How to Upload and Manage Files with Google Forms

One of the most popular Google tools, Google Forms, comes in handy when creating and analyzing surveys. Recent updates have introduced even more great features to already excellent service. Whether you are a recruiter who needs resumes from applicants or perhaps a tutor who needs to collect homework from their students, you can now allow others to upload files directly from your Google form.

How to Upload and Manage Files with Google Forms

Adding the File Upload Button to Your Google Form

Adding a file upload button makes all the difference when it comes to forms.

  1. When creating a new Google form, you will have the ability to add questions with several predefined options. Select the last section and click the “⊕” icon (circle with plus) from the options found on the right. This step adds a new question (section) to the form.
  2. Click the dropdown in the question frame’s top-right section (usually labeled “Multiple choice”).
  3. Choose “File upload” from the list.
  4. Select “Continue” to allow file uploads to your Google Drive.
  5. Type your question, then customize your uploading rules. Google Forms automatically accepts changes—no need to save it or click anything.
  6. Google Form users now see the “Add file” option within the ‘Upload file’ section of the form.
  7. Users submit files based on the criteria you set above, then view their upload list and choose to “Upload” them to your Drive account.

Uploading Multiple Files from Google Forms

As with most internet services that allow file uploads, you cannot upload an entire folder at once. Individual files must get added separately in Google Forms.

For example, if your form gets used for job applicants, you will design it to upload their resumes separately from their cover letters.

Similarly, if you need them to provide their resumes, a photo, and a scanned ID, your Google form will have three upload buttons – one for each requested document.

File Storage and Ownership Options

All the files uploaded from your Google forms get stored on your Google Drive neatly and conveniently.

Each question/section title in the form gets used as the name for a new folder. Uploaded items corresponding to a particular section get stored in the associated folder, so the process is relatively automated and doesn’t call for any manual organization.

If at any time you need to visit a specific folder in Google Forms and retrieve a file, head to your “Dashboard,” then select the tab labeled “Responses.” Once there, click on the “View folder” button located in the bottom right portion of the window.

If you choose to link any of your forms to Google Sheets, you can track all uploaded files in the “Responses” tab of a given spreadsheet. Also, each file includes a direct link for easier access.

The respondents that directly upload files from their Google Drive automatically create a copy of their original file. Once the file is uploaded, you (the form owner) also become the copy owner. However, the original file—unless set to public—will remain visible solely to its owner.

Uploaders track all these actions in their Google Drive sidebar.

Exporting Upload-Enabled Forms with Form Publisher

‘Form Publisher’ is a popular Google Forms add-on that automatically turns filled out forms into Google documents for easy sharing and review. Rather than accessing each application from your dashboard and looking for related files in your Drive folders, you can have all of them automatically converted into neatly structured PDF files for quick review.

If you want to use Form Publisher with your upload-enabled Google Forms, there are two things you can do. You can either insert a direct link to the uploaded file or display the link directly in the document if the file is a PNG, JPG, or GIF image. The latter is incredibly convenient as it allows you to print out complete forms and review them offline if necessary.

Conclusion

As you can see, the file upload button in Google Forms is undoubtedly beneficial if you’re an HR representative dealing with plenty of resumes or a tutor that has many students sending in their homework assignments. Regardless of your form’s purpose, end users can now upload files directly from within your Google form. The files get stored on your Google Drive, neatly organized into separate folders.

10 thoughts on “How to Upload and Manage Files with Google Forms”

Miroi says:
Hi, i have a question, can i change the folder destination of attached file? my google drive storage is almost full so i would like to change the destination to my other google drive. Is it possible to change it?
Steve Larner says:
Perhaps try sharing it with your other Gmail account, and then save a copy there and delete the original.
Haritha S Nath says:
I have created google form with upload file option..but respondents can see the previously selected option. As you see insert file ..from google drive. Third one is previously selected. How to remove it ?
Steve Larner says:
Can you provide a screenshot from your end and a copy or share of the form for review? You can also try making a copy and sharing it with a specific user and then seeing if it still has the same problem.

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