How to Back Up Google Forms in Google Drive


The purpose of this article is to ensure you retain access to Google Forms you care about, even if they are removed by others. This need is brought on by the changes to Google storage space at the university.

Google Forms are NOT discontinued at the university, but storage limits and ownership of the forms may cause issues.

  • Storage Quota: The responses you get to your forms will count against your data storage quota.
  • Storage Quota: Individuals whose google storage is full cannot submit a form with file attachments.
  • Export: Google Forms differ from Google documents in that you cannot export them in a way that maintains functionality. You can Print a Google Form and save it as a pdf, but it is no longer functional. You would have to rebuild its interactive/dynamic elements in different form-builder software.
  • Deletion: If the original owner of the form deletes or moves it, you may lose access.
  • Deletion: If the original owner's account is deleted, you may lose access.



Follow this tutorial to make copies of any important forms you want to keep access to if you are unable to collaborate with the form owner.

STEP 1 - Determine if you have access to any forms:

  1. Log in to Google Drive and make sure you are in My Drive.
  2. In the Search in Drive search box, enter type:form

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  3. The results will show all the forms you have access to in your own Drive, Shared Drives, and other people's Drives.

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You can STOP HERE if:

  • No forms are listed.
  • You don't care about having access to any of the forms listed.

Step 2 - Determine which forms you need access to and collaborate with the owners.

If you can contact the form owner and work out the best way forward for the form, copying it for yourself may not be necessary.

Examine each form and decide if it should remain in someone's My Drive, move to a Shared Drive, or be moved to another (non-Google) service.

Things to watch out for:

  • Forms in a My Drive can have the File Upload question type, allowing respondents to add files to their response. These are stored in the Form owner's My Drive and count against your storage. Your storage could fill up quickly. Users whose own Google storage is full cannot complete a form requiring file uploads.
  • Forms in a Shared Drive cannot have a File Upload question type, which may limit the usefulness of the form.
  • You may also choose to rebuild your forms in QuestionPro, a tool provided by the university.

STEP 3 - For each form you want to retain access to (even if the original owner deletes it), follow these steps:

  1. Click the 3-dots icon beside the form you want to back up, and select Make a copy from the pop-up menu.

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  2. The messages shown should appear in the bottom left of your window:

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  3. Click on My Drive to return from the search results to your Drive. You should now have a copy of the form in your My Drive.

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