Enabling the pre-chat form on the Chat widget

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  • Paola Peláez


    Is it possible to use a pre-configured ticket forms (contact form) before starting a chat instead of the given pre-chat.-form?

    To explain: To start a chat we require the custom ticket fields that are configured in the ticket forms.


  • Elissa Tikalsky
    Zendesk Digital Resources Team

    Hi @...

    Unfortunately it is not possible to switch or edit the pre-chat form. This is a limitation of the chat product. That being said, there are some work arounds explained in this article: How to customize the pre-chat form.

    I hope that helps!


    Hello !

    Thank you for all this information!

    I have a question about the Chat preform :
    - I display the Chat in the Help Center.
    - When my visitor is not connected, it is normal to ask for his email and his name in the preform.
    - On the other hand, when he is connected, I would like not to ask him and automatically recognize him in my chat.
    - When I start the chat, my visitor authenticated on the HC is not recognized in the Chat ... and he is asked for his name and email in the preform.

    Do you have a solution ?


    Thanks !


  • Arnaud Joly

    Hi Serge,

    If you'd like to have a visitor authentication on your WebWidget, you can do so by setting up JWT authentication. You can find the steps to do so in this articles.

    If the user is authenticated successfully, then the name and email won't be asked and they'll simply have to enter their message and the chat will start.

    Hope that this helps!

  • Raphael Luiz Schettino
    Hello, I implemented the integration of visitors 
    through jwt, so my customers click on a button on
    my website and then they are directed to the
    zendesk support screen, there is only one problem,
    on this screen there is the chat and I noticed
    that the "name" fields and "e-mail" although
    already filled in, they can be edited.

    how can I do so that the user cannot edit
    these fields in the pre-chat?
  • Unir

    Hi Raphael, you can hide the fields using Javascript, you just need to change my "xszt60-1.dLJShQ" for your widget's unique ID: 

    <script type="text/javascript">
    zE('webWidget:on', 'open', function () {
    var style = document.createElement('style');
    style.innerHTML = `.xszt60-1.dLJShQ > div:nth-child(1) {display: none;}`;
    style.innerHTML += `.xszt60-1.dLJShQ > div:nth-child(2) {display: none;}`;

  • Nicole


    We are working on enabling chat for our company. We would like to customize the prechat form, and I do understand it is done via SDK/API for the widget. However, we will be utilizing the link and not the widget to initiate chat. Is it still possible to customize this prechat form? 

  • Adrian Joseph Magboo
    Zendesk Employee

    Hi Nicole!


    Thanks for reaching out! 


    My understanding is you are going to use the direct link to a live chat popout window instead of using the widget and wanting to customize the pre-chat form. 


    Unfortunately, it's not possible to customize the pre-chat form in the direct link. By default, it would follow your Widget appearance settings from the Chat dashboard. You could only customize the language from a direct chat link.


    Hope this helps.




  • Kate Ambash

    I'm not seeing the pre-chat form in settings --> widget. Is this still there?

  • Nicole

    Kate, I still see it there. Settings (in chat, not Support) --> Widget and then Forms on the top bar. 

  • Kate Ambash

    After enabling the form, customers are no longer give the option to chat in the widget. They are only given the option to leave a mesage.

    Is this a known issue?

  • Nicole

    Do you have business hours set that may be preventing the chat option, and/or maybe no agents are currently online (which I think would disable the chat feature)? 

    I don't know much, but hopefully these are two spots you can check until someone from ZenDesk can reply to you. 

  • Kate Ambash

    @... Thanks! That helped. I had been on invisible!


    i go to settings under Chat and when you go to the web widget it takes you to the new messaging channel settings. where is this rechat form located at now to edit? i have been through all the messaging channel settings already.

  • DJ Buenavista Jr.
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Ashley,
    You can find the Web Widget settings from the Chat product page settings. Go to the Zendesk product tray from the upper right corner. Select Chat, go to Settings, and then select Widget

    From there, go to the Forms tab and from there you can see the Pre-chat form settings.
    Thank you and have a wonderful day ahead!
    Kind regards,
  • John Andrew Asaria

    Why my chat settings different from yours?  Pls check screenshot

  • Katherine Isaac

    A lot of the chat documentation in the Help Centre doesn't align with the Web Widget Classic.  Where can I find these features using Web Widget Classic or have they been removed?

  • Dave Dyson
    Hi Katherine,
    There are some Chat-focused articles listed here: Web Widget (Classic) resources
  • Zach Combs

    Agreed with John Andrew Asaria

    When I go to chat>settings. I see most of the options in the screenshot but there is no web widget setting. Is this page referencing an older version of web widget or something? Kind of difficult sometimes to know when the instructions apply to new Zendesk or old Zendesk so that can be annoying. We is the pre-chat form located now?

  • David

    I encounter the same issue as John Andrew Asaria and Zach Combs - the supposed widget settings to configure the pre-chat form are not where the documentation on this page indicates and I can't locate them elsewhere.

    Could it be related to the fact that I only just switched from classic to new widget and the settings need to propagate internally? Without customising the pre-chat message the new widget is not useful to me.



  • Jason Davitsky

    It appears that this article applies to the old classic widget. How do you setup the pre-chat messaging requirements (like forcing email and name) in the new web widget?



  • Xavier C


    I am trying to set up the pre-chat form, it is enabled in settings>widget but it does not appear to function when starting a new chat- could this be because we are using the mobile version of the chat? We offer chat on both mobile and desktop versions of our site, the form does not appear when initiating from either platform:

  • Ramin Shokrizadeh
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Xavier C the pre-chat form is working fine on desktop and mobile web for your account. 

    If you are talking about the mobile SDK integrations in your app, you need to specify the pre-chat fields to be shown in code and it doesn't rely on the Chat dashboard settings: https://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/classic-web-widget-sdks/chat-sdk-v2/android/customizing_the_look/ 

  • Dainne Lucena
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hi John Andrew Asaria, Zach Combs & David!

    These settings only apply to Web Widget (Classic). Newer accounts have Messaging enabled by default but once you disable it, these chat features would show up in your chat dashboard. Hope this helps!

  • Shravani


    I'm trying to update Zendesk chat version in my code. When I updated from $zopim to new version, and if I start chat conversation with an agent and refresh the page, the chat window is getting refreshed and asking to fill in all details again and starts a new chat all over again. That issue was not happening with $zopim version.

    I noticed that there is a localStorage object called "ZD-store" getting reset for every page refresh, which shouldn't happen once the chat is started I believe (specifically the key in the object named "is_chatting"). I'm guessing that Zendesk API is resetting it for every page refresh. How do I stop that object from resetting?

    Can anyone please help me with this issue? Has anyone faced this issue with new version?

  • Dane
    Zendesk Engineering
    Hi Shravani,

    It should also be the same not unless you are using Messaging or have added API on your script. 
  • Shannon Hayes


    I can see that we can add a greeting message, however can only be plain text. 

    Is there a way to have a message or header appear once a customer comes through to live chat, advising the use of customer data and a link to our company's privacy policy?

  • Beto
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hello Shannon, I hope you are well! Thank you for your question.

    Unfortunately, as of this writing, the pre-chat form does not support markdown or HTML, so it is currently not possible to add a hyperlink. As of now, the only possibility would be to have the URL as plain text.

    But this is a good suggestion to have. I can recommend that you create a feedback Post in our Community requesting this feature here.
    You can explain your use case and the more traction this post gets, the more chances there are for our Development team to consider implementing this in the future.

    I hope this was helpful! 

  • Michael Yuen

    Is it possible to completely hide the Choose a department option? (Not just make selecting a department optional, but hide the drop-down menu completely).

    I had to set up a department-centered schedule in order to end chat early on a specific day each week and restart it later that same day. (There's no other way do to do this, unfortunately, that I can see).

    But now, even though I have the Choose a department feature set to optional, our customers would still see the drop down menu, including the name of the chat group/department. 

    It would be MUCH easier if I could either:
    1) set an account-based schedule that allows for a break during the day (i.e. starting chat at 8AM, turning off chat from 11AM-12PM every day, then turning it on again from 12-3)
    2) use a department-driven schedule that doesn't force me to show the department choices to the customer. 

  • Spyros Spyrou


    I don't seem to have the option to enable the Department under the Pre-chat form. 


    Any ideas?


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