File Upload in Microsoft Forms: How to collaborate with external users

Microsoft Forms customers have been requesting the ability to allow uploads from external users since 2017. However, there’s no sign at the moment of this feature being added to Microsoft Form’s development pipeline.

This is why we created file upload software File Request Pro, which natively connects with OneDrive and SharePoint.

File Upload Question in Microsoft Forms

If some of your form questions may require your responders to upload/attach files to their answers. You can add a type of question to your form that allows for file uploads.

Microsoft has published a simple tutorial you can follow to add an attachment question type to your forms.

It is annoying that you have a perfectly good form builder like Microsoft Forms and you can’t use it to upload files from people outside the organisation.


Microsoft  briefly introduced file requests for SharePoint in 2020 but pulled the feature soon after. OneDrive file requests was launched in 2019 and is good for simple use cases, although you need to enable to correct permissions.

If you want to build file request forms, you need to look at options outside Microsoft.

Making Microsoft forms anonymous

You can make Microsoft forms anonymous so the names and email of respondents are not collected.  You’ll need a Microsoft 365 or education account.

To make a Microsoft form anonymous, go to ‘settings’ and uncheck ‘record name’. Once you selected this option, there is no way to link responses to people. The only issue is: You can’t have an upload question and make the form anonymous at the same time.

You can also use Microsoft Teams to create forms that are accessible by your team. This is a suitable option if you don’t want just one person to be responsible for collating responses. Practical 365 explains how you can Use Microsoft Forms in Teams to work together managing anonymous surveys.

Create a file upload form that allows external users to upload files to OneDrive and SharePoint

File Request Pro is part form builder, part file upload software and part automation tool. It natively integrates with both Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint.

We designed it to make it as easy as possible for you to receive and organise files and folders, while streamlining your workflow. No one wants to be chasing people for content, manually organising files, or searching for misplaced ones. With File Request Pro you don’t need to.

File Request Pro is focused solely on file collection, so you don’t have the extra features and higher price point of client interaction hubs like Huddle.

Creating a new upload form with File Request Pro only takes a few minutes. Simply fill in a few details or select ‘Continue with Microsoft’. Your free trial will last 14 days.

Start building your upload page. This page can be as simple or as complicated as you want.

You can collect almost any type of information from your clients using these fields: text, phone, email, URL, checkbox, dropdown, date, and more. You can also add as many dropzones as you like to collect files or folders.

Any type of field that best matches your company’s needs and corresponds with the data you need from your customers can be included. More data can be gathered with this form, which can then be used to remarket to individual clients.

Decide whether you want to keep questions on a one-page form or add page breaks to create a multi-page form.


multi-page form example

You can also customize your page to match your brand and website colours

branding interface

Choose how you want to automatically organise files in your OneDrive or SharePoint account. Do you want to dynamically group content into subfolders by name, email, mortgage type, or any other value you specify?

To save you time chasing clients for content, you can also set up automated reminders.

You can also add extra admin users so members of your team can send file requests as well.

Finally, from the Integrations menu, you can easily connect your Sharepoint account.

Sharepoint forms

You can also use the webhooks integrations to store your forms submissions in a SharePoint list by creating a simple power automate flow.

Use Microsoft for what it’s good at – and File Request Pro for the rest

Get the best of both worlds by using File Request Pro to collect content and files, which are then sent straight to your Microsoft cloud storage solution.

Is File Request Pro secure? Yes. User data is securely encrypted when it is sent to your cloud account or dashboard. We don’t require users to log in because we think the trade off in terms of user experience is too great. You can allow only users with a link to upload documents. You can also set a password, although we don’t make this the default option.

Can external users upload files? Yes. File Request Pro has been specifically created to make it as easy as possible for anyone to send you files, particularly clients external to your organisation.

Can we upload files from clients? Not at the moment. This is something we’re considering, but our core focus is document collection.