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Deprecated: How to Save Forms and Continue Later

Deprecated: How to Save Forms and Continue Later

This two form method of saving and continue later is deprecated: We have now merged this feature with the auto-fill function in the form settings. You may now enable the option 'Continue Forms Later' in the form settings which shall display the Save button on the form. You may also copy/email the session link directly after clicking on Save button.




Got lots of form pages? Make JotForm save submissions on each page. Let's say 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 had an urgent call and closes your form without submitting it. To avoid losing progress, JotForm has an amazing feature that saves the form for each unique user. This way, your users can continue to fill out your forms whenever they are available. But, the tricky part is you have to keep a SESSION ID.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This method requires two forms and PAGE BREAKS in order for it to work. Submission sessions that have been pending more than 3 months are being automatically deleted. So please be aware of it, before you implement this method.

This is not applicable for Card Form users. If you're using the new Cards Layout, follow this guide instead.

You need to create two forms:

FORM 1 (FIRST FORM): The first form where the user will need to fill out the name and email field. The SESSION URL will be created here and we will use the email field as the SESSION ID.

FORM 2 (MAIN FORM): This is the main form where all the necessary and important fields will be collected. The main form needs to have PAGE BREAKS. Please also note that the progress on each page will only be saved when the NEXT and BACK buttons are clicked.

STEP 1. Create a form to get the NAME and EMAIL. This will be referred to as the FIRST FORM from now on.

FIRST FORM example:

STEP 2. Create another form where they will be redirected to. This will be referred to as the MAIN FORM from now on, which will contain the PAGE BREAKS.

MAIN FORM example:

A. You can change the BACK and NEXT button labels by clicking the GEAR icon for each PAGE BREAK then change the text from the GENERAL tab.

B. You can choose from a variety of BUTTON STYLES.

C. You can also change the VISIBILITY of each button. This option is under the ADVANCED tab.

STEP 3. When the MAIN FORM is finished, click PREVIEW FORM at the top right.

STEP 4. Copy the FORM URL. Here's the PREVIEW window where you can copy the FORM URL.

STEP 5. Turn off the preview mode and go back to your MY FORMS page by clicking on the JotForm logo.

STEP 6. On the MY FORMS page, click the FIRST FORM then EDIT FORM.

STEP 7. On your FIRST FORM, create an AUTORESPONDER, that will be sent to the form submitter. Head over to this guide if you don't know how, then jump back here as soon as you're finished.

STEP 8. On the EMAIL tab of your AUTORESPONDER, erase everything in the EMAIL CONTENT area and write something meaningful for the user because this will be sent to his/her email.

STEP 9. Paste the MAIN FORM's URL here (the one you copied from STEP 4). At the end of the URL, add the following "?session=" (without the quotes). While your mouse cursor is right beside the equal sign, click FORM FIELDS > then the EMAIL field to place the Unique Name of the email field at the end of the URL. Afterwards, it should look something like this:

https://www.jotform.com/XXXXXXXXXXXX?session={email}

(where XXXXXXXXXXXX is the form ID and {email} is the email field's unique name)

STEP 10. Then format the URL as a clickable link using the toolbar above. Highlight or select the custom form session URL, copy it, then click the INSERT LINK icon. Paste the URL then hit OK.

STEP 11. Don't forget to click the SAVE button to save your changes.

STEPS 8 to 11 can be summed up on the screencast below.


We've covered the part where our MAIN FORM session URL will be emailed to our users when they submit the FIRST FORM. They can now complete their forms whenever they want from their e-mail. However, it's worth mentioning that you should also do these on the THANK YOU PAGE.

STEP 12. On your FIRST FORM, click SETTINGS at the top, then THANK YOU PAGE on the left.

You will then be navigated to this part where you can edit the thank you message of your form. In my case, I will compose the same message I have in the AUTORESPONDER and tell the user to use the SESSION URL to continue to the MAIN FORM.

DEMO: https://form.jotform.com/60873864629975

If you would like to pass the name and email field from the FIRST FORM to the MAIN FORM, that is easy as well. Follow the guide on Prepopulating Fields to your JotForm via URL Parameters to learn more on how to setup the URL parameters.

In our example, to pass the name and email we would add &name={name}&email={email} at the end of the URL:

https://www.jotform.com/XXXXXXXXXXXX?session={email}&name={name}&email={email}

As you can see, we still need to include the session parameter and only appended the name and email parameters.

Comments and suggestions are welcome below. If you have a question, post it in our Support Forum so we can assist you.

Contact Support:
Our customer support team is available 24/7 and our average response time is between one to two hours.
Our team can be contacted via:
Contact JotForm Support: https://www.jotform.com/contact/

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  • HuttonSafetyGroup

    If we have to make an edit to a field question, but someone has an incomplete submission in limbo, will it erase any of their data if we make that edit?

  • iasonas

    Hi,

    The form refreshes without warning and I lose all the info. i complete the form through JotForm app. What should I do? This is happening 1 year now! I have created new form and the issue persists.

  • bharti.singh85

    Sir,

    Can you provide the solution for save and fill later function in asp.net c#.

  • kpirani

    Hello, instead of the email being the session ID, can I have my client enter in a purchase order #?

  • Western_Shield

    Hi I am using the older method of creating user details in one form and then it sends a link to the second form to enable saving for later, but a client has just told me it is no longer saving the details. I tested it myself and the Thank you pop up message has changed and the link doesnt show the svaed details. Can you explain why this may have happened this is the link to the client user details form:
    https://form.jotform.co/93070062448858

  • gjohnsonhub

    Hello, I think I've followed the steps accordingly, however whenever I fill out the form and click "next" no information actually saves, despite a "saving" icon showing up. Can I get some input as to why the information isn't saving?

    https://form.jotform.com/200614080869051

    Best,

  • UWSECT

    Sorry if this is duplicated as there is no way to search the 146 comments below. So this instructional on two forms is depracated but now there is now instructional on "Continue Form Later" for single form (not cards). There is a separate cards instructional. What I'm lost on is WHO receives the email to save and continue later. Can you make the email someone that's not the JotForm account user and instead the client completing the form?

  • emmtey

    Hi, following this process, does it mean, that receiving one result from the customer who was filling and submitting the form (resp. the 2 forms) will count as 2 form submissions in total, regarding the total possible form transmission according per month of the plans (1.000 bronze, 10.000 silver, etc.)?

  • DarwinArtFair

    Has this work-around now been completely disabled as well as depreciated? Strange things have happened to our 'save and continue' process as of 19/02/2020.

  • shamckinnon

    I tried the steps above and it worked well but I am stilling having an issue. My main question is:
    Can the same form be filled out by the same person multiple times without erasing their data?

    Sample Scenario: Tanya fills out the "First Form" (to get the session ID) and then clicks on my form "Main Form" (the type of form I created is a planning form - the save features helps my clients to save and continue their input later before submitting). Tanya completes 3 out of 5 pages but decides to save and continue later. She gets the link to where she left off at through her email. In the meanwhile, Tanya then decides to fill out the same form with new information because she has a new event to plan (she repeats the steps as she did the first time and saves the form).

    When Tanya goes back to the first form, the information from the second form is there instead, so all the information she had put in the first form is gone.

    Added Question: Is there a way to create separate sessions so this form can be filled out separately with new data and not connected? Or that there is a unique URL all the time? or is it a URL problem? I used this format to try to make the URL link unique: ?session={unitID}{name} but it is still doing the same thing (erasing the previous information).

    The purpose of my clients saving their info is so that they could go back to that their form without any detail they put being erased regardless if they filled out the same form with new information.


    Thanks

  • S_Health

    I have successfuly followed the instructions here, however, I only want the autorespondent to send the session ID link to complete the (main) form if the form is started, but not completed.

    Is there a way to work autoresponses under this scenario?

  • SportQuest

    I did everything exactly as directed in this article but it does not work. When I click the link to my "saved" session, all I get is a blank form. My work has not been saved. There's got to be an easier way for people to do this!

  • pritam

    I would like to have save and continue functionality to work for my forms. I have added `session={unique_id}` in the url of the form (`https://form.jotform.com/${this.formId}?session=${this.jotformSessionId}&profileid=${this.profileId}`) Do i also need to make settings like
    Enabled for Save & Continue Later for the form?

  • Western_Shield

    Hi, I've set up my two forms with the first populating the second with the applicant's name and email so that users can save their form part of the way through the 8 pages of form2. However I don't want the user to be linked with their name or email as many users will need to fill out the same form for different applications.

    To address this I added an unique ID to the first form hoping that the unique ID would solve this issue and used this as the session URL both from the thankyou page and the responder email. But alas it still seems the form continues to be linked with their name and/or email and when they go to fill a second application in they get all the same details added from their first application.

    I perhaps am missing a step? I don't have a field for the matching unique number on my second form - perhaps this needs to be done? But I couldn't find any threads that discussed this? Any thoughts?

    Thanks

  • kristinrohrer

    I cannot figure out how to get the Name + Email to autopopulate in the 'main form' based on the entry in 'first form'

  • tallerservimanpa


    Can I save several fillings? Or is it only allowed to save one per form?

  • rkneberg

    Wow this looks (not) super easy. Just build an additional form, do some coding, etc...

  • homefromhomeireland

    The link is not working correctly for me, I have followed all the instructions but when they click on the link in the autoresponder it just brings them to the JotForm website, not the main form. How can I fix this?

  • mikvineyard

    This didn't work the way I wanted it to. It is an app so there is a single link to login. I want the client to be able to use that link to re-login and see the info they put in last time. I did everything suggested and it didn't work when I tried to log back in from the original link again.
    I think there needs to be a create account or something. I don't know, but it's not working.

    https://form.jotform.com/92587938863176

  • iEHR

    sorry i am not following your suggestions as i am not a techy person
    i designed this and was working fine, the glitches came in when i had to edit something and add a few extra content with the changes in our industry
    Why is it so glitchy now compared to before

    i am not redoing the entire form, just need to get the glitches out which didnt exist before.
    Do i have to fine a different form maker ?

  • AZEdFoundation

    I tried to pass the information from one form to the other, but it kept getting stuck on what I used in the tests. In order to stop that, I deleted and rebuilt the fields with identical names. After doing that, it would populate the field when the window opened, but quickly delete the contents of the field.

  • akaloydis

    Thanks! I'll try it out and let you know if I have any questions.

  • jselner123

    Is it possible to do this with a HIPAA Jotform account, with HIPAA enabled fields in the forms?

  • fcis

    So I ended up doing the "First Form" option for users to receive a personal link to complete the form at their leisure. It works for most people, but I have one person who keeps losing the work that she started. Can you help? Is there a limit to how many times they can go back to that link?

  • ADAscout

    This works great but you can't go back and edit once the form has been submitted. How can a user go back and edit a form after the submit button was hit?

  • FoodCloudForms

    Hello,
    I am trying to create a survey that will save the responses automatically after every page so that their responses are not lost. I am pretty sure that is not what these instructions explain. How do I make a survey that has a "save for later" option or "save and continue at a later date" where they can use the same link to pick up where they left off without sending them an email every time there is a new page. please help

  • KerstinEriksson

    It does'nt save the questions where the the answer is to be given through a dropdown, am I doing something worng or is this just the case?

  • Yoursimplewebsite

    The example that you've sent to me works as I want it to.

    But steps 7 - 11 are all about creating an email the will be sent to the person filling out the form.
    Step 8 says "write something meaningful for the user because this will be sent to his/her email.", and
    step 11 says "We've covered the part where our MAIN FORM session URL will be emailed to our users when they submit the FIRST FORM. They can now complete their forms whenever they want from their e-mail."

    None of this matches the operation of the example that you sent to me - no email is involved in that example. I don't see how this procedure links the two forms to work as they do in the example that you have given to me.

  • Yoursimplewebsite

    I understand from these instruction that, in order for a client to save the form content by using the Back and Next buttons, they will have to complete the form in an email, rather than in a form embedded in my web page; is that correct?

  • matthewdavid

    I read above that a session is kept open for about 3 months after a user starts the form, does the session close once the user clicks on the submit button?

  • Mark Smith

    I created a form with multiple pages. I want users to be able to return to the form and work on it. I created a starter form.
    https://form.jotform.com/83462967927171

    Only problem I have is that pages on the main form are only saved if all required fields on the page are completed. I began this as a clone of a form that worked ok last year. Users had to complete all required fields on the first page, but after that any data on any page was saved, even if all required fields were not completed.

  • marxmyth

    Oh please find a way to simplify this. Adobe Forms Central had a very easy way for users to return to forms. Surely JotForms can do this too.

    Why not a widget that sends a session ID to the user in an email.

    I've used your method for a number of years, but I'm always afraid I'll make a simple mistake and applicants will lose their data.

    No need to write me back. This is just my yearly suggestion about how to make a very good product great.

  • cel_rod

    How do I integrate both forms in Wordpress.

  • Kalpana

    When students are attending IIT online exam suddenly if the power goes off all the answers selected is lost. The answers should be retrieved and the exam should be continued. Is there any possibility? Pls let me know

  • Elissa

    I am needing the forms to be linked with something other than an email. As multiple forms will be filled out by the same person (i.e same email address)

    I created an additional field called Unit ID. So they could enter a unique ID for each session. But this doesn't seem to be working. I tested it with three random ID's 555, 3430, 2222

    and I then partially filled out one form and closed it down, now no matter what email I return to the info is the same prefilled data. Is there a way to create separate sessions so this form can be filled out separately based on the Unit ID?

    Thanks

  • sharmilaburman

    Hi,
    I actually wanted to know whether this feature is there in jotform where if I have a form of 10 pages and after filling 5 forms I close the form accidently. So next time when I open the link, the 6th form should be visible and not the first form again.
    Is this possible in jotform.

  • Robert

    Will this method work on a web page where I have pasted the necessary JotForm code?

  • Victor Dane

    Hi,
    I am looking to create a form which will require a user to fill portion of it, then when submitted to go to another user to fill portion of the same form then when submitted by the 2nd user to be send to 3rd user who will complete the form.





  • visasguadalajara

    Thank you for this post, it is working great. I do have one question:

    I have placed a RANDOM VALUE GENERATOR WIDGET at the beginning of the second form and I ask the user to write down the 6-letter-code (let’s call this the Access Code) on a piece of paper to access the form in case they want to finish later.

    Whenever they pass the first page, the RANDOM VALUE GENERATOR WIDGET will be hidden and a SHORT TEXT ENTRY will be shown.

    Let’s say the user decides to close the browser and continue later. When the user access the SESSION URL for a second time, the first page fields and PAGE BREAK are hidden. Only a SHORT TEXT ENTRY is shown and when SHORT TEXT ENTRY contains exact value (Access Code) from RANDOM VALUE GENERATOR WIDGET (which is now hidden) then the form shows the first page fields and PAGE BREAK so they can continue.

    --- UP UNTIL HERE EVERYTHING IS WORKING GREAT ---

    Let’s say the user continues to fill in the form but decides to close the browser again and continue later. When the user access the SESSION URL for a third time, the SHORT TEXT ENTRY with the Access Code is saved and displayed and they can continue to fill in the form and have access to the data, without the need to type in the Access Code. I don’t want the Access Code to be saved because I want the user to be required to type in the Access Code again.

    Is there a way to CLEAR the value from the SHORT TEXT ENTRY so every time the SESSION URL is accessed the user is required to write the Access Code again to access the data and continue the form?

    Any other suggestions to work around this idea?

    I am doing this to provide a safety measure for the user’s data in case someone else has access to the SESSION URL (SESSION URL is saved on the browser’s history)

    Thanks!

  • Advking

    Hi there,
    I have set up the two forms so that I can give each respondent a unique link, which should allow them to save and complete their forms later. However when I test the system by completing a form part way and then hitting submit, and then go back to the unique link and click on it (to simulate going back to the form later) the form is completely blank. Am I doing something wrong? thanks!

  • KathyZenios

    I am trying to send the email link to Asana so that that each project has its own unique form attached. I have set it all up but all that happens is that asana opens a project with the name I have chosen but there is no link attached for form 2.

  • nycpetersen

    I have employees filling out the same form on behalf of many different prospects. The email address entered on the form will be the prospects not the employees. Is it possible to make this work in this situation?

  • mediatrium

    Hi

    Your demo doesn't work fine. I tried to do the steps but doesn't work as well.

  • Upravlenie_kachestvo

    When I filled out the demo you have shown above I got a notification email but slightly different from the one I do when I fill out my forms. My questions is do the participants get an email with a PDF attachment if they do this type of forms I mean the ones they can save and continue later?

  • chuyang

    Right now when I link back to the main form it starts again from page 1 - is it possible to get it to start on the last page that was open in the main form?

  • eroussel

    What are the risks of Session ID's being viewed by other users? Is it possible for a user to see other user inputs? I have had two complaints regarding this issue and wondering if it is more widespread.

  • ntk_larry

    I think You can hash the email field or create another field data in random hidden... . Just pass the session id that you created.

  • big12champ

    I seem to be having similar issue to below comments but I can't quite find the right answer. I have the two forms and seem to be functioning fine but after I completed a test form, I clicked on the received link from Form 1 on a different device and the Form 2 information was blank. I have the AUTOFILL enabled so I don't know if that's the only reason why it works with the same browser/device. Also, the comment below worries me that once one person enters the information, everyone can see it? Is that true? Like others, I'm trying to develop a system whereby individuals can go back and edit their responses and would only want the individual user to see his/her individual information. Thank you.

  • smoulec_good360

    I have 2 concerns with the method:
    1) The URL variables are not obfuscated in any way so by filling out the form with dummy data, it is not very hard to figure out the URL structure and spoof it.
    2) I tried to fill out the demo form ( https://form.jotform.com/60873864629975 ) which gave me a link to https://form.jotform.com/60874096771971?session=jdoe@aol.com . Just by changing jdoe@aol.com to test@test.com, I was able to see another form entry made under that email address.

    What are best practices to introduce some level of security in the process?

  • mschuurmans

    This didn't seem to be working for me, but from another post by a JotForm staff member it appears this method of assigning a session ID only works BEFORE the user submits the form. Key phrase from that response:

    QUOTE - "This is not the edit link - the session is active only until the form is submitted, so as soon as they make a submission, they can not longer use it."

    So it's a way the responder can continue working on a long form BEFORE they submit it, but not a method to edit a submitted form. Once the form is submitted, they'll no longer be able to access it at the ?session=whatever URL.

    That was the missing piece for me and I thought I'd clarify given the number of people who, like me, found that this didn't work as I expected it to (before and after submission). Hope this clarification helps. The reply that I referenced above is found in this thread:
    https://www.jotform.com/answers/650286-Edit-link-is-not-working-for-our-customers