Google Forms are an excellent way to create surveys and gather data, but some respondents may be reluctant to answer the questions. People sometimes give untruthful responses, fearing that the information could be traced. The good news is that you can create an anonymous survey in Google Forms and preserve the data’s integrity.
Keep reading to learn more.
If you’re making a test or survey in Google Forms on your Windows PC, you can enable the “anonymous” feature. This allows people to fill out the form without signing in with their email addresses. Here’s how you can allow anonymous responses in Google Forms:
- Head to Google Forms.
- Make a new Google Form using a built-in template or build your design from a blank form.
- After you’ve customized the survey, click on the “Settings” icon in the upper right of the desktop.
- Navigate to the “General” tab and tap the “Collect email address” and “Limit to 1 response” boxes to deselect them.
- All changes will be auto-saved.
When you uncheck the “Limit to 1 response” option, Google Forms will let anyone submit responses, even people who may not have a Google account. If you select the box, only people who sign in to their Google accounts can fill out the form. However, their answers will be anonymous when you deselect the “Collect email address” box.
Before publishing the form, you may want to test it and check whether it requires users to leave their names and email addresses. Fortunately, checking whether the form is anonymous is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps to do so:
- Visit Google Forms and find the survey you wish to check.
- Double-click the form to open it.
- Navigate to the upper-right part of the desktop and click on the “Send” button.
- Press the link field and tap “Copy.”
- Open an Incognito tab in Google Chrome. (You can use a different browser if you don’t sign in to your Google account.)
- Paste the link into the address bar to open your form.
- Complete the form and submit the responses.
- Head back to Google Forms in a tab where you’ve logged in to your Google account.
- Go to the “Responses” tab.
The “Responses” tab won’t display personal information such as names and email addresses if the survey is anonymous.
When you create a Google Form, respondents are prompted to leave their name and email before answering the questions. When they try to skip the sign-in page, they’re unable to move on to the form. The name and email fields are usually marked with a small asterisk, meaning that they’re required information.
Fortunately, if you’re using a Mac to make a form, you can enable the “anonymous” feature and remove the name and email sections. The following steps will help you do so:
- Open Google Forms from your browser.
- Create a new survey by picking a built-in template or starting from a blank form.
- When you’re satisfied with the form and feel ready to move on, tap the gear-shaped “Settings” icon in the screen’s upper-right corner.
- Go to the “General” tab and click on the “Collect email address” and “Limit to 1 response” boxes to disable them.
- All changes will be auto-saved.
The Google Form you created should now accept anonymous responses. After deselecting the “Limit to 1 response” box, respondents without a Google account will be able to complete the survey without difficulty. When you check this box, you’ll permit only users who have signed in with their Google account to submit responses. However, their identity will remain hidden since you’ve deselected the “Collect email address” box.
If you’ve never made an anonymous form before, you might want to test it and ensure it permits anonymous responses. Here’s how to do it:
- Head to Google Forms and find the survey you want to test.
- Double-tap the form to open it.
- Tap the “Send” button in the upper right of the screen.
- Click on the link area and select “Copy.”
- Open an Incognito tab in Google Chrome. (You can use any browser as long as you’re not signed into Google.)
- Tap the address bar and paste the link into it. This action will open your form.
- Fill out the survey and submit the responses.
- Open a new tab, sign in to Google, and go to Google Forms.
- Navigate to the “Responses” tab.
The “Responses” tab will not generate information about respondents’ names and email addresses if the form is anonymous. Additionally, respondents aren’t required to enter personal data before completing the survey. Instead, the text fields are unmarked, meaning leaving personal information is optional.
Google Forms is an excellent data-gathering tool, but not all people feel comfortable knowing their answers can be tied back to their email addresses. Also, respondents without a Google account are typically excluded from these surveys. But you can bypass this problem by tweaking the settings of your form and making it anonymous. To ensure it works, you can always test it before forwarding it to respondents.
Have you made an anonymous form before? Which device did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.