My survey projects were deleted from my user account!

Someone got into my Kobotoolbox account and deleted all my forms with their data. I would like to know if you can help me by answering these two questions:
Is there any way to retrieve that information?
Can I know the IP address from which the forms were deleted?
Thank you in advance for your help.

Hi @jaimesj,

Welcome to the community! Sorry to hear that someone deleted your survey projects from your KoBoToolbox user account.

Is there any way to retrieve that information?
Please be informed that it would be very difficult and would take a lot of the developers time to retrieve back the information that was deleted from your account.

Can I know the IP address from which the forms were deleted?
We could help you out in this. For this we will be requiring your KoBoToolbox user name, email id and the server you use (in a private message). Having received this we should be able to let you know the followings: the date on when the survey projects were deleted, the IP address from where the survey projects were deleted.


sorry, I am a bit surprised.
Using the humanitarianresponse server, I fully trust that there is a daily backup of my data and a rather easy possibility to recover if anything went wrong. Could you give more information (or link) about the reality, please?
If not provided as service, what does a user need to do to make sure that his project/survey data are back-upped on a daily basis and can be restored easily (on project level preferably)?
Thanks in advance.
Kind regards

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We are looking at the logs to see if and when someone with edit rights might have deleted data, or if it’s just a matter of someone having removed access to particular projects (which would mean that data is still where it should be, just not shared with a particular user anymore).

@wroos You are right, our team maintaining the OCHA server does indeed ensure that we store regular backups in case of any catastrophic issues with the database. But the time to extract backups, manually query project data, extract it, import into the live database or create a custom export, etc. can easily take several hours for a single project. We had to stop doing this type of retrieval in case of accidental deletion years ago because of our growing number of user and because our public funding can’t cover the additional time needed for this kind of service unfortunately. I suggest all users download their data regularly as CSV or XLS and store it securely to make sure it is well protected against all eventualities. You could use the API or the REST submission feature as well to create regular backups.


Dear Tino,
thanks for your prompt reply and the explanations. If I understand well, your server backup process is not helping on user and project level, as there is no restore option.

Would it be possible, please, for the KoBo team (or the community) to provide a documented guideline, even a generic API-programm which can easily be adapted by users for a project, to save data, and if needed to restore them. Do do this for a whole project (without further filtering) would be enough for me.

Kind regards

@wroos Here is a simple API script that can be used on the command line to generate new exports for a particular project and get the URL to download them. This can be automated in various ways, e.g. to generate an export once a week for backup purposes.