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Platform limitation
This help topic describes how SurveyCTO Collect on Android stores data on your device. iOS devices have the same basic options, but file locations differ by device. More about platform limitations...

SurveyCTO Collect stores its settings in your device's internal storage, and it stores forms and data primarily on an external SD card. (Android will also allow you to install the Collect app itself onto external storage, but this is not recommended. It is better to keep the app installed on internal storage.)

Since many newer devices support multiple external SD cards – one or all of which tends to be non-removable – the actual location of form and data storage can differ depending on the device. Once you have installed and run Collect at least once, you can use a file browser on your device to locate the /SurveyCTO directory; it will be at the root of one of your device's storage locations. All forms and data are stored in that directory.

Unfortunately, removable SD cards occasionally fail. In order to safeguard against data loss in the case of an SD card failure, SurveyCTO can automatically maintain a backup of all finalized form data on your device's internal storage.

In Collect's settings (from the main menu, press your device's option button, then General Settings), you can configure the number of days worth of data you wish to maintain in the internal storage backup. The default setting is to keep copies of finalized form data for 14 days in the device's internal storage. You can change this default to whatever number of days you prefer, with 0 indicating that you want to disable these internal backups altogether.

If you do experience an SD card failure and lose your form data, just insert a new SD card, run Collect, press your device's option button, and choose Restore Data; if you don't see the Restore Data option, click Admin Settings instead, scroll down, and enable the Restore Data option first. After restoring, you can upload the restored data to the server. (However, in order to edit or fill out any new forms you will need to select Get Blank Form to re-download the form definitions from the server. Blank forms are not backed up locally.)

If you would like to simulate an SD card failure before deploying your survey, follow these steps: (1) stop Collect from running (using your device's Task Manager app), (2) use your computer or an on-device file manager to delete the entire /SurveyCTO directory from your device's SD card, and (3) re-run Collect.

If your actual device fails and your data is stored on a removable SD card, then just remove the SD card from the failed device and insert it into a working one. All forms and data will go with the SD card.

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