Online Forms: User Uploading Files/Attachments (Google Forms)

If you want an online form in which you want to enable the user (form submitter) to upload attachments like images, videos, etc. then Google Forms is a good option.

However, the free version of Google Forms doesn’t support file attachments. This Upload File feature is supported only for G-Suite Basic (and advanced) users, which requires you to purchase at least one G-Suite user account.

Once you have a G-Suite account, login to the associated Google account and then go to forms.google.com. There are limitations to allowing users to upload attachments directly through Google Forms, which will be discussed below.

First, you create a new form. Then click the ‘+’ button on the side to add a new question. Change the type of question to ‘File Upload’ from the options available on the right side of your question. Here is the screenshot –

Google Forms upload attachment - 1Inside the file upload attachment question, you’ll find other options to set –

  • You can select file types from any/all of the following – Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Drawing, PDF, Image, Video, Audio. Basically, this allows you to choose what file types the user can upload.
  • You can set the maximum number of files the user can upload – this can only be 1, 5 or 10 at the moment.
  • You can select the maximum file size (I guess per file) to be 1 MB, 10 MB, 100 MB, 1 GB or 10 GB.

google forms submit attachments As you see at the end of the above image, you can determine the maximum file-size up to which this google form can continue collecting attachments (all user files combined). Suppose you can spare only 1 GB of your Google Drive space for all the attachments you’re going to receive in this form, click ‘Change’ and set it as 1 GB. You can set it to other values also from there.

All the attachments uploaded by users will be stored online in the G-Drive of the form creator. The form creator can see the user-wise links to the attachments in the form responses area or in the spreadsheet that is designated to receive the responses.

There is another limitation if you’re going to use the File Attachment field. If you use it, you cannot embed your Google Form on a website. You can still share the link, post the link on your website or intimate users by email, but embedding is disabled.

Google Forms - upload attachmentI did evaluate various online form options – there are very few that even allow users to upload attachments. Even if they do, either they are expensive or have many limitations. Google Forms for G-Suite is the best I found for my application. I just wish the maximum no. of files is increased to 100 instead of 10 at present.

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