Installing CommCare on Android Devices

This page provides step-by-step instructions of how to install CommCare on your Android mobile device.

Install Your CommCare Application

Step 1: Getting Ready for Installation

There are two components of CommCare installation:

  1. Installing CommCare from the Google Play Store

  2. Installing the specific CommCare application from your CommCare HQ (CCHQ) project space

You must complete both parts of the installation process to use your application.

To Install CommCare you will need:

  • A strong mobile data network or Wi-Fi connection

  • An Android device with Android OS 4.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher

  • A file manager application like the Amaze File Explorer (if you have multimedia) 

  • If you would like your users to type in a language not supported by the phone you need to download the software for it, if available. For example, for applications deployed in Hindi, you should download the 'Google Indic Keyboard' from the Google Play Store so your users are able to type in Hindi. 

Phone Configuration: For more information on setting up your Android device(s) for deployment please visit

Step 2: Installing CommCare

  1. Open the Google Play Store (the Android App Store) on your device 

  2. Search for CommCare 

  3. Install CommCare - make sure that automatic updates are enabled for your device


Install CC from Playstore (2).gif
Install your CommCare Application from Google Playstore

Step 3: Installing Your CommCare Application

Install App via code.gif
Install your Application using Online Code

1. Go to the Applications tab of CommCare HQ and select the application you want to deploy. 

2. When you select an application, you are brought directly to the releases page. If you would like to head to the app settings page, it is accessible via the gear icon in the app manager menu next to the app name.

3. If needed, click "make new version" to create a new version of your application.

4. Find the version you want to release and click the "Publish" button next to that version

5. From here you have two options: online install or offline install.

Online install requires a reliable internet connection for the phone, while offline install does not require internet once the file (ccz) has been downloaded from CommCare HQ. Note that an Internet connection is required to log into the mobile app for the first time, regardless of the installation method.  Please follow the instructions below for your preferred installation method. If you have decent connectivity we recommend you start with online install

USB Mounting

Certain versions of Android OS will not have USB Mounting capability turned on by default. Turning on USB capability in the middle of a CommCare download will interrupt the download.

Online Installation

See instructions and more info about multimedia at

Online install sends the application to your phone over a wireless data connection (Wi-Fi or mobile data network). 

1. If your application has multimedia, leave "Include Multimedia" checked to also send down your multimedia files remotely.

  • If you use installation with "include multimedia" selected, multimedia will be included in any remote updates to that application. The phones will incur increased data usage (carrier costs could be applicable). 

  • Applications with large amounts of multimedia (more than 20 images and/or audio files) may take a long time to install or not install successfully using this method. Even after the app is installed, updating the app would take very long (could fail if connection is poor). It is recommend that such apps (with large multimedia) use other installation methods. 

  • We recommend installing over a Wi-Fi connection rather than a mobile data network for initial install or update of large amounts of multimedia files.


2. Separately, open CommCare on your phone, as you can see below, you can either click on Scan Application Barcode or Enter Code.

Difference between Scan the Application Barcode and Enter Code

Scan Application Barcode

When using this option, you will need to be logged into CommCare HQ (CCHQ), and have your mobile device near you. When you click on the Scan Application Barcode link on CCHQ, a modal will popup with a QR code which you will need to scan with your mobile device by selecting the Scan Application Barcode option. The phone will initiate it's camera which you'll need to point to the screen showing the QR code and scan the QR code provided.

Enter Code

You use the app code presented on CCHQ and enter it on your mobile device to install the application. With this method, you can just provide the code to your users in the field, without them being next to their computer. As long as a user has the code, they can install the application.

Note this code is unique to each version of the application.

E.g. Application A with version 1XX has a unique code which is different from Application A with version 2XX.

  1. Type in the app code from the website into the box (or scan the QR code if you clicked on scan application barcode) and click on "Begin Install." Depending upon the size of the application, it could take several minutes for the installation to complete.

  2. Log in on the mobile device with the Mobile Worker username and password you created on CommCare HQ. 

  3. If you do not have a mobile user account, create a CommCare mobile worker in your project. 
    Note: You cannot log into CommCare mobile using CommCare HQ login credentials.

Alternative Installation Option: Online Installation - Without Multimedia

If you do not want to remotely update multimedia files in the future, you must install multimedia offline.

  1. Connect your phone to the computer. Open the phone's SD card. (Sometimes phones will have two SD card folders - one in internal memory and one that is the actual physical SD card. In this case try using the internal SD card first).

  2. On your phone install a File Browser (ex. Amaze File Explorer)

  3. On CommCare HQ, click on the blue "Deploy" button for your application, then click on "Download Multimedia"

  4. Copy the downloaded .ccz file to your phone.  If you copy the phone right onto the phone's SD card (not in any folder), CommCare can often automatically find it. 

  5. Install the CommCare application.  This will validate your multimedia for the application. 

  6. You will see a set of messages indicating that multimedia could not be found.

  7. Press Menu or Settings button on your phone and choose the Install Multimedia option.

  8. Sometimes CommCare will automatically find the multimedia zip file (if you copied it directly to the phone's SD card).  If it is not already listed, press the Folder button and find your multimedia zip file.

  9. Click on the Install Multimedia button. 


If your application has multimedia and you did not choose to "Include Multimedia", the installation will likely fail at this point with a message that multimedia validation has failed. You will then have the opportunity to direct CommCare to your multimedia files. See below under "Installing Multimedia" for more detail on this process.


  1. In the Dropbox account of your choice (you may one to create one specifically for the email used on the phone), add your zipped multimedia folder.

  2. On your phone, go to the Google Play store and install Dropbox.

  3. Open CommCare and install the application.

  4. You will then see a set of messages indicating multimedia couldn't be found.

  5. Press Menu or Settings button on your phone and choose the Install Multimedia option.

  6. Press the Folder button and find your multimedia zip file in Dropbox.

  7. Click on the Install Multimedia button and wait for multimedia validation to finish

Alternative Installation Option: Offline Installation

Below are the instructions to install CommCare Offline


1. Connect your phone to the computer. Open the phone's SD card. (Sometimes phones will have two SD card folders - one in internal memory and one that is the actual physical SD card. In this case try using the internal SD card first).

2. Make sure you have a file browser on your phone (This should come automatically with all devices). If you do not, you can download one from the Google Play Store (ex. Amaze File Explorer). 

3. Choose "Offline" from the Download to Android menu and click to download the file "CommCare.ccz". 

4. Copy the downloaded .ccz file to your phone. 

5. Open CommCare. From the installation screen, click the menu button and choose "Offline Install"

6. Choose the "CommCare.ccz" file. If you cannot find the ccz file, you just need to tell your device to "show internal storage" or "display advanced devices", which should be in the settings drop down when you open the initial file selection from CommCare. Now you should be able to find the file. In case this doesn't work, install Amaze File Explorer as in step 2 above.

If your app includes multimedia, please note that offline install will include all multimedia files you uploaded to CommCare HQ. All future remote updates will include changes to multimedia files. 

You can create shortcuts which link to a specific CommCare Module. This is helpful for users that frequently need to go directly to a particular module without going through the main "get started" navigation.

(Optional) Step 4: Add a Shortcut to the CommCare App

  1. Swipe across your Android home screen to go to a page which has empty space.

  2. Touch and hold an empty space, a menu will popup suggesting to add something (OR navigate directly to the main apps list).

  3. Select 'Widgets'.

  4. Scroll across the list of widgets to find the CommCare Action Widget. 

  5. Hold and drag the CommCare widget to the screen.

  6. A menu saying 'Select CommCare Shortcut' will pop up. You would see the list of modules in that menu.

  7. Select the appropriate module name for which you want to create a shortcut for (e.g., Mother).

  8. A CommCare shortcut for the selected module will be created. The icon will show the name of the module. On touching this shortcut, it will directly take the user inside the Mother module and show a list of mothers, instead of the regular CommCare home screen.ik

Update Your Application (“Remote Update”)

When the application updates, it will update to the latest released version of your application on CommCare HQ. To mark a version as latest, simply click on "Released". You can also unmark it as latest by clicking on "Released" again.

To update the application on the device to the latest released version, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the CommCare app on the mobile device

  2. Login as a mobile worker

  3. Click the device's options menu (3 dots) and select Update App as described in CommCare will search the latest released version of the application on your CommCare HQ project space and if available, automatically download it.

You can set the CommCare app to automatically try to check for updates on a regular basis through the Auto Update Frequency application setting  via CommCare HQ (see  ).

For more detail, please see  .

Install Another Application

If you are using CommCare 2.50 or above, you may have up to 4 applications installed on one device at a time. If you are using CommCare versions 2.29 - 2.49.7, you may have up to 2 applications installed.

To install a second app:

  1. Go to the login screen of CommCare

  2. Click on the options menu (the 3 dots in the top right corner) and choose "Go to App Manager"

  3. Click “Install an App”

  4. Proceed with normal installation (from step 3 of 'Installing your CommCare Application') 

Uninstall Your Application

  1. Go to the login screen of CommCare

  2. Click on the options menu (the 3 dots in the top right corner) and choose "Go to App Manager"

  3. Select the app you want to uninstall

  4. Click “Uninstall”