Monday, October 12, 2015

Google Forms: Deleting Responses

Sometimes you need to delete responses from a Google Form.  Maybe it is a new year or a new class period and you don't need to save the previous responses.  It might also be because you tested your form a few times and now you want to delete those test attempts.  I want to give you a few tips about deleting form responses.

Something to keep in mind is that Google Forms essentially inserts a new row into the spreadsheet when it puts in a new response.  If you have any extra text populating any of the cells of a clean row, it will be pushed down and the new responses will be above it.  This means that in the background, Forms is keeping track of where the next response should go.  If you simply delete the text of the responses you want to get rid of, you will end up with a bunch of blank rows at the top of your sheet.  Forms will continue inserting responses where it left off.  If you want to truly delete the responses, you need to select the whole row by clicking on the far left cell that has the row number in it.  Then you can right click and delete the whole row.  This will remove the row entirely and Forms will now put new responses at the very top (assuming you deleted all the existing responses).

Now, before you delete anything, think about if there is a chance you might want these responses at any point in the future.  If the answer could be yes, you have a few options.  You can go to the bottom left corner of your spreadsheet and duplicate the sheet and save those answers in another tab across the bottom of the page.  Then you can delete the answers from the first sheet and you will be ready to go.

You can also choose to hide the rows with the responses in them.  This way you don't have to see them, but they will still be there.  To do this, select the entire row(s) and right click.  Choose the option for hiding the rows.

Keep in mind that hidden responses will still show up when you run a summary of responses from the form menu.

If you are new to Google Forms - check out my Google Forms 101 post.

Stop by again soon for more handy tech tips!

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