Word and PDF files cannot be retrieved

Hi guys,
My forms had been collecting data normally and I could download pictures and PDF/Word files.
Since 14th June 2021 when Word or PDF files are uploaded and submitted with other data, I get an error message that says "Could not retrieve xxx.pdf or xxx.doc

What can I do to sort this out? Help.


Welcome to the community, @sayproject! Could you kindly share with us a screenshot of the same so that we could better understand your issue?

Thanks for the welcome and quick response.

Here is the screenshot

@sayproject, could you kindly share with me the following though a private message so that we could have a closer look at it?

  • Username
  • Project name
  • Server

Hello Kal,
Any progress or response on this?


@sayproject, will get back to you when we find anything.

I can replicate this problem - I did a brand new test project on the humanitarian server, it only has 4 questions, one question asks the user to upload an attachment.

I have submitted the form 10 times, swapping between 3 different pdfs and a text file, sometimes with long names and sometimes same file with a different name (as initially I wondered if the . in the filename or else the longer filenames were causing the issue). File sizes range from 1KB to 7,500KB.

Of the 10 submissions, only two work succesfully - eight get the error above (Could not retrieve <filename> ) when I go into the view modal, and also get an error when going into the “edit” view (File <filename> could not be found (leave unchanged if already submitted and you want to preserve it).)

However, all files are present if I do a media download (noting that I get a “the Compressed (zip) folder <filename> is invalid” error when opening using normal windows tools, have to use 7-Zip to unzip the downloaded zip folder - not sure if that’s related at all)

I can’t pin down what is different about my different submissions - @Kal_Lam please feel free to take a look at the project if it helps your troubleshooting: https://kobo.humanitarianresponse.info/#/forms/ahMRgiCEFX3hvh5cerSa6x/data/table


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@Kal_Lam @jnm thanks for the recent update re files: Release Notes - version 2.021.24 - #4 by jnm

I just did another check of my test project just now, and the small pdf I uploaded today also is getting the "Could not retrieve " error above. Is there still work ongoing re media files? Thanks as always for all your hard work!

EDIT: Just saw this thread is tagged as “upcoming-fix” so obviously you are already working on it. Apologies for the unnecessary comment and thanks again.

xref Photos don't go to form

@nat, this is a WIP issue. Will get back to you when the issue is resolved.

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Hello everyone, I am new to the community so my apologies in case there was a solution posted that I did not find.

@Kal_Lam I am currently facing the same problem with my project. When I download all media attachements the pdfs are included but it is not possible to download them directly one by one from the submitted data set. Any suggestions? Thank you very much in advance!

Welcome to the community, @michaeleh! We will let you know when we resolve this issue.

Dear Kal_Lam

We have the same error “Could not retrieve” in the form, maybe you have a solution to get the attachments?

Welcome to the community, @conquito! We will let you know when we resolve this issue.

@Kal_Lam thank you very much for the quick reply and looking into this issue!

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Hi @michaeleh, @sayproject, @nat, @conquito please note that this issue has been addressed and will be included in the upcoming release:


Thanks Josh. Much appreciated.

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Thank you very much, highly appreciated!

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