User Guide

 

How to Save Forms and Continue Later

How to Save Forms and Continue Later

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.

NOTE: This method requires two forms and a PAGE BREAK 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.

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.

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  • 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

  • EcclesiaHW

    I think I've followed these instructions, but my information in the main form doesn't seem to be saving. Can you help me trouble shoot?

  • jschmidt_landis

    I have tested this and found that if you start to fill the from from the Thank You page link, and then try and go back to re-enter through the e-mail link, the saved information does not appear. Any thoughts?

  • jschmidt_landis

    Works great! My only question is what if the same person is filling out the same form more than once? I tested this and saw that it just overrides the old information with the new information. Is there a way around this? Thanks!

  • arlettuca

    I followed the instructions. However the when I close the browser en open it again with the link in the e-mail nothing seems to be saved.
    What have I done wrong?

  • azusa website design

    I love very much because it helps much more always. azusa website design

  • mitchum01

    I've followed the instructions and when I go to the email and click on the link to get back to my saved survey, it's not saved. What am I doing wrong?

  • Sarah_MWG

    Hi,

    I've followed the instructions but can't get the info to save.

    I have created an auto responder email however, have set up so an email is sent but the user is redirect to the main form once the session id is created.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sarah

  • mraiz

    I followed the steps above and made 2 forms however, the data I put in the main form won't be saved. Where did I go wrong? Please help...thanks!

  • agilo

    If I understand this feature correctly, we should be able to access any form by appending an arbitrary session string to the url:

    https://form.jotformeu.com/71235149364355?session=AnySessionString

    Then when this form has been submitted, we should be able to access the form and pull up previously entered data just by appending the same session value to the url:

    https://form.jotformeu.com/71235149364355?session=AnySessionString

    ...but this is not working on our forms. It doesn't pull up existing data.

  • Primasia

    Hi How can I redirect the user to the main form after they submitted the contact form? Thanks.

  • Highred139

    I have followed these instructions perfectly. However, when I visit the form that I completed, there is no information. Here is the link from the email I received back to my form: https://form.jotform.us/70926562926162?session=caldwelldevelopmentagent@gmail.com

    Please help.

    Rob Caldwell

  • salvarez

    Tried this option, however, the save option only seems to work when I click on the link the first time. When I close and try to edit, all the information I filled out is missing from the fields.

  • cathywong

    The form link that send to users for them to fill in the form later, can the domain be my own domain?

  • ss

    I'm new to development. This is the function i want to do in asp.net with vb.net. But i'm not sure how to do this. Please help me to guide how to do in asp. Thanks in advance.

  • jamie_loonam

    I've been trying this for hours and each time, when I get the auto-response email and click the link, the form is blank: everything that I filled out is gone.

  • BCfoundation

    I am still having problems with people not being able to save their work and continue later. When they use the link to go back to their application, nothing is saved. Am I doing it wrong? Help please!

  • dlaro2222

    is there a tutorial for this in jotform V4? it's hard to follow with outdated screenshots.

  • MusicNB

    This was working well, or so I thought, but I'm now creating a new form, and not only is it not saving, my old ones (which are currently in the hands of clients) don't seem to be saving as well. What is going on?

  • brandon.carlson

    I was using this to great success for a couple years, but now it seems like all my email fields are getting autofilled and overwritten with the email in the session URL.

    So, the person fills out the form, submits, and we get 4 of the same emails when they didn't intend for that to be the case.

  • pamelaerich

    If my form has required fields, is this option viable?

  • ForesightPrep

    i.e. is the form host allowed to access the data saved on to jotform's servers by folks who have saved an incomplete form??

  • ForesightPrep

    Heya,

    Is there a way to check in on the progress made by the application accounts set up by the folks filling out our form? Now that we have the page save option set up, I would like to see how much of the form has been completed and saved by the folks who have not yet submitted.

  • davidvm

    Hi, is all this process still necessary with the current "Continue Forms Later" option enabled in settings?

  • websiteteam

    I have completed this How to Save Forms and Continue Later modifications to the two required Forms and deployed Form 1 to my website: http://www.temptestsite.net/jot-form-test.

    This is a Test site and the below forms are meant to test what I may accomplish for my client before I build the "Real" forms for use in the permanent site.

    When testing, I am not able to get any entries in the Form to save after using the "Next/Page Break" button. After I have clicked on Next, closed the form and then return to Complete, any of the prior entered data is not there?

    Everything is working except the pre-filled information is not saving when Form 2 is viewed again?

    These are the two Forms -
    Form 1: https://form.jotform.com/63334772877165 & Form 2: https://form.jotform.com/63275744442156.

  • ForesightPrep

    Would it be possible to get the correct code (or code structure) for having it prepopulate into the correct fields for first and last names? With the one you supply above, it puts both first and last in the first name field—I tried a bunch of different things using the instructions on the prepopulate page but none have worked.

  • WorldLearning

    Hello,

    Thank you for the step-by-step of this work around - very helpful! I'm wondering if there is any limit to how long the form is saved. Our form is an application that is open once a year for several months, until the following year. If the same applicant goes back into the application a year later, will their original responses still be accessible?

    If yes, what happens if the form is edited for the following year?

    Thanks for your help!

  • pfarrell

    Please help... I have a form that I need to save progress. I have tried working through the walk-through but I am getting balled up somewhere. I seem to be going in circles. My goal is that you when filling the form which is long if you take a break you will not lose all progress.

    Here is my pages so far
    Form 1 https://form.jotform.com/62644814155154

    Form 2 https://form.jotform.com/62704647427157

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

  • Nwakelam

    Hi There
    I have followed the instructions at the top to link the 1 form to the other and that works however when they are submitted they are 2 seperate submissions. Is there a way to get these all on 1 email. My form is for a blood bike organisation and we have the following.
    form 1 - Rider information and job number from co-ordinator
    form 2 - Collection note from hospital 1 which includes a signature and email back to collection point.
    form 3 - delivery note to destination hospital which includes signature & email back to delivery hospital (and ideally collection hospital).
    I tried having this on 1 form with the save later option but the signatures were not saving. And for legal reasons we need signatures.
    Can you help at all?

  • apolsky

    There's one problem here. When I auto populate the Name (first and last) on the follow up form, it takes the first and last name submitted in Form 1 and combines them in the First name box in form 2. I'm sure there's an easy fix I just don't know how to myself. Thanks.

  • bomboniere

    Ok for some reason the next morning nothing saved, not even the non dynamic info. Not even the demo you guys put up works. The name field also I can't auto populate because it only fills in the First Name part with both the first and last names.

  • bomboniere

    Update to above, It works now for some reason, sometimes not, but a refresh brings back the data. Hmmm well better than nothing. Possibilities are so great with this system.

  • bomboniere

    This works very well on the form I made except for the dynamic fields, nothing gets save there. Unfortunately those are the field that take a long time and need saving so user can finish later.
    the widget I used are the Matrix Dynamique, and Configurable list. If I could get those to work, It would be beyond awesome, with out it unfortunately the form and all the work to created is worthless, well other than the fact that this jofform site is the best thing I have ever found on the Internet ever!

  • Cassie

    I'm having major issues with this. I'm hoping someone on here can help.

    1. I did the two separate forms and followed the step by step instructions. I found out that if the form has a page break and none of the fields are required it will let the recipient go back in and change it one.

    My problem is I have a major annual report that many business will use to fill this out and it may take them a few times to fill out the information. My other problem is I have may required fields.

    The fields I have are calculations, matrixes, drop downs, check boxes, and conditions. Lots of conditions.

    So, how do I make this work? They will need to get past the page block and the required fields to press submit to be able to reopen and get back into it to edit. I'm just not sure how to do it.

  • mslacfac

    Note - I also enabled autofill so you have to switch browsers to see that the unique link is not working.

  • mslacfac

    I did every step of this process with our form and ran through the list twice and it definitely is not working. Help! Our "Form 1" is here: https://form.jotform.com/61577459360161

  • shruthi gautham

    I have created two forms ( http://shruthitest.webware.io/pages/jot) and it works fine.

    My concern is how will we prompt the users to complete the form.Is there way to send an email to the user every time the he pauses. Also as a store owner how will I get know the form is now completely filled and not paused.

    Kindly get back to me art the earliest.

    Thank you!!

  • nbuckle

    Does this method work if your form content utilizes the form tabs widget? My form has the Page/Break controls but they also have the content organized in tabs

  • emucoe

    No, no, and no.

    From a human interface design standpoint, this is just silly. I want an option of simply adding a "Save" link, and when the user clicks that, a popup window asks for their e-mail address and then e-mails them the link to continue.

    It doesn't need to be this complicated.

  • managementofchange

    Guys,

    What a lot of instructions.

    Can't you build a "save an return" button and have an isntruction of two sentences?

  • glenpoolps

    I've followed the steps you have in your tutorial. The problem I am having is when using the link to return to the form, none of the work is saved, even though it is in my submissions table. I notice in your sample, the user get a url in the thank you of the main form and that url had a sessionID number. How do I get the session ID to pass in a url when the user submits the main form?

  • MOGSCHOOLS

    Thank you for your response to my initial question. I have followed the steps outlined above for creating multiple pages (page breaks) on my form to facilitate the save and continue...but it does not work when I follow the unique link. People mention a "Save and Quit" or "Save and Continue Later" option. Are these just text edits to the existing "next" button or is there some place where you have to assign the save feature to the "next" button?

  • marxmyth

    OH please, jotform, simplify this process! It was so easy in Adobe Forms Central. I've written for help and gotten three completely different answers. This should be simple.

  • dorsetholidaylets

    Can you use this facility with the form embedded in our own web page?

  • emccleave

    Life Saver!!!

  • sas

    how to get code sir.send code for me sir at jafersiddik121@gmail.com.please help sir

  • leppekbenefits

    Hello, is it possible to use the continue function for ENCRYPTED forms?

    I have an encrypted form. It uses page breaks to create a session ID, and I am using the {email} as the session ID. When testing the survey as a user, I am able to use the front and back buttons and the fields are still populated with the right data. However, as soon as I click submit, the data is lost. I use the link with the session ID to return to the form, and the data is lost - all the fields are blank. This is true for the link on the thank you page and in the auto responder email I created. Is this just because my form is encrypted? Or is there a way around this?

    Second, in the auto responder email sent to the survey respondent's email, I have it showing the respondent all of his/her responses. In that email, I am able to view responses for the first 2 pages of my survey, but the data for the last page is garbled (encrypted).

    Thank you very much for your help!

  • Gauravsomwanshi

    how add a save button before page break