any useful information in this regard.