Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

REUSE Not Copy Your Google Form

reuse google forms
REUSE Not Copy Your Google Form

reuse forms google

Reuse Google Forms

As we start a new school year we probably have a bunch of Google Forms we used last year. Google Forms are the best thing since sliced bread but I don’t want them clogging up my Google Drive with copies. DO NOT MAKE COPIES!

A paradigm shift for Google Apps is you do not make copies.

Version History

With Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings you do not make copies, you make versions. Use the File menu and choose “Version history” and “See version history.” Get in the habit of using Version history to name the versions so that version history is even easier to use. I have been using the exact same Google Doc for my syllabus for 7 years. I just make edits and “Name current version” 2018-2019.
Version History

Forms Do Not Have Version History

With Forms, you still do not make copies but you do it a little differently. You want to Delete Responses and then keep using the same Form.

Responses Tab

When in the edit view of Google Forms, click on the Responses tab.
Responses Tab

3 Dots

Locate the 3 dots menu on the right hand side.
3 dots menu

Unlink Form

If you have a spreadsheet (if you don’t, go back and click on the spreadsheet icon and make one. This makes a COPY of your Form responses so you don’t lose the responses.) you want to unlink the spreadsheet from the Form. It would make more sense if the menu said “Unlink spreadsheet” but instead it says “Unlink Form.” Do that.
Unlink Form reuse forms

Delete All Responses

Now go back to the 3 dots menu and choose “Delete all responses.” This only deletes the Form responses, not any spreadsheet data. Now your Form is fresh and ready to reuse!


Do not forget to click on the spreadsheet icon to create a new spreadsheet (or link to the old spreadsheet, it will copy responses to a different tab.) You want to have a spreadsheet for your Forms data and you need to do this each time you administer a Form.

New Google Classroom: Use the Browser Back Arrow

3 thoughts on “REUSE Not Copy Your Google Form

  1. Most of the time you can just make a copy of the responses on a new tab in the spreadsheet and keep using the same form. Unless for some reason you need to see all of the charts. I have been using the same form for my quizzes for years.

  2. Say I want to distribute several copies of a template google spreadsheet, each using the same base form, but with isolated responses. Is it possible?

    1. Of a spreadsheet, yes. But I’m not understanding your question about the Form. You want to make copies of the spreadsheet and have the same form feed into all of them? No.

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