The answer may surprise you. While the form itself is not anonymous, there are ways to make it anonymous. This is important for forms that collect sensitive information, such as surveys about controversial topics.
Anonymous Google Forms help protect the identity of respondents by not requiring them to input their name or other personal information. The form will still collect data, but it will be harder to identify individual responses. This way your respondents can feel safe answering honestly without fear of retaliation.
In this article, we’ll explain what makes a form anonymous and how you can create an anonymous form yourself.
Google Forms can be anonymous if they’re made that way
What makes a Google Form anonymous?
If you are interested in ensuring that your Google Form is anonymous, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, any questions that would reveal personal information, like a name or email address, should not be included in the form, especially as required questions.
Additionally, you must make sure that the form is not set to collect email addresses from respondents. Collecting email addresses would defeat the purpose of an anonymous survey. This is a setting in your form that can be turned off to maintain anonymity.
Does limiting form responses affect anonymity?
When creating a Google Form, you have the option to limit form responses. However, this requires the user to sign in to complete the form. Does this affect if the form is anonymous?
Well, it depends. Because the information cannot be shared with the owner of the form this way, you could argue that it’s still anonymous. Respondents, on the other hand, may feel differently if they’re being prompted with a sign-in.
If you’d still like to limit form responses, you could send respondents a message that this is required by Google and that you have no access to the information. But it may be best just to disable this option if you’re serious about providing an anonymous experience.
How to make an anonymous Google Form
Step 1: Create a new form
The first step is to create a new form.
Go to Google Forms and select from a variety of form templates or start with a blank form.
Once you've created your form, it's time to start adding questions. Google Forms makes it easy to add different types of questions, including multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions.
Again, make sure you’re not including questions that reveal personal information, like a name, address, or contact information.
Step 2: Go to Settings
Once you've added all of your questions, it's time to adjust some settings to make your form anonymous. To do this, click on the "Settings" icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
There are a few different settings you can use to make your form anonymous.
Step 4: Ensure “Collect email addresses” is unchecked
The first setting you'll want to adjust is the "Collect email addresses" setting. By default, this is set to "On," which means that Google Forms will collect the email address of every person who responds to your form.
If you want to keep your form completely anonymous, you'll need to ensure that this setting is turned off. To do this, go to “Settings” and then the ‘’Responses” section. Turn the "Collect email addresses" slider off. This will prevent Google Forms from collecting any email addresses.
Step 5: (optional) Ensure “Limit to 1 response” is unchecked
The next setting you can adjust is the "Limit to 1 response" setting. By default, this is set to "Off," which means that respondents can submit your form multiple times. This feature can be useful if you're using your form for something like a poll or survey.
This will also ensure that your form is completely anonymous, as respondents will be able to submit their forms without an email address.
However, if you want to prevent people from submitting your form more than once, you can turn this setting on. To do this, simply check the "Limit to 1 response" box. This will ensure that each person can only submit your form once.
When you're finished, your settings will automatically be saved and you can close the Settings window.
Step 7: Test if the form is anonymous
Assuming you've followed all the steps above, your form should now be anonymous. To test this, simply copy the link of your form and paste it into an incognito window or another browser where you aren't signed in to Google. Then, fill out and submit the form.
If everything is working correctly, you should be able to see your responses in the "Responses" tab, but there should not be any information about who submitted the form, and your responses shouldn't be associated with any email address.
And that's it! You've now successfully created an anonymous Google Form.
Start making your own anonymous surveys
So, are Google Forms truly anonymous? The answer is both yes and no. If you don't add any identifying information to the form itself, then your respondents will remain anonymous. However, if you include questions that ask for personal information or email addresses, then those responses will be tied to specific individuals.
Whether or not your survey is anonymous depends on how you set it up. So, if you want to keep your respondents' identities a secret, make sure you create an anonymous survey.
Ready to get started? Follow the steps above to make an anonymous survey using Google Forms.