Survey Platform - File Upload | Qualtrics

File Upload

What's on this page:

IntroductionFile Upload Options

Data Analysis


Qtip: File Upload is an add-on feature not included in the standard Qualtrics license. Please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive for more information

The File Upload question type allows respondents to upload a file along with their survey response. Using File Upload, you can collect data that may not be available through standard survey questions.


You can have as many File Upload questions in your survey as you would like, however each question can accept only one uploaded file. Files uploaded need to be smaller than 16MB. For security reasons, executable files (such as those ending in .exe) are not permitted.

Qtip: For information on uploading file sizes larger than 16 MB, please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive.
Qtip: A respondent can upload multiple files through one File Upload question if the files are compressed into a ZIP file before uploading.

File Upload Options

File Upload questions are fairly straightforward, with one main adjustable option. You can restrict the type of file respondents upload. For example, if you are asking for a photo, you may want to restrict respondents from uploading spreadsheets.

To set this requirement, select Content Validation in the question Editing Pane and choose the appropriate Content Type.


Content options are PDF, Document (DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT), Spreadsheet (CSV, XLS, XLSX, ODS), or Graphic (JPG, PNG, GIF). You can also choose Extensions and type in your own custom allowed file extensions. Custom file extensions should not include the period before the file name and need to be separated by a space or a comma.

File Upload Logic

When utilizing the File Upload question, you can use special logic conditions in Display Logic, Skip Logic, Branch Logic, Custom Validation, and other areas. You can add logic based on the following:

  • File: Base logic on whether a file was uploaded or not.
  • File Size: Base logic on the number of bytes the uploaded file contains.
  • File Type: Base logic on the type of file that was uploaded (PDF, Document, Spreadsheet, Graphic, Custom Extensions).

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various methods to create reports both in and out of the platform. From the Results module, you can view aggregate data with pre-made reports as well as create your own. From the Responses module, you can view and manipulate your survey responses on an individual basis.


There are two visualization types available for File Upload questions: Paginated Table and Word Cloud. For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.
Note that File Upload questions display slightly differently than their cousins the text entry question when viewed in a Paginated Table. With the File Upload question, you will be able to see an uploaded file’s name, and also be able to click on the name to view the actual file in your browser. In a Text Entry you can only see the text entry text, there will be no link to extra content.

Downloaded Data Format

File Upload questions will show up in the downloaded dataset as four columns listing a URL to view the file, the file name, file size, and file type.

ZIP Download

Rather than downloading your uploaded files in spreadsheet form, you can download a ZIP file with all the files uploaded by your respondents. When exporting your data in Responses, just choose the User Submitted Files format.

Qtip: Depending on the number files that have been uploaded, this ZIP file may be quite large and could take a while to download.