Strategies to Prevent and Mitigate Spam on Google Forms

Spam submissions can be a nuisance and hinder the effectiveness of your Google Forms. To maintain the integrity of your data and prevent spam, consider implementing the following strategies:

Use Captcha or reCAPTCHA:

To implement Captcha or reCAPTCHA on your Google Forms, follow these steps:

  1. Captcha for Forms: You can use the “Captcha for Forms” add-on for Google Forms, which is a free add-on that helps fight spam. It verifies the human identity by requesting the correct input of a constantly changing challenge code (captcha).
    • Download the “Captcha for Forms” apps script and open your form.
    • Copy the downloaded script to your form’s script editor.
    • Refresh the form page, and you will see the “Captcha for Forms” add-on icon. Click on it and select “Start” to activate the captcha challenge.
  2. ReCAPTCHA: Google Forms also supports reCAPTCHA, which is Google’s improved CAPTCHA system that differentiates humans from spambots without requiring them to take a test or solve a problem.
    • Google automatically displays the reCAPTCHA feature on your form if it detects suspicious activity or cannot determine if the user is a human or not.
    • You can also manually add a simple CAPTCHA-like question to your form by adding a short answer question and setting a response validation rule, such as a simple math operation.

By implementing Captcha or reCAPTCHA on your Google Forms, you can add an extra layer of security to verify that responses are coming from real users and not automated spam bots. These tools help ensure the authenticity of the responses and maintain the quality of the data collected.

Enable Form Restrictions:

To enable form restrictions in Google Forms and add an extra layer of security, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Form that you want to add restrictions to.
  2. Click on the “Responses” tab at the top of the form editor.
  3. In the “Responses” tab, you will find the settings and options related to form responses.
  4. To limit responses to one per person, click on the three dots button (⋮) in the top-right corner of the “Responses” tab.
  5. Select “Limit to 1 response” from the dropdown menu.
  6. To set restrictions on who can respond, click on the “Settings” gear icon in the top-right corner of the form editor.
  7. In the “General” section, you can choose to restrict the form to users within your organization or limit it to specific users or groups.
  8. To enable response moderation, click on the “Settings” gear icon in the top-right corner of the form editor.
  9. In the “General” section, scroll down to the “Presentation” subsection and enable the “Moderate responses” option.
  10. Save your changes.

By enabling form restrictions, such as limiting responses, setting user restrictions, or enabling response moderation, you can prevent multiple spam submissions and ensure that only legitimate responses are accepted.

Review Form Responses:

To review form responses in Google Forms and ensure data accuracy, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Form that you want to review the responses for.
  2. Click on the “Responses” tab at the top of the form editor.
  3. In the “Responses” tab, you will find the settings and options related to form responses.
  4. Review the responses received so far and look for any suspicious or irrelevant submissions that may indicate spam.
  5. Manually review and delete such entries to keep your data clean and accurate.

By regularly reviewing the responses received in your Google Forms, you can ensure that the data collected is accurate and relevant. You can also delete any spam or irrelevant submissions to maintain the quality of the data.

Educate Users:

To educate users about the purpose of your Google Form and discourage spamming, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Clearly state the purpose of the form: Provide a brief introduction or description of the form’s purpose, so respondents understand its intended use.
  2. Include instructions: Clearly explain what information you are seeking and any specific guidelines or requirements for responding to the form.
  3. Emphasize relevance: Encourage respondents to provide relevant and accurate information that aligns with the form’s purpose.
  4. Discourage spamming: Politely request that respondents refrain from submitting multiple or irrelevant responses to maintain the integrity of the data.
  5. Consider adding a disclaimer: If necessary, include a disclaimer stating that any misuse or spamming of the form may result in the removal of responses or other appropriate actions.

By providing clear instructions and guidelines, you can help ensure that respondents understand the intended use of the form and provide relevant information. This can discourage spamming and contribute to the quality and accuracy of the collected data.

Monitor Form Analytics:

To monitor form analytics in Google Forms and prevent spamming activities, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Regularly review the form responses: Keep a close eye on the responses received in your Google Forms and look for any unusual patterns or suspicious behavior that may indicate spamming activities.
  2. Identify areas with the highest risk: Monitor the form analytics to identify areas with the highest risk of spamming activities.
  3. Block suspicious activity: Block suspicious activity by using tools like ClickCease or Captcha for Forms.
  4. Implement time analysis: Implement time analysis to track the amount of time it takes to fill out and submit the form. It should take humans longer to fill out a form than a spambot that will fill every form field instantly.
  5. Educate users: Educate users about the purpose of the form and discourage spamming by including clear instructions and guidelines.

By monitoring the form analytics and taking preventive measures, you can identify and address any potential spam issues promptly. This can help maintain the quality and accuracy of the collected data.When formatting your answer, use lists and paragraphs to make it easy to read and understand.

Remember, responsible and ethical use of technology is essential. Be sure to follow the guidelines and terms of service set by the platforms you use to avoid any misuse or violations.


Question: What is the difference between Captcha and reCAPTCHA?

Answer: Captcha typically presents users with distorted text or puzzles to solve, while reCAPTCHA is a more advanced version that utilizes machine learning to identify and verify human users with greater accuracy.

Question: Can I enable Captcha or reCAPTCHA on my existing Google Forms?

Answer: Yes, you can enable Captcha or reCAPTCHA on existing Google Forms by accessing the form settings and enabling the appropriate security feature.

Question: Can spam submissions be completely eliminated?

Answer: While implementing spam prevention measures can significantly reduce spam submissions, it may not eliminate them entirely. Regular monitoring and reviewing of form responses are crucial to address any spam that may bypass preventive measures.

Question: How often should I review my form responses for spam?

Answer: The frequency of reviewing form responses for spam depends on the volume of submissions and the nature of your form. It’s advisable to review them at regular intervals, such as daily or weekly, to ensure timely identification and removal of spam entries.

Question: Can spam submissions affect the accuracy of my data analysis?

Answer: Yes, spam submissions can impact the accuracy of your data analysis. By removing spam entries, you ensure that your data reflects genuine responses, leading to more accurate insights and analysis.

Question: Can I restrict form responses to specific email addresses?

Answer: Yes, you can restrict form responses to specific email addresses by enabling the “Restrict to users in [organization/domain]” option in the form settings. This restricts responses to users within a specific domain or organization.

Question: Are there any downsides to using Captcha or reCAPTCHA?

Answer: While Captcha and reCAPTCHA are effective in preventing spam, they may also introduce additional friction for users, especially those with visual impairments or cognitive disabilities. Consider accessibility and provide alternative options for users who may have difficulty with these tools.

Question: How can I educate users about the purpose of my form?

Answer: Include clear and concise instructions at the beginning of your form, explaining its purpose and the type of information you are seeking. Provide context and highlight the importance of providing accurate and relevant responses.

Question: Can I customize the Captcha or reCAPTCHA settings?

Answer: Yes, you can customize the settings for Captcha or reCAPTCHA within the Google Forms interface. You can choose the difficulty level, appearance, and other configuration options to suit your needs.

Question: What should I do if I suspect spam submissions?

Answer: If you suspect spam submissions, review the responses carefully and look for patterns or inconsistencies. Delete any entries that appear to be spam. Consider adjusting your spam prevention measures or seeking assistance from Google Support if the issue persists.

By implementing these strategies and addressing common concerns, you can effectively prevent and mitigate spam on your Google Forms, ensuring the reliability and authenticity of the data collected.