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Quick reference

An intuitive and versatile data gathering tool, Survey123 for ArcGIS makes collecting data in the field straightforward. After a survey is designed in Survey123 Connect, downloading and using it in the Survey123 field app is a matter of a few steps. This quick reference guide covers all the essential details of the Survey123 field app, allowing you to use it to its fullest in collecting data.

My Surveys

When starting the Survey123 field app and signing in with your ArcGIS organizational account, the app opens to the My Surveys page. This is the table of contents for all of your currently installed surveys, although it will be empty on first launching the app. Note that, once there is a survey downloaded onto your device, you will no longer need to sign in at launch.

My Surveys page

To access the menu for a particular form, select its icon. Numbers in the corner of a survey's icon indicate unfinished or unsent results. If one has unfinished draft entries, the number of them will be listed in an orange circle, while the surveys queued to be sent later are numbered in a green circle. If a survey has inbox editing enabled, the amount of downloaded surveys in the inbox are numbered in a blue circle.

Use the Menu button Menu at the upper-right to access the Download Surveys page, sign in with your ArcGIS organizational account, or view settings.

Download Surveys

On the Download Surveys page, all surveys currently available to your account are listed alphabetically. In the following screen shot, the bottom survey has been downloaded, evidenced by Download Download being replaced by Refresh Refresh.

Download Surveys page

To download a new survey, select either Download Download or the survey name. Choosing Refresh Refresh on a downloaded survey will replace the locally saved survey with the latest update. You can also open a downloaded survey directly from this page by selecting the survey name.

Survey contents

The survey contents page can be accessed by selecting a survey from My Surveys. Here, you can start collecting new data or access previously collected surveys.

Survey contents page

The options on this page are as follows:

  • Collect—Opens a new, blank survey page for inputting data.
  • Drafts—Opens to a form currently left uncompleted by closing the survey before sending it.
  • Outbox—Opens to a listing of all forms finished but unsent, either by choice or due to the device being offline when submitting.
  • Sent—Contains the records of all forms submitted to the survey's creator.
  • Inbox—Opens to an inbox of responses within the feature service. This is only present if Inbox has been enabled. For more information, see edit existing survey data.
The Menu button Menu at the upper right contains the options to delete the survey from your device and to download an associated basemap (if this choice is not available, the survey has no basemap associated with it).

The Drafts, Outbox, and Sent pages have similar layouts, with standardized buttons and functions. The following screen shot is of the Outbox page, but be aware that all three pages look and behave similarly:

Outbox page

The options on these pages are as follows:

  1. Select the field for the form to reopen it. On the Sent page, this instead opens a copy of the form and its answers. The text in this field defaults to the raw data of the survey. To replace it with something else, see instance names.
  2. The Send Surveys button on the Outbox page submits all forms currently listed in it. This button does not exist on the Sent page; however, the Sent page instead has an Empty Sent Surveys button, which clears the listing of all sent forms. It does not delete the surveys from their destination. There is no equivalent button on the Drafts page.
  3. Delete Delete deletes the form from the device. This button is not present on the Sent page.


On the individual survey page, you can fill in the data requested by the survey's creator. Surveys are modular and designed for specific purposes, so the actual layout and presentation will vary from survey to survey. However, the Menu button Menu and its contents remain the same throughout.

Survey menu


To create a set of favorite answers that you can reuse, first complete a survey with your preferred answers. Then use the Menu button Menu to select Set as favorite answers (1a above) before submitting it. This saved survey will now be marked with a star icon in the Sent list, and the Paste answers from favorite option (1b above) will become visible. This menu option will apply your favorite answers to the current survey automatically.


Favorite answers are saved as a marker on the sent survey, signified by a gold star on their entry on the Sent page. If this survey is deleted from your device, the favorite answers will also be deleted.


If the survey has more than one language assigned to it, the additional languages will appear as options in the menu (2 above). Select the preferred language to translate the questions and labels in your survey (where translations have been provided). For more information, see Multiple language support.

Text questions

When you fill in a text question, a number appears below the lower right corner of the field. This number initially displays the count of how many characters can still be input before reaching the maximum size of the field. You will be stopped from inputting any more text once you reach this maximum. Selecting this number changes the display to a current character count, compared to the maximum character limit.

Geopoint questions

Geopoint questions have two forms of presentation. Initially, they're represented by a location panel on the form. When you select the location panel, it expands to a full-screen map with additional locating functions. You can capture a point on either the location panel or the full-screen map.

Geopoint question by default

The Location Average button Location Average at the top right of the location panel captures an average of locations rather than a single result when it's selected. This can also be used with an accuracy threshold to ensure only reliable results can be used. For more information, see Geopoints.

When you tap the location panel, it expands to a full-screen map.

Geopoint entry page

The callouts in the screen shot above are detailed as follows:

  1. The geosearch bar allows you to locate an address or point of interest by searching for it, before snapping your geopoint and map to that location. The globe icon next to the search bar provides options to limit the extent of the geosearch capability, and to change the geocoder being used. For more information, see Geosearch and geocode.
  2. The Menu button Menu provides a number of alternative basemaps to the default, for a range of different purposes. This is also where any directly associated basemaps can be selected.
  3. Home Home returns the map marker to where the survey creator has defined a home location. If no home location has been defined, it instead returns the marker to the user's location.
  4. The Location icon Location is first displayed in black, indicating the location sensor is disabled. Select the button to switch to Navigation Navigation mode, enabling Location and tracking the device's current location. Moving the map marker from here, either directly on the map or by changing the coordinates, changes the location and coordinates of the answer, but the device's location remains visible as a pulsing blue dot while doing so. When this happens, the button switches to an Active Location icon Active Location; select it to return to Navigation Navigation.
  5. The coordinates of your current location are listed here, using the coordinate format that has been set for that survey in Survey123 Connect. Pressing the area copies the location coordinates into the geosearch bar, allowing you to define a different location. Altitude is also included here if it has been enabled for the question. For more information, see Geopoints. In addition, pressing and holding on these coordinates will perform a reverse geocode to give you the location, placed above the coordinates. As with the coordinates, pressing the location will copy it into the geosearch bar.

Image questions

Image questions with the default appearance type initially display two buttons: one to activate the camera to take a photo, and one to select an image from device storage. If the device has no camera installed, only the button to select an image from storage will be available. Once an image is provided, from either camera or file, buttons are also provided to rotate the image. For information on other appearance types for image questions, see Appearance.

When an image is provided, all appearance types except signature will display the image's file name under it. You can rename the image by selecting the file name.


Accessed from the Menu button Menu on the app's initial page, Settings contains a number of options and choices to customize the Survey123 field app.

Text settings

Text scale settings

The slider on the Text tab allows you to change the scale of text in the app, up to 200 percent of the default. The text preview updates in real time to display the currently selected scale.

There is also a font selector available to change the font used across the app.

Portals settings

The Portals tab allows you to set an ArcGIS Enterprise portal to sign in to. For more information, see Use Survey123 with ArcGIS Enterprise.

Location settings

The Connection mode options on the Location tab allow you to change how often the app attempts to capture a location.

When the app is searching for a position, a satellite icon will appear in the title bar of the app. This icon will initially only display a satellite, adding three beams when searching for a position. Satellite icon when searching for positions When positions are being received, the satellite will periodically blink. Satellite icon when positions are being received This icon appears at different times depending on the connection mode settings.

  • As needed will only attempt to capture positions when a survey is actively calling for a location capture. The satellite icon will appear when a survey is opened, and will disappear when the location has been captured. This can be ideal for long surveys, where capturing the location is only a small part.
  • When using a survey will attempt to capture positions for the entire time a survey is active. The satellite icon will appear when a survey's contents page is opened, and will remain visible after the location has been captured and data is being received, until moving back to the survey gallery. This can be useful for filling out multiple short surveys.
  • Always while Survey123 for ArcGIS is running will constantly attempt position capture. The satellite icon will appear when the app is opened, and will remain visible throughout the entire app. This means that you will always have a position ready to capture, removing the time spent waiting for a position to be found, but it can affect battery life and device performance.

The Alert style options allow you to configure how the app informs you when it fails to capture a location. By default, the app will display messages and use text to speech announcements to inform you. The option for vibration alerts is also available, but it is disabled by default.

Storage settings

The Storage tab allows you to designate the Map Library folder, from which the app will pull offline basemaps. The Map Library can be accessed in the app through the Menu button Menu on the Settings pages.

The following options are also available:

  • Reinitialize Database returns the device's survey database to the default; all surveys, complete or incomplete, are deleted, and the submitted surveys list is cleared.
  • Fix Database fixes the existing entries in the survey database on your device when the folder path for the database has changed. This is required when you update the version of the Survey123 field app on iOS from the App Store. When the app is updated, its location on the device changes. Fixing the database ensures the new folder path is used for existing records. This tool is also useful if you want to copy a database from one device to another to send records. After copying the .sqlite database from one device to another, click Fix Database on the destination device to fix the data paths. For additional details, see Recover data from a mobile device.
  • Delete Submitted Surveys clears the submitted surveys list for all surveys saved to the device.
  • Clear Map Cache deletes the cache of map tiles that surveys have loaded. The button also lists the current size of the cache on the device.

Diagnostic settings

The Diagnostics tab provides a way to log information to a file or to a console on the network or online. For more information, see Troubleshoot.