Navigating Your CommCare Mobile App

Now that you have downloaded your mobile app, it’s time to give it a whirl! This page provides a step-by-step walkthrough of navigating your newly downloaded CommCare mobile app, sharing some tricks along the way.

The Home Screen

There may be a number of buttons on your Android device, but as pictured below there are three buttons that are important for using CommCare.

  1. Menu Key: The Menu key usually looks as pictured above, but may also look like three dots stacked vertically. This button is used to access settings and menus.

  2. Home Key: This button will bring you back to the phone's home screen.

  3. Back Key: Is used to return to the previous screen.

Getting Started

You can log into CommCare for Android as a Mobile User or as a Demo User.

Logging in as a Mobile User

After clicking on the CommCare icon, you will reach the log-in screen. Here you will need to enter a username and password (see left image).      

Screenshot 2024-03-13 at 2.53.02 PM.png

You can get information on how to create and manager users here.  Please note the following:

  • The first time you "Log In" you must have internet connectivity.  After pressing “Log In” for the first time, there will be a few moments during which CommCare makes sure that the information on your phone is up-to-date with the server (see right image)

  • After you log in the first time, even if you log out and then log back in (with the same username) you do NOT need internet connectivity.

  • The username of the last user to log in will remain in the “username” box, even after logging out.

Logging in as a Demo User

There is a demo mode- to enter demo mode you only need to click on the three dots and select "Enter Practice Mode" as shown in the left image. After selecting it you will see a warning message.


The Home Screen

The main screen (“home screen”) of CommCare has several important features clearly visible.

Start: This is where your users will go in order to access the forms and submit data.

Sync with Server: forces to phone to synchronize with data on the server.  The text below the button will tell you if there are pending forms.  If there are a lot of pending forms the text will turn red to alert the user.  If you have forms you want to force the phone to submit, you can press “sync with server.”  However, you will have to press it again after the forms have been submitted in order to actually sync and for the “last synced” time and date to update.

Log Out of CommCare: Logs the user out so that the data on the phone is secure.

You can translate many parts of the home screen into most languages. See our page on user-interface translations to learn more.

Home Screen Settings

If you click on the menu button on your phone (often looks like three dots) you will access the home page settings menu:

  • Settings allows you to access some advanced tools (see next slide)

  • Update CommCare tells the device to check CommCare HQ to see if there is a more recent starred build.  If there is, CommCare will update (connectivity required) and you will need to log-in again.

  • About CommCare provides some legal info about CommCare

MIDDLE: Settings- After selecting “settings” you will see a number of options.  In general it should not be necessary to use these without help from a CommCare HQ/Dimagi representative.

RIGHT: Advanced- Click on Advanced option from the main menu (the three dot on the top right hand side), you will see some advanced options

  • Clear User Data: if you choose this, it will delete all of the current users’ data and bring you back to the log-in screen.

  • Force Log Submission forces CommCare to submit technical metadata to the server.  This can be useful to the software team when troubleshooting problems.  A CommCare team member could request you to do this if there is a recurring bug in the software.

Form Management

Within the "saved" forms button you can find a list of all forms that were submitted since the last time the application data was cleared. You can further filter this list by submitted forms, unsent forms, or incomplete forms. After you "save a form as complete" it is tagged as "unsent" until CommCare confirms that the form has reached the CommCare HQ server, at which time the tag is removed.

More details on all of the form management features can be found here.



When you open a form you will get the landing screen (left) that shows users how to navigate within a form by swiping the page.  When you try to skip a required question, or enter a value that is outside of the permitted range, a message will alert you that you must correct your answer.  If you press the three dots at top right-hand side, you will see three advanced options displayed on the screen:

  • Go To Prompt

  • Change Language

  • Change Settings

Progress Bar: Progress bar on the top of the screen shows how far you have reached in the form.

Advanced Menu Options           

  • Go To Prompt calls up a list of all the questions/labels in the form.  If you have already entered values they will be displayed below the question text.

    • You can scroll up and down to review your answers, and is the preferred way to quickly review a form prior to submitting.

    • You can click on any question in order to go directly to it and update/enter a value

    • Go To Start brings you to the first page of the form, and Go To End brings you to the last page where you can submit the form

    • Go Up is only applicable in repeats.

  • Change Language allows you to toggle between the display text languages.

  • Choosing Settings presents two additional options:

Form Settings                  

Settings includes the following options:

  • Text Font Size for changing the size of the display text.  You only have to do this once in an app and all forms will default to the text size you have chosen

  • Display Rich Inline 

 Exiting a Form

Within a Form

When you hit the “back” button in a form you are working on, you will get two options 

  • STAY IN FORM: brings you back to the form you were working on

  • EXIT WITHOUT SAVING: deletes any changes you made/data you entered and brings you back to the home screen

  • SAVE AS INCOMPLETE FORM: saves form for you to pick up later.

End of a Form

On the last page of a form there will be a button  called "FINISH" if you click the form it will save the form and exit. After clicking on "FINISH” you will see a message stating whether or not your form was successfully completed.