Case Data Export

For an overview of "cases" in CommCare, see Or go back to

This page is divided in the following sections:

Export Case Data to Excel

This export functionality provides the ability to download data from the cases submitted to CommCareHQ. You should use this feature when you are interested in seeing the latest data about a beneficiary. Applications will typically collect data in different forms at different points in time. This case export will capture the latest data about a beneficiary after all previous data updates have been applied.  

Location: CommcareHQ -> Data -> Export Data -> Export Case Data

This page is divided into three main parts:

A. Creating New Case Exports
B. Downloading Case Exports

Creating New Case Exports

A case export allows the user to set up a download of a case's data. Case exports can later be viewed and downloaded by other members of the project space.

In order to create an export, you can follow the steps below:

  • Click on the "+ Add Export" button.

  • You can select which case type data you would like to export by selecting an option from the Case type dropdown. 

    • Note: You can choose the option "All Case Types" to create an export that includes every case type used in the project. Learn more about this in Section E Create a Bulk Case Export below. 

  • Click "Add Export" to navigate to that export's edit page, where you can manipulate more settings. 

  • Export Settings:

    • In this section, you can name the export, choose a file type, and the sharing setting. Additionally, two options can be selected by checking boxes in export settings.

      • Automatically convert dates for Excel: Leaving this checked will ensure dates appear in Excel format. Otherwise, they will appear as a normal text format.

      • Create a Daily Saved Export: By checking this box, the saved custom report will be pre-processed once every 24 hours and available for immediate download on the main Case Exports page.

  • Case Settings

    • In this section, you can choose which fields should be included in the export. The section contains all the case properties (also referred to as 'fields') that are associated with the selected case type. If there is just one case type selected for export, the Cases check box will be disabled. 

      • Using the checkboxes in the first column, select the fields you want to include in your report. The fields shown represent the data collected by the mobile user, the application, the phone, and the server where the data is stored. 

      • Show Advanced Questions, Show Deleted Properties, and Show Deprecated Properties: if selected, the export will allow you to see advanced questions and properties that have been deleted from the current version of your application but had submissions in the previous versions of your application. 
        Note : For projects on Advanced or Enterprise plan, the “Show Deprecated Properties“ filter will only be available as filter option if there is at least one case property is defined as 'deprecated' for the selected case type on Data Dictionary. For project on Standard, Pro and Community, this filter will not be available for users.

      • The fields can also be re-ordered by dragging the "double-arrow" up or down or using the second and third columns to move the field to the top or bottom. The order that is selected on this page will correspond with the order in which the fields are displayed in the export file.

      • Using the fifth column, you change the display name for each field. This will update the header row of the data export. By default, the display column will replicate the field name from the fourth column.

    • Note: If the export is for "All Case Types", this section is not displayed and will not be available to edit.

  • You are also able to select and sort multiple rows simultaneously for easy management of form data. (Note: this is only on Standard plans and above)

    • To drag multiple fields, select by clicking while holding the CTRL key on a PC, or the Command key on a Mac.

    • To select a range of fields hold the Shift key and select the first and last field in the range.

    • To unselect a field hold the CTRL key on a PC, or the Command key on a Mac, and click.

  • Privacy Settings

    • This section allows the user to select case data to be de-identified. This means that when the data is exported to Excel, the columns will still be in the data export, but the data values will not contain personal information that can be tracked to a single beneficiary.      

    • Click “Allow me to mark sensitive data” and a new column called “Sensitivity” will be added to the Cases table with a drop-down box for each field.

      • By default, all fields will have the sensitivity "None". This exports the data directly as it was input into the application.

      • A field can be marked as “Sensitive ID” which can be used for all text or numeric fields such as name or age.

      • Alternatively, a field can be marked as “Sensitive Date” which would be used for date fields such as date of birth.

    • Once you have marked the sensitive fields, scroll all the way down to Privacy Settings and check the box "Publish as De-identified"

  • Finally, create your export: Click "Create" to finish the export creation process. You're done!

  • The export will now be available on the Export Cases page

Downloading New Case Exports

  • On the case exports page, click the "Export" button

  • You will see the following screen, with options to select by user type or group (for more details on the Case Owner(s) filter see

  • Click "Prepare Export"

You can wait for the file to download, or, if the file is very large, you can click the button for "Email me when ready," and CommCare will email you with a link to the file download when the download is complete.

Click "Download" to download your case export.

Bulk Delete Case Exports

The bulk delete case export gives you the option to bulk delete multiple exports at once. 

These are the steps to bulk delete case export

  • In the Export Dashboard you will find a check box to select all or specific exports

    • On checking the box, you will notice a "Delete Selected Export" button becomes available on the left side of the page

    • Click on the "Delete Selected Export" button and you will be promoted to confirm the bulk delete action

    • Once Delete Export is clicked it will bulk delete the exports selected at once

Create a Bulk Case Export 

This allows you to create an export of all available case types in a project space. This functionality is only available for project spaces with a maximum of 30 case types or 20 applications. The following options are disabled when downloading all case types:

  • The option to Generate a Data Export Tool config file

  • The ability to change sheet names, the sheet names will be defaulted to the case type

  • The option to select the case properties to download

  • The ability to mark sensitive data will also be disabled


Follow the below steps to set up a bulk case export

Click on Add Export and then select  All Case Types from the dropdown "Case type"

  • Then click on Add Export

  • Then update the fields in the "Export Settings" page and click on the "Create" button.

  • There can sometimes be a delay in populating the export with all case types, the below error message will be displayed while updating is still in progress

Sharing Case Data Exports

On the Pro plan or higher Commcare allows users to share Case Data Exports between users. To activate this option, follow the following steps:

Step - 1:  When creating or editing the export, define the access for the specific export, the options are:

  • Private: the export will not be shared with other users in the domain

  • Export only: users with the Data permission will be able to download the export and view its configuration, but will not be able to edit it.

  • Edit and Export: This is the same as Export only, but users with the Manage Shared Exports permission will be able to edit the export configuration when this option is selected.

Step - 2: Access Shared reports by navigating to Data → Export Case Data, you will find a section of "Exports Shared with Me"

Error Messages In Case Exports

You may also sometimes encounter an error mentioning: 

This export contains 101865 rows. Please change the filters to be less than 100000 rows.

This means that the number of rows exceeds what we're able to successfully support via the export UI. You can try to reduce the date range of the export and download in batches, or you can also add filters to reduce the number of users the export is covering.

Alternatively, you can use other methods we have available to export your Form Data in case you have a large data set. Please see  for more information on selecting tools for data exports on CommCare HQ.

Linking Parent and Child Case Data

This section will guide you through linking different levels of cases when looking at data exports.

How Cases are Linked

Child cases are linked to their parents via a special case property called parent_id. 

Every child case has a property parent_id that matches the case_id of its parent case.

Setting up an Export to include the Parent Case ID

In order to include the parent id in an export, you will need to ensure it is selected when you create a case export. More detail on case exports can be found at .

Overall Settings

Make sure to set your file type to Excel.

Parent Case Section

Choose Parent Cases:

You must then include at least row.number and case_id:

Matching the Parent Case in an Export

The document you download will have two tabs - the first one has case data, and the second has the parent ID for each case that has one.

The two tabs (and two cases) are linked together by the variable row.number. If you want to add the parent id to the first tab (the one with the case data), see how to use the VLOOKUP feature in Excel at Can't find link.

If you want to include more detail from the parent case, you will need to separately export the parent case and use the case_id to link the data together.

Multiple Levels

If you have a "grandparent" case you will need to link the levels one at a time. For example, imagine a case structure where you have household - mother - child. In order to link the child to the household you need to first link the child to the mother, and then the mother to the household.

Application Design

You can make this type of analysis much easier by thinking about where to save key variables in your application design. For example, if your parent case type has some sort of unique ID or name, you can save that name to the child case. You can also save other parent properties to the child case.