Installing Collect

Installing manually

The Google Play Store always has the latest stable release.

If you need a different version of Collect, you can download from the web and install manually.

  1. From your device's Settings, choose Security.
    • Make sure Unknown Sources is checked.
    • (On older versions of Android, this setting is in Applications rather than Security)
  2. Open a web browser on your phone.
  3. Navigate to and download the ODK Collect APK.
  4. In the download window, you will see ODK_Collect_vN.N.N.apk. - Select it to download the file.
    • On older devices, the APK will automatically install after you approve the security settings.
    • On newer devices, you must go to the download list, rename the file to restore the .apk extension (the extension will have been renamed to .man during the download process), then click on it to install it.


You can also download the ODK Collect APK to your computer and load it on your device via adb.


You can install ODK Collect on the Android emulator. This is especially helpful if you need to project Collect onto a screen.

Updating Collect

We generally recommend letting the Android Play Store automatically update Collect. We strongly encourage anyone managing a data collection project to sign up for the beta program to read about upcoming changes and try their forms with any new version before it is released to all users.

The Collect version is displayed at the bottom of the Collect first launch screen and main menu. If you are doing an in-person training, we encourage you to walk the room and verify that everyone is using the same version. You can also ask enumerators to check this version themselves when an update rolls out.

Collect uses date-based versioning. For example, v2021.2.3 came out in 2021, was the 2nd release, and the 3rd patch on that 2nd release. Releases add new features and patches only fix bugs. There are 3 to 6 releases of Collect per year.

Understanding permissions

The ODK Collect application requires permissions to access device resources.

If your device runs a version of Android below 6, you will be prompted to accept all of the permissions on app install.

If your device runs Android 6 or above, permissions will be requested as they are needed. For example, the camera permission will only be requested the first time that you try to take a picture. Once the permission is granted, you won't be prompted again. If you deny the permission, you will be asked again the next time you try to access the feature that requires the permission unless you check "Don't ask me again." If you deny the permission, you will be shown a dialog explaining why the permission is needed.

The only permission that is required for using Collect is the storage permission and it will be requested on first launch on Android 6+. Other permissions may or may not be needed depending on the forms and features used. The permissions that may be requested by Collect are:

Permission Reason
Storage required for Collect to be able to access and save form data
Camera required by image and video questions to capture new media
Contacts required to configure a Google account for Google Drive, Google Sheets submissions
Location required for location questions
Microphone required by audio and video questions to capture new media
Phone optional on form send to include deviceID in the submission and required for forms that capture device metadata

Changing permissions from settings in Android 6+

If you are setting up Collect for someone who is not familiar with Android, you may want to make sure all required permissions are granted in advance. To do this, open the Settings application and tap on the Apps heading. You should now see a list of all your installed applications. Scroll down to find ODK Collect and tap on it to see details about Collect. Tap on the Permissions heading. You can now grant all of the permissions that will be needed.

You can also use Settings application to grant a permission after denying it or to revoke a previously-granted permission.