Getting 'Export Failed' while downloading data in xls format

When I tested download the data in XLS (even though we are not finished assessment yet), export failed was noted (showing begin_repeat_fcyttBCX5 and begin_repeat_od0masZiH), why this happen and what to do to be able to download in XLS format?

I noticed multiple issues (different queries) in your post. So to document them smoothly i split this issue to a different post so that it can be indexed properly and users with similar query could reference for the same.

Regarding your query, would you mind having a look at the post discussed previously (it should help you understand and solve your issue):

I am struggling with that error message, too (Export Failure), and thought, I have found the right thread here. However, I fail to understand how to download (for comparison) the various xlsforms used over time in this project (“Download your xlsform (different deployed versions) by cloning them.”). Can you please help?

Anyway, I am almost 100% sure that I haven’t changed any repeats. What else is a typical source for export failure?

Addition: I deleted all forms submitted later than the latest successful download – and still the “Export failed”!?

So, it means that the current version of the uploaded xls form conflicts with the saved data? If yes, back to my question: How do I download previously used xlsforms (in ordr to compare it with the currently uploded xlsform)?

Never give up… – I think, I found the button to access old xlsforms


It is amazing when you realize that it has just been infront of you the whole time. I am glad you were able to resolve this on your end.


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Indeed. Thank you. However, I couldn’t find any changes in repeats, so the question remains: What is typically causing the export failure?

Gesendet von meinem BlackBerry 10-Smartphone.

Von: Stephane Aloo via KoBoToolbox Community Forum
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 12. Mai 2021 20:35
An: York Lunau
Antwort an: KoBoToolbox Community Forum
Betreff: [KoBoToolbox Community Forum] [User Support/Data Management] Getting ‘Export Failed’ while downloading data in xls format

stephanealoo Core Team
May 12

It is amazing when you realize that it has just been infront of you the whole time. I am glad you were able to resolve this on your end.


Hi @york_rff
Let me try and replicate this issue on my end and then feedback whether this is a bag or it is a form specific issue


I use the respective project for testing and if it works, I copy the xlsform (with just very small changes, like the calculation of the $country value) to the various country projects. What I have found out by now is that export works fine for all country projects. I don’t dare to copy the latest form of the troublemaking test project to another country project, but the only difference is that I had added two lines:
type / name / label / appearance / calculation
select_one phases / phase_check / Correct phase if necessary / / ${phase}
date / cohort_check / Correct cohort if necessary / year / if(${cohort_s}!=’’,${cohort_s},if(${cohort_c}!=’’,${cohort_c},1900))

This can’t be the problem, can it?

Stephane, I couldn’t wait to release another change in the questionnaire and used the xlsform of the trouble-making project (export fails) after changing the country value for a real project. After filling in and uploading one form, I tried to export – and it worked!

So, the good news is that the problem is connected to the project (“datatest”) and not to the xlsform, but still it would be great to know what needs to be avoided that one doesn’t run into this issue.

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…not sure whether the following is related (a different expression of the same issue): After sending the form, I went to “View sent forms” in KoboCollect and tried to open it.

Error message: XPath evaluation: type mismatch, value establishment could not be loaded into question null, check to see if value establishment is a valid option for question null.

Sounds like the above mentioned change (offer a select_one for a variable that received a suggested value via pulldata) might really be a source of trouble?