Microsoft Lists Forms vs Microsoft Forms – When use Which?

In the world of data collection and user feedback, Microsoft has been a key player with its versatile tools: Microsoft Lists and Microsoft Forms.

With the recent release of the new forms experience for Microsoft Lists, the dynamics of this two amazing tools have changed a bit, let’s dive into what each tool offers and when you should use one over the other.

Microsoft Lists Forms vs Microsoft Forms

Understanding Microsoft Lists Forms

Microsoft Lists Forms is the new kid on the block, integrated directly with Microsoft Lists. It’s designed to enhance the data collection process within your lists, making it more intuitive and user-friendly. Here’s what you can do with Microsoft Lists Forms that wasn’t possible before:

  • Direct Sharing: Share forms with users without granting access to the underlying list.
  • One-Click Customization: Include only the necessary fields for user completion with a single click.
  • Color Schemes: Utilize a predefined set of colors from Microsoft for form customization.
  • Contextual Messages: Add custom messages at the top of the form for better context and a thank-you message upon submission.
  • Multiple Forms: Create and share multiple forms for the same list within your organization.
  • User Information Collection: Automatically gather information about the form submitter.

What is Microsoft Forms?

On the other hand, Microsoft Forms has been the go-to solution for creating advanced forms without delving into PowerApps development. It’s perfect for quick surveys, quizzes, and polls, offering real-time analytics and seamless integration with other Microsoft 365 tools.

Microsoft Forms was often the default choice for a more sophisticated form experience. However, with the new enhancements in Microsoft Lists Forms, the reliance on Microsoft Forms for data collection has significantly decreased. Yet, there are still scenarios where Microsoft Forms holds the upper hand:

  • External Sharing: Microsoft Lists Forms is currently limited to internal users, while Microsoft Forms can be shared externally.
  • Conditional Logic: Microsoft Forms supports form branching based on previous replies, which is not available in Microsoft Lists Forms.
  • Form Tracking: Microsoft Forms keeps track of which form was used for each response, a feature not present in Microsoft Lists Forms.

The Downside of Replacing Microsoft Lists Forms with Microsoft Forms

While Microsoft Forms is a powerful tool, using it as a replacement for Microsoft Lists Forms comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Manual Creation: You need to manually create the form to match the list schema.
  • Power Automate Flow: Manually configure a flow to transfer data from the form to the list, which can be cumbersome if you have multiple forms and lists.


The new Microsoft Lists Forms brings a fresh perspective to data collection within Microsoft Lists, offering a range of customization options and user-centric features. However, Microsoft Forms still plays a crucial role, especially when dealing with external users and requiring conditional logic. Before making a choice, carefully consider your objectives and the functionalities you need. This way, you can leverage the strengths of each tool without overwhelming yourself with unnecessary work.

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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.