Unable to download file while trying to edit the submissions


I have this problem in submited forms. they users send their forms with attached files without problems but while i can see the name of the attached file, I cannot download the file and the message in red letters appear.

Where can I find these files?

thank you

Are you logged in as an admin user for this project or are you logged in differently. Generally if you are logged in differently and you do not have the proper access, you may not be able to download the files from the submission (while editing a submission).

If you are logged in as an admin, you should be able to see a download icon at the side of the file where you uploaded your documents. That download icon should help you download your file that has been uploaded previously to the server.

I am the owner of the project and i try to download submited files.
the icon downoad is not appearing for most of the documents. istead the error that you can see in the picture appears ""File ***.pdf " could not be found (leave unchanged if already submitted and you want to preserve it).

Would you mind providing me the following details through a private message so that we could have a closer look at it:

  • Username
  • Project name
  • _id that is having issues

Is it an issue of only a single case or is it an issue that you see with other _id’s as well?

OK, It seems that only this particular case has an upload issue. I could see the same at my end.

Maybe @martijnr, could be in the best position to response on why this is happening.

many thanks to you @Kal_Lam and
thank you in advance @martijnr

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Are you sure that KoBo has added support for that feature @Kal_Lam? It requires adding instance_attachments to the /instance API call.

cc @jnm

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Yes, we do!

Also, @Kal_Lam, you’ve found that this issue happens only with a particular submission, correct? I’d guess that it has to do with characters in the filename not being handled properly.

@Stavripal, to answer your question:

Where can I find these files?

Instead of clicking the edit (pencil) icon, click the open (eye) icon instead. As your read through the list of responses that appears, the name of each uploaded file should appear as a blue hyperlink. Click that to download the PDFs individually:

If you prefer to download all files at once, use the ZIP export feature.


Ah, I think I’ve missed the point, or, in any event, the characters in the file names are not the problem. I submitted a file called το ελληνικό αλφάβητο είναι το καλύτερο-3_1_9.pdf and was able to download it through the Enketo edit screen without any issue.

@Stavripal, if you cannot retrieve these files by going through the steps I mentioned above (clicking the open :eye: icon or downloading a ZIP export), then they do not exist on our server.

When submissions contain attached files, they can be uploaded by Enketo or the Collect Android application in multiple parts. This makes it possible for the KoBo server to receive incomplete submissions that contain the text responses and some—but not all—attached files. An example of this is shown in @Kal_Lam’s screenshot:

However, the data collection client (Enketo or Collect) should never delete these submissions until they have been completely uploaded to the KoBo server with all their attachments. The next step here would be to check Enketo or Collect, whichever you use, on the devices used for data collection and verify that no submissions are still there waiting to be uploaded.

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Thank you all for your support! The problem is that the icon “open” does not work for my project neither for my account ( as admin) nor for the users with which i have shared the project for data submission. This is another pending issue that i your developers are trying to solve (@Kal_Lam).
In addition, there are no pending submissions in the devices that users have used to submit data. It seems that i cannot retrive these attachments. I have to ask them to send via email.

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Hi @Stavripal,

Could you kindly let us know the mode of data collection used by your team. Also please let us know how you managed to identify that there are no pending uploads in your device? This should be helpful while trying to deep down the issue.

Hello @Kal_Lam,

They all collected data through Enketo.
As they do not have forms in the queue i infer that their forms has been submited. Also they mentioned that they received the Enketo pop up “message” that their form has been send successfully, so i guess that this includes the attached files they uploaded in their form.
Another information i want to share just in case that this can contribute to find out what is the problem, is that the speficic user that submited the form where the problem appears, tried multiple times to submit the form without success. The systems was asking multiple times to insert authentication information (user name and password). At some point the form succeed to be sent but with these issues in the attached files.
Many thanks

Thank you @Stavripal. These information were very helpful. Will reach you back if there is anything we require.