I'd like to sort rows and remove duplicates while the form is live and the responses sheet is receiving incoming responses.

Will my working on the sheet while a response is coming in cause any possible problems?


It is NOT recommented to work on the responce sheet itself.

Step 1

Form responses 1 being the first one, on a second sheet (eg. Master) create a "live" copy of the existing -and future- data using importrange or a query or .....

You can read more about available functions on the official help page


=IMPORTRANGE("XXXXXYCSXvZveTw7IaSHxUiMysa7FY7XXXXX","Form responses 1")

=QUERY( 'Form responses 1'!1:1000,"select * ")

Step 2

On a third sheet (eg. Calculations) do all the alterations you need keeping all original data intact.


The "original" response repository is stored on the Google Form, not on the linked spreadsheet, so if the data on the spreadsheet becomes "damaged" some way you could unlink your form from the damaged spreadsheet and link it to new spreadsheet.

Considering the above, on a simplistic perspective, the "worst" that could happen is that you lost time and had to repeat the work made on your spreadsheet.

On a more broad perspective you could also lost the version history, but many users don't use it at all, some of them even don't know that it exists.

Anyway, the "best practice" is to not mess with the response sheet, instead take the data from this sheet by using an array (i.e. ={'Form Responses'!A:Z}) or functions like FILTER, QUERY, etc. in another sheet or by using IMPORTRANGE in another spreadsheet.

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