Anonymous responses on Office forms: is there any way to have their email or name?

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New Contributor

Hi,

 

I have launched a contest for colleagues but all responses came out anonymous (i had incorrectly unselected that option). I need to find out who send each of the responses. Is there any way we can find out who is behind each of the anonymous responses I got?

 

Thank you in advance.

30 Replies
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Hi Patrícia, if you adjust the Form settings this should be possible to capture name and email address, as shown on the 'Who can fill out this form" section:

 

456ceb6d-2642-4224-bcff-b250c5aa32fb

 

"Two additional options are available if you choose to only allow people in your organization to fill out your form. Select Record name if you want each form response to include the name and email address of the responder. Clear this option if you want to allow anonymous responses to your quiz or form."

 

So this option isn't available if you want to allow anonymous responses.  You may have to check these settings, adjust them as needed and send out a new Form but see how you get on.

 

Adjust your form or quiz settings in Microsoft Forms

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Thank you so much!

Do you if there is any way to know who send the responses after we got them? I have a file full of "anonymous" and needed to understand where they came from :)

Thank you, once again!

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That's a good question but I'm not entirely sure, to be honest, I suspect not though.  If the form was capturing anonymous responses, it would be a minefield, compliance-wise if, after the fact, you could reveal names and email addresses but that's just a guess!     

 

You might have to set up a new form with the 'Record name' option enabled and get respondents to fill out the form again, which is a hassle I know but it should work.

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Hi @Patrícia Mestre

 

@Cian Allneranswer above is spot on.

 

Once you've collected the anonymous results, there's no way to track who submitted what.

 

If that were possible then someone could trick submitters into thinking the survey is anonymous, and then reverse engineer their ID to use for sinister gain.

 

If you want to ever cover your bases, might be worthwhile to add a text field for Name and/or Email.

 

Best wishes and good luck!

 

Cheers

Damien

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How would the person responding to the survey know if their name/email will be captured?

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That option is only available when "Only people in my organisation can respond" in the settings is enabled and "Record name" is selected.  Then they have to sign in to access the form, unlike an Anonymous form, though I don't think there is a visual clue saying exactly, record name is enabled.

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I agree with you on everything except the last bit as it does warn you with a message above the first question when you enable Record name in the settings:

 

"Hi <name>, when you submit this form, the owner will be able to see your name and email address.

 

capture20190123091750174.png

 

Cheers

Damien

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Thanks for the clarification, that's good to know.

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In saying the above @Cian Allner, it's small text and easy to miss. I hope Microsoft make it bigger and easier to see or I reckon a lot of people will miss reading it.

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Hello @Damien Rosario,

Is there any way to have a person submitting a form to submit it with their name or as anonymous?

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Hi @John Heck 

 

Hopefully I understand right. The only ways I can think of to do this is to:

 

1. Set the form to Anonymous and put a field in for Provide your name so that users can choose to put their name in or not. You may even use branching using a Choice question to provide their name where Yes will show a name field and No will skip to the next relevant question.

 

2. Set your form to Only people in my organization can respond and tick Record name to capture the field (only available for people in your tenancy and does not allow for anonymous).

 

If you want the option to leave a name or to be anonymous, then go with option 1.

 

Let me know if I've misunderstood and I can clarify?

 

Cheers

Damien

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@Cian Allner Interestinf twist... I have a form that is set to record name but I just expported results and the first 6 or so have names... all since then are anonymous!  They shouldnt be as it is set to record.  Anyone seen this??

 

 

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 Hi @Damien Rosario 

Thank you for some really helpful answers.

I want a form I can share with our volunteers, i.e. they don't have an organisational email account but they do want to help us.

I want to capture who completes the form without forcing them to type in their email again and without risking them typing their address wrong.

But it seems if I make the form available to people outside the organisation I lose the option to automatically capture who they are.

I understand with data compliance we can't force people to provide an email.  But these are people who we already have their email address, or we wouldn't have been able to send them the link to complete the form.

Can you see any way around this?

Thank you.

Guy

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@Guy_Boswell if the form is set to anonymous it is impossible to know who the responder is unless you include a question for their email address (or name or..). Forms has no mechanism for knowing who they are. And for the reasons given earlier it would be appalling if that wasn't the situation.

 

Sometimes you just have to trust your responders to know what their email address or name is and be able to type it correctly. 

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

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Hi @Rob Elliott 

I am trying to make the form NOT anonymous but available to people outside my organisation.  Is it possible?  It seems you can't enforce collections of names and emails.

Thank you

Guy

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@Guy_Boswell no it's not possible to make it available to people outside your organisation but NOT anonymous. How would Forms know who they are unless you ask them?

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

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@Rob Elliott  , the same way we know if they are in our organisation, because they have to access the form via a link sent to them in an email.  So we already know their email.  But if we have sent the link to many people we don't know which of them completed the form

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@Guy_Boswell you might have sent them a link to the form for them to complete but Forms doesn't know that and cannot pick up that email address and include it in the response.

 

People in your organisation have an Office 365 Delve profile which includes all their details. If you set the form so that only people in your organisation can respond then it can get the relevant details of the responder. For external people that isn't possible.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

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@Rob Elliott 

So close but yet so far!  Forms is really good at what it does but seems very limited