Rolling out slowly and without much fanfare is a feature I’ve been asked a lot by clients – the ability to upload files into Microsoft Forms.

To date when people have asked about that I’ve said it wasn’t possible, and that they should build a PowerApp to achieve the functionality. However as of today I now have that functionality in my tenant, and am told it is rolling out slowly.

I haven’t actually seen this in the Microsoft 365 roadmap or the Message Center – but am happy to be corrected.

In any case, here’s a brief walk-through of the functionality.

Creating a question

A file upload is like any normal question type, other than we specify the “File upload” type:

The default looks like this:

If you hit the ellipsis in the bottom right corner, you have the ability to be more specific about types of files you upload (for example if you want to restrict it to be a document, or a picture, etc.):

We have the ability to allow up to 10 file uploads:

And it supports files up to 1GB in size!!!!!

Where the files are stored

If the Form is a personal form (ie. not attached to an Office 365 Group), the creator will be prompted to store the uploaded files in their OneDrive:

Within moments of selecting “Yes” to this, I saw the following folder appear:

Going down the rabbit hole of folders, this is where the actual files for the question are shown up, and you can also see the name of the responder (me) has been appended to the file name:

File storage for Group-related Forms

When I moved the Form to an Office 365 Group, the applicable folder was then created in the document library:

However the files itself were not moved across:

I hope this is an oversight or bug that will be addressed shortly.

Creating a Form in a Group

Ideally when people create a Form they should think about its application. While it’s perfectly valid to create a Form under your own account and move it, as we can see from above the files may not come across.

But, much like a conversation thread we want to start or document we want to create, so too should we with Forms. Before hitting the button to create a new form, we should pause first and see if we are creating it in the right location – much like sending an email vs. starting a conversation in Yammer or a channel in Teams, or creating a document in a SharePoint site or Team channel, rather than our own OneDrive.

In this scenario I created a Form directly connected to an Office 365 Group, and instead of the previous prompt of a OneDrive folder creation I now see a prompt for a SharePoint folder creation:

The same structure applies as previously seen for OneDrive:

Accessing files from within the Form

While I’ve shown that the files are stored within OneDrive and SharePoint subject to the context of which Form is actually created (ie. individual or Group-connected), the files are easily accessible directly from the result of the Form itself. Clicking on the link opens the files directly, so there’s less clicks for end users to worry about.

Use cases

The use cases for this are virtually unlimited. In its most basic form (pardon the pun) it can be used to replace where emails might be sent in to shared mailboxes or distribution lists requesting action – as now they can go through the Form where instructions can be more carefully extracted as well as any required documentation being supplied. This can then be connected to a workflow that issues a ticket, creates an automated response, adds to a Planner, or anything else really.


Also published on Medium.

2 comments

  1. Warren Jeanes

    Reply

    This is a vital piece of kit that is a huge game changer for forms so great to finally see it being implemented.

    I’ve been doing a lot of searching and have seen that a number of people are confirming that this is up and running however our tenant is in Ireland and as yet we don’t seem to have this functionality enabled.

    You mentioned that the rollout is slow (although why this would be the case is a mystery considering how popular this addition is, you’d think that be announcing it from the rooftops). Do you know of a source that outlines which regions/tenants are likely to receive updates and what those timeframes may be?

    Thanks very much for the article by the way especially the considerations regarding personal vs group forms.

    • Loryan Strant

      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Warren!
      Unfortunately they don’t make the specifics of feature deployments across different datacentres public.

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