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titleNote: Updating the CommCare software is different from updating a CommCare application!

There are two components to CommCare:

1- the CommCare software which is the the shell of the program. CommCare mobile client is the same for all projects.

2- the CommCare content which is often referred to as the "application" (forms, case management, multimedia, etc.)

These instructions are for the application content component. For instructions on updating the CommCare software, see this page.

Table of Contents


Releasing New Versions and Updates

Once you have lots of versions they will all be listed under the Deploy section:


  • View More - this button will allow you to see older versions, which are hidden by default.
  • Delete a Version - clicking on the "x" next to a build will delete it. Note that there is no way to "undo" it and there is no need to delete old versions since they will just be hidden as you make new versions.
  • Revert - this will restore your application on CommCareHQ to its state at the time of a version. For example, if you accidentally deleted a module, you can go revert to a version of the application that had the module.

Making Releases ("Starring" Builds) for Updates

Since you can make a build of your app at any time for testing purposes, it is important to be able to mark which version of your application you want to see put on devices in the field when they update. We refer to this as releasing a build. In CommCareHQ, you can do this by clicking on the empty star next to a build once you've had a chance to test it out and make sure that everything is working as expected. This signifies that the app is ready to be installed.

When looking for updates, CommCare apps will look at the latest, released build. If an application is already updated to (or was installed with) the newest build which has been starred, it won't update, even if newer (unstarred) builds have been created. If the latest released build's version is lower than the installed build, an update will not occur. If, for example, the last release was version 70, the currently installed build is version 73 (for testing and development) and there exists a newer unstarred build 74, the app will not attempt to update. If 74 is released, the current build will update the next time it checks.Currently, the release status of a build is only used in remote updates of applications, but in the future may be used for things like cleaning up applications (purging older, non-released builds, for instance), and it is generally a good idea to star builds which are distributed in order to keep track of them.

Update Options


CommCare can be configured to check for updates on a regular schedule. This is specified by the Auto Update Frequency setting in the CommCare Properties section of the settings UI. When set to auto-update, CommCare will attempt to check CommCareHQ for new resources on a daily or weekly schedule. This check occurs in the background, immediately after login. If updates are found, they will be downloaded and applied the next time the user logs in. Users can cancel updates being downloaded by navigating to "Settings -> Update App" on the mobile device.


A manual update can also be initiated from the CommCare mobile application. 

Updating CommCare on Mobile


How to update your app on your Android device:

1) Log into CommCare (it is not possible to update CommCare when using Demo mode)
2) From the CommCare home screen, open the menu by pressing the three buttons in the upper right-hand corner (or your phone's Settings button) 
3) Select "Update CommCare"
4) Select the "Check" button so CommCare will check for a new release of the app
5) If there is a new release, the Install button will turn green. Select the "Install" button
6App and CommCare will look for a new version, and download it if available
4) When the download is complete, select the "Update" button to complete the upgrade process and log you out of the app.
5) Once the app is updated, you will see a message that reads "Just finished updating!"App update was successful" and you can log in again to start using the new app version

See the video below for a demonstration of this process:

Widget Connector

CommCare J2ME

Login as "admin" or a user with admin rights, and from the home screen navigate to Settings -> Check for Updates or in the login screen go to Options -> Tools -> Check for Updates