Looking to close your job application form at a specific date? Or give out a special discount to the first 50 customers who sign up for your email list? Closing your form, or blocking submissions at a specific time, is an essential part of the form-building process.
With Google Forms, you can manually close your forms. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in feature to close your forms automatically. You’ll need to download a third-party app to have your form closed at a given date, or when it receives a certain number of submissions.
The process is a little more complicated than you might think (or hope). We’ve broken it down step by step, so you can learn how to close your Google Form at a specific time both manually and automatically.
Of course, you could also use Paperform to avoid headache and close your forms effortlessly. Don’t worry—we’ll get into that, too.
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Google Forms allows you to close forms manually from the editor. It’s not the most convenient option, as you’ll need to remember to close submissions on the final date or monitor responses until you reach the limit you’ve decided upon. But you work with what you’ve got, right?
Here’s how to close your form manually in Google Forms:
First, navigate to Google Forms and select (or create) the form you’d like to close. If you’re making a form from scratch, you can choose from a limited selection of form templates. Once you’ve selected your form, click the Responses tab at the top of the editor.
This will take you to a page where you can view form responses. By default, the Accepting responses button is on. To close your Google Form, simply toggle it off.
Now anyone who clicks on your Google Form will be met with a page saying that it’s no longer accepting responses. You can also set a custom message in the text box below the toggle to add a more personal touch.
And that’s it! If you ever want to re-open your form to new submissions, just navigate back to the menu and flip the switch back on.
While closing your Google Form manually is pretty straightforward, it requires you to set a reminder and shut down submissions yourself. Which is… inconvenient.
If you’re looking to avoid creating more work for yourself, you’ll want to automate the process by setting closing limits. You can do this two ways.
Unfortunately, there’s no built-in functionality that allows you to close a Google Form automatically. You’ll need to install the formLimiter add-on, a third-party app made by New Visions Cloudlab, to set up this functionality.
With formLimiter, you can automatically close Google Forms at a certain time, after a certain number of submissions, or even when a Google Sheets cell equals a certain value.
It’s a bit convoluted and time-consuming to set up, especially for something so simple. But we’re here to guide you. Here’s how to close your Google Form automatically with formLimiter:
First, open your Google Form and click the three dot menu on the top right corner of the editor. Select Add-ons. You’ll be redirected to the Google Workspace Marketplace, from which you can install a variety of add-ons.
Click on formLimiter. By default, it should be first billing in the add-ons menu, but if it’s not visible for any reason, you can search for it using the search bar above.
Install the add-on and allow permissions when requested. There are quite a few permissions you’ll need to grant, like allowing formLimiter to see, edit and delete any of your Google Drive files, send emails as you, and run in the background while you aren’t present.
If you’re not comfortable with any of those, fair enough. But you’ll need to find another solution.
Once it’s installed you’ll be able to access formLimiter from the top of the form editor. Just click the puzzle piece Add-on icon and select formLimiter. Choose Set limit to open yet another menu where you can configure how and when you’d like your form closed.
To have your form closed on a date, select date and time from the dropdown menu. From here, you can select the day and time on which you’d like your form to stop accepting submissions.
For a use case like a pottery class with limited capacity, creating an event registration form that closes based on submission number might be more convenient than picking an end date.
To do so, select number of form responses from the drop-down menu and enter the maximum number of submissions you’d like to receive. Your form will close automatically once you hit this number.
You can also set a custom message for respondents who try to submit after the deadline. That way, you can thank your potential pottery students for their interest and let them know when registration will open up again.
And that’s it. Whether you go for date or form submission number, remember to check the box to receive email notifications when your form is closed. When you’re happy with your conditions, be sure to click Save and enable.
Closing your form automatically in Google Forms is like running a marathon on a treadmill: way too much work for no real payoff.
While you can close your Google Forms automatically with the help of formLimiter, you’ll bump into several roadblocks along the way.
It takes a whopping eight steps to set up automatic form closures on your Google Form. For a feature that should be standard for form builders, that’s just too many.
Navigating the app marketplace can be overwhelming, especially for new users, and installing add-ons (and finding them once they’re installed) is more trouble than it’s worth.
Having your form close automatically based on the date or submission number is supposed to make your life easier. But when setting it up takes more time than it would to set a reminder and close your form yourself, it defeats the purpose.
Even after your form is closed, it’s important to maintain your brand personality and avoid turning future clients away.
While you can alter the default message on a closed Google Form, you can’t create a custom success page. That means there’s no way to redirect respondents to a new form or webpage when they’re denied from your closed form.
Goodbye, potential leads.
Like cooking, prep work saves you loads of time when it comes to form building. Creating a form in advance and setting it live at a specific date can help you tick one more thing off your to-do list when it’s most convenient for you.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to do this with Google Forms. You can’t set an opening date for a form you’ve made. All forms become live as soon as you make them, so there’s no real way to do any prep work.
You may want to have your form closed on a certain date or when you receive a certain number of submissions. This is particularly helpful for “whichever comes first” scenarios, like classes that have a size limit and a registration deadline.
But even with formLimiter in place, you can’t close your Google Forms based on multiple conditions. You’ll have to choose one or the other (date or submission number), so there’s no solution for those “whichever comes first” scenarios.
Paperform offers a solution for all the form closure roadblocks you'll hit with Google Forms. Not only can you close forms manually or automatically, you don’t need any add-ons, and you can do it in seconds.
All you’ve got to do is go to the Configure menu from the form editor, select Form Behaviour and scroll to the Form Availability section to set your conditions. Easy peasy.
From here, you can disable submissions, set a max number of submissions, or pick a date and time to close your form. And unlike Google Forms, you can set limits based on multiple conditions, which is great for those “whichever comes first” situations.
There’s no need to save and reload or download any pesky add-ons. Just set (and alter) these conditions any time, right from the editor, and let Paperform handle the rest.
Unlike Google Forms, you can also have your form open at a certain date and time. You can set up this unique feature from the same place. This is particularly helpful for giveaways or time-sensitive RSVPs, where the first 50 or 100 respondents get a special perk.
You can also set up custom success pages for your closed forms. Give denied respondents a sense of your brand and personality by adding logos, text, images, videos, and more to your custom closed form page.
With Paperform, you can redirect those potential leads to another open form, or another website, or leave them laughing with the perfect GIF.
With Paperform, you don’t need to remember to manually close your form, install third-party add-ons, or set conditions from a clunky sidebar. Closing a form is simple—as it should be.
And when you make (and close) your forms with Paperform, you get access to all of these other snazzy features designed to make your work (and life) easier.
With Paperform, you can make stylish, powerful forms and surveys that close exactly when and how you want. But don’t take our word for it—give it a go yourself with our 14 day free trial, no credit card required.
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