How To Upload a File with Google Form

One of the most popular Google tools, Google Forms comes in very handy when you need to create and analyze surveys. Recent updates have introduced even more great features to an 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.

Adding the File Upload Button to Your Google Form

A simple addition of a file upload button makes all the difference. In this article, you will learn how to add this button to your Google forms, as well as how to use it to upload files to supported forms.

  1. Step 1

    When creating a new Google form, you will have the ability to add questions with several predefined options to choose from. Open the list of options and look for the one labeled File upload. Click on it and proceed to the next step.
  2. Step 2

    When you click on the File upload option, you will be greeted with a new window where you will find several parameters and options for file uploading. First off, you will find a field with checkmarks that allows you to define which file types are allowed for uploading. There are eight options to choose from including PDF files, Excel spreadsheets, as well as audio and video files. Right below that, you will be prompted to choose the maximum number of files you allow to be uploaded at once, while the option right under this one is used to specify the maximum size for individual files users upload to your form.
  3. Step 3

    Once you add the button to your form, your respondents will have the ability to add a file from the Docs picker. There is an option to add the file from the computer or from a user’s Google Drive.

Uploading Multiple Files from Google Forms

As with most internet services that allow file uploads, you can not upload an entire folder at once. Individual files in Google Forms need to be added separately.

For example, if your form is aimed at job applicants, you are going to design it so that they 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 that get uploaded from your Google forms will be stored on your Google Drive in a neat and convenient fashion.

Actually, the question used in the form will be used as a name for a new folder created. Each uploaded item corresponding with this question will be stored in that folder, so the process is fairly automated and doesn’t call for any manual organization.

If at any time you need to visit a specific folder and retrieve a file from it, you need to go to your Google Forms dashboard and then select the tab labeled Responses. Once there, simply 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 will be accompanied by a visible direct link for easier access.

The respondents who upload files to your form directly from their Google Drive will automatically create a copy of their original file. Once the file is uploaded, you as the form owner will also become the owner of the file copy, but the original file – unless set to public – will remain visible solely to its owner.

Uploaders can 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 individual application from your dashboard and looking for related documents in your Drive folders, you can have them all 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 (if the file is a PNG, JPG, or GIF image) have the file displayed directly in the document. The latter is particularly convenient as it allows you to print out complete forms and review them offline if necessary.


As you can see, the file upload button in Google Forms can be very helpful if you’re an HR representative dealing with plenty of resumes or a tutor that has many students sending in their homework assignments. With it, end users can now upload files directly from your Google form. The files will be stored on your Google Drive and neatly organized into separate folders.

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