Microsoft Forms Data Deletion

New Contributor



Would be grateful if anyone can please advise:


A User submits a response to a Microsoft Form. The response is processed, then immediately deleted from the "list of responses" in the relevant Form. The attached Excel Workbook is re-synchronised. The response can no longer be seen, in the list of responses on the Form, or in the attached, synchronised, Workbook.


Are previous Microsoft Form submissions still held on a Microsoft Server, after they have been "deleted" at our end, and, if so, for how long?


Appreciate that it's always a good idea to ensure that only essential data is collected, but in our situation, the length of time that data is stored on any Microsoft Server will have serious implications for the type of data - any data - we can gather from our prospective Microsoft Form Users.


Thanks in advance.

2 Replies

@gregmck once a response is deleted my understanding is that there is no way to retrieve it from  anywhere; there is certainly no server to which anyone has access that will enable you to retrieve it.


If you wish to have form responses held under a retention policy then you will need to - as we do - always save Forms responses to a SharePoint list via a flow in Power Automate.


Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

@RobElliott - thank you very much for the response, which is sincerely appreciated.


The issue isn't so much about being able to retrieve any deleted response. That's the last thing we want! Our deletion of the response, from the Form and from the Workbook, is the step(s) we take, to try to ensure that the response cannot be retrieved at our end.


What I'm trying to ascertain, though, is if the response is deleted period; that is, once we have deleted it at our end, it becomes non-retrievable from anywhere, by anyone, for any reason - whether it is wiped; or whether the submitted data will still be preserved on a server, someplace, for some period of time, when everyone thinks it has - in effect, but perhaps not in actuality - been deleted...?


We're not so much concerned about our handling of the data - we gather, we process, we delete; just about whether the data could (and fingers crossed it would never happen!) - but still, whether the data could be accessed by someone else, even on a server "to which [no-one] has access", when we believed it had been deleted and should therefore no longer exist.


Thank you again for your response.