Need the ability for external users to upload files into MS Forms

Brass Contributor

Afternoon all,

Our company has some lengthy bid tenders to carry out.  MS forms is the perfect way for potential external  suppliers to fill in the form and for us to capture the repsonses.  However external users cannot use the upload file feature in MS Forms.  Why is this?  Is there a way to switch it on?  If not do we know if its a feature that is likely to be implemented soon?

71 Replies
@ScottBFT wait until you learn that Microsoft Forms also counts guest users as external and can't register their email address and name when submitting a form!

Here, I had to create two different Forms and two different Power Automate automation because of Microsoft Forms limitations with guest users (registering name and submitting files). Ultimatly, it works, but using another tool like Google Forms or Jotform that allows thoses functionnalities would've been probably more efficient for our organisation.
Crikey, what a mess around!
Luckily our website is a Wordpress site with Gravity Forms purchased.
Not that we should have to pay extra for a forms service that should be included in our Microsoft forms subscription :face_with_rolling_eyes:
Agreed, no idea why the different components, which commonly need to be used together, are so isolated from each other.

@mgiguere, may you explain to me the e2e solution that you have designed ? I have very similar need.

Users outside of the domain are categorized as Anonymous sender. Also I have organized a Onedrive folder to contain all documents. I am looking for a proper automation to link the two fields (eventually triggering some field of the form to the file on onedrive) so to have a sorted curated list, however it's not clear to me how, yet.

Thanks for your help

@DthMaul, sure! I have two versions of the same form. The internal version endswith the form file component; the external form ends with a file request. The external form also have extra questions about name, email and organisation (they have to repeat this information even if it is in our azure active directory). In the file request, people also have to input their name.

In power automate, there are also two flows. Both will trigger when a form is submitted and will create a list element (the same list is used for externals and internals).

The internal flow will use the Forms output related to the question with the files. It will classify those files in a SharePoint library (again, the same library for internals and externals) and add metadata from the form answers.

The external flow will list all files in the folder used for file request. If any of those files have the same name as the form, they will classify the files in the SharePoint Library.

For the internal flow, there are less risk of errors. For external flow, many kind of errors might arise: if there's a typo in the name, if many people submit files at the same time, if the person submit the files after submitting the form, ... Still, we've used this for many months and most of the time, the flow is able to make the link between the file and the Form using their name.

I hope this can help you for your needs,

@mgiguere  thanks for the explanation!

Are there no security concerns, by giving access to a sharepoint folder and allowing people to upload whatever they want?


None. Anyone who makes a form like this is expecting a certain types of file. Anything that does not have the file extension that is expected gets discarded or blocked by the form itself in the upload process.


Some designer form probably want PDFs or Adobe files.

Some other forms probably want Word or Powerpoint files.

Some programmer forms probably want some code files along with some binary files.


It all depends on the use case.


Its not like sharepoint will execute any file on its own.... right?

Microsoft Still not resolved this. Any Progress/Update and alternate way to upload???

@RobElliott pls can you suggest what alternative I can implement so that external gird can upload files and those files can be dropped in one target teams folder or Sharepoint/ OneDrive location?

@RajivSingh - My organization currently uses Formstack for external-facing forms that require a file upload question.  JotForm is another good product, I believe. 


You might also want to familiarize yourself with how the files are stored in a 3rd party service; I believe my organization chose Formstack because it met our regulatory/privacy requirements well. 


As for the file-handling, both of these products have Power Automate connectors that would allow you to build a flow based on a form being completed and then manipulate the file (rename it, save it to SharePoint Online/OneDrive, etc., but be aware they're both premium connectors so your licensing might be a consideration.


We're hoping that Microsoft figures this out and offers this feature soon in either Forms, Dynamics CustomerVoice or both.  Forms in particular lacks much of the enterprise administration/management and data governance that it needs to truly be an "enterprise" product, so even though Microsoft bundles it in with their enterprise licensing, it still seems to have one foot squarely in the "consumer" realm and that's unfortunate.  


Hope that helps.  

@bvarian Thanks but i was looking for a workaround solution within MS product. I know there are many external solutions but I do not want to go externally as data I am collective very sensitive and whenever I connect external app solution, will have to give another blind access to software signup whether Jotform or Typeform, or Formstack. 

After reading many other forums, I have found my solution. Here is what I have done. Example screenshot below:


  1. Created another "Teams" - named - Guest Portal. Activated Sharepoint site access "anyone with the link.
  2. Created two folders within the new 'teams' site. (a) Terms & Policy (b) File upload
  3. Created external link for folder 2.(a) with anyone's access and block download. In this folder organisation's latest engagement terms for read-only purposes are stored for external clients.
  4. Created external link for folder 2.(b) with anyone's access with edit access. In this folder - saved user guide instructions on what and how to upload.
  5. On my website - added two permanent short URL redirect links to steps 3 and 4
  6. Separately added power automate flow trigger whenever any files are uploaded in "KYCUPLOD" folder site move this to closed team site that will have only private team access. So guest user will not see files after uploaded.
  7. In the form added two acceptance checkboxes with Text - I have read the terms in link given in step 3 and uploaded my KYC document in step 4. I understand that after my upload documents will move immediately to a secure folder, hence not visible. In case wanted to reupload, the old file will be overwritten.
  8. I have tested the solution works perfectly for my requirement as I dont have much traffic. In a day probably 2-3 signup forms of external users at different times.

please let me know if you have any better workaround within MsForm solution, then probably I can try that. Or else I will continue with above solution step.