There are two components of CommCare installation:

  1. Installing the CommCare platform from Google Play
  2. Installing the specific CommCare application from your CommCareHQ project

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

If you are setting up a lot of phones for deployment, please review these instructions first: Android Phone Setup.  

Step 1: Get Ready for Installation

To Install CommCare you will need:

  • A strong network connection (preferrably WiFi)
  • An Android device with Android operating system 2.3 or higher
  • (if you have multimedia) A file manager application like the Amaze File Explorer
  • 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 'Google Hindi Input ' from Google Play so your users are able to type in Hindi. 


Phone Configuration

For more information on setting up your Android device please visit Android Phone Setup.


Step 2: Install the CommCare Platform

  1. Open the Google Play Store (the Android App Store)
  2. Search for CommCare 
  3. Select and install the app. Make sure that automatic updates are enabled.



Step 3: Install Your CommCare Application

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

  2. When you select an application, you are brought directly to the deploy page. Previously, you would head to app settings first, which is now accessible in the app manager menu via the gear icon 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 deploy 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 has been downloaded from CommCareHQ. 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.

Option A: Online Installation - Including Multimedia

See instructions and more info about multimedia here. See this handout for guidance on installation and use of multimedia on CommCare.

Online install sends the application to your phone over a wireless data connection (WiFi or phone network data). 

  1. If your application has multimedia, leave "Include Multimedia" checked to also send down your multimedia files remotely.
  2. Please note:
    1. If you use installation the application with "include multimedia" selected, multimedia will be included in any remote updates to that application. The phones will incur increased data costs.
    2. Applications with large amounts of multimedia (more than 20 images or audio files) may take a long time to install or not install successfully if you are 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.
    3. We recommend installing over a wifi connection rather than a phone network for initial install or update of large amounts of multimedia files.
  3. Open CommCare on your phone and click on Scan the Application Barcode or Enter Code
  4. Type in the App Code from the website into the box (or scan the bar code if you clicked on scan bar code) and click on "Begin Install." Depending upon the size of the application, it could take several minutes for installation to complete.

  5. Log in with the Mobile Worker username and password you created on CommCareHQ. 
  6. If you do not have a mobile user account, create a CommCare mobile worker in your project. Note that you cannot log into CommCare mobile using a CommCareHQ login ID.

Option B: 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 CommCareHQ, 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. 

See this handout for guidance on installation and use of multimedia on CommCare

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.

 Alternative Method: Using Dropbox to Install Multimedia


  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 Setttings 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.

Option C: Offline Installation

  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 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.czz" 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 CommCareHQ. All future remote updates will include changes to multimedia files. 

Updating and Changing Applications

Updating an application ("Remote Update")

When the application updates, it will update to the latest version of your application. 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 phone to the latest version with a star, follow these steps:

  1. Open the CommCare app
  2. Login as a mobile worker
  3. Click the phone's menu or settings button and select Update CommCare as described in the CommCare Users Guide. CommCare will search for a more recent version of the application on your HQ workspace and if found, 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 (see Application Settings)

For more detail, please see How to Update CommCare Application Content.

Installing a different application

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

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 first application”)

To uninstall an 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. Select the app you want to uninstall

  4. Click “Uninstall”

If you are using CommCare 2.28 or lower, you cannot have 2 CommCare applications installed on the same Android phone.  Before installing a new application, you must remove the old application:  

  1. Open CommCare and login.  Use the "Sync" button to make sure you have sent in all data from the old application. 
  2. On your phone, go to Settings -> Application -> Manage Applications
  3. Find CommCare and choose "Clear Data"
  4. Proceed with normal installation (from step 3 of "Installing your first application")


  1. Anonymous

    you can put a qr code or a direct link to the android marketplace for the app, as well as include qr codes to be delivered to end users to ease installing.

    1. Anonymous

      agree with u  

  2. Anonymous

    Is there any way to download it onto a memory card from a pc and then insert the memory into an Android device?

    1. Offline installation of CommCare Android applications is not actively supported, but you may be able to use the instructions here:

  3. Anonymous

    Can you not use the on phone camera to scan a QR code? What is the functionality there?


  4. Anonymous

    can i deploy forms on mutiple phones with the commcare application...??

    1. Yes, it is possible to deploy an application to multiple phones; just follow the installation instructions for each device.