Using Microsoft Forms with Attachments

I’m a huge proponent of Microsoft Forms. In my organization, we’re starting to use them for everything. Here’s just a sample of some of my forms, they really are making life easier when it comes to collecting data.

Microsoft Forms

However one of the gaps when we started implementing them was the lack of attachments. This was a problem because I often needed to collect documents, images, or more. This was a significant enough gap that I had to move up to PowerApps to automate a lot of my business processes.

Creating the form

Now that gap has been removed and we have a new File upload question type in Microsoft Forms. Getting started is easy. In the example below, I started a new Form, and when I went to add my first question, it even recommended me include the file attachment question based on my history of questions from past forms I have created.

Microsoft Forms recommends questions based on your past Forms.

For today’s example, I won’t use the recommendations though. I’ll add the ability to upload an attachment by clicking the plus (+) and then the down arrow to choose File upload.

Choose File upload.

When you do that, you’ll get a notice that your files will be sent to a new folder in OneDrive for Business.

Your files will be sent to OneDrive for Business.

Click Ok and you will be given a few options such as a prompt on what type of file to upload, how many files to upload, and what file size limits you would like to enforce.

Specify how many files and how large.

You can allow up to 10 files to be uploaded and sizes can be 10 MB, 100 MB, or 1 GB. You’re now ready to try out file uploads on your form.

Trying it out

When you preview your form, you’ll see a button to Upload file. A message below indicates what file types are allowed. Notice that not all file types are allowed and it generally restricts you to Office documents, images, and other media files.

You are prompted to upload your files

Upload some files of your choice and you’ll see them starting to upload.

File upload progress.

At this point, your files are technically already in OneDrive but they are considered temporary until the form is submitted. They will have a prefix with tmp in them. We’ll talk about where the files are stored down below.

Viewing your responses (and files)

After you have collected some form responses, you can click on the Responses tab to view your files. When you select an individual response, you’ll see links to each file uploaded.

List of files upload.

Finding your files in OneDrive for Business

If you go to OneDrive you will find a new folder called Apps and in it a new folder called Microsoft Forms. You will see one folder for each Form that has a File upload in it. In there, you will find another folder called Question. I’m not really sure why it creates that folder, but it does. Finally, you’ll see your uploaded files. It will append the user’s name to each file.

Files from Microsoft Forms in OneDrive for Business.

You’ll notice some files have the number “1” appended to them. Those are files that I uploaded that have the same filename. This prevents duplicate filenames from being lost.

Summary

With new File upload support in Microsoft Forms, this tool is an even better option for creating quick light-weight forms to collect data from your users. Give it a try today and see what you can create.

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