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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

Numbers in the corner of a survey's icon indicate unfinished or unsent results. If one has unfinished draft entries, the number of drafts will be listed in an orange circle, while the surveys queued to be sent later in the survey's outbox 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. If signed in to your ArcGIS organizational account, a bar at the top of the page will show the number of updates available. Selecting this bar will open the Update Surveys page, containing only surveys with available updates and a button to download all updates at once.

Use the Menu button at the upper right to access the Download Surveys page, sign in with your ArcGIS organizational account, or view settings. When signed in, the Menu button will change to your profile picture, or to your initials if no profile picture is available. A green indicator denotes that your device is online. The indicator turns gray when your device is offline. Open the menu to view information about your account. Select the ArcGIS organization name to reveal more details about your organization.

Download Surveys

On the Download Surveys page, all surveys currently available to your account are listed by the date they were last modified. This can be changed to sort alphabetically. In the following image, the survey at the bottom has been downloaded, indicated by the Download button Download being replaced by the Update button Refresh.

Download Surveys page

To download a new survey, select Download Download. Choosing Update Refresh on a downloaded survey will replace the locally saved survey with the latest update. If surveys on your device have updates available, a Download updates button will appear at the bottom of this page. Use this button to download all available survey updates at once.

Select the Filter button next to the search bar to restrict your search to only surveys on your device with updates available. When loading the results of a search, you can also tap the rotating loading symbol to stop searching.

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 because the device was 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 the inbox has been enabled. For more information, see Edit existing survey data.

The Menu button 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 image 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. You can also immediately scroll to the top or bottom of your survey by pressing the header or footer of the survey. If a survey question in a repeat is currently in focus, this will instead scroll to the top or bottom of the repeat.

Surveys are modular and designed for specific purposes, so the actual layout and presentation will vary from survey to survey. However, the Menu button and its contents, as well as the Submit button in the lower right, 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 to select Set as favorite answers (1a above) before submitting it. This saved survey is now marked with a star icon in the Sent list, and the Paste answers from favorite option (1b above) becomes 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 Sent page has been disabled, a sent survey cannot be used for favorite answers. In this case, saving your survey with favorite answers as a draft will allow the Paste answers from favorite option to work.

Favorite answers do not include geopoint, geotrace, and geoshape question values.


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.

Location questions

Location 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 upper right of the location panel for a geopoint question 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 or Geotrace and geoshape.

When you tap the location panel, it expands to a full-screen map. You can pan, zoom in and out, and rotate the map in this view.


If you rotate the map, the rotation angle is shown by a compass in the upper left corner of the map. Tap this compass to remove the rotation and orient the map north. You can also tap and hold the compass to switch the display between cardinal direction and degrees bearing.

Geopoint entry page

The callouts in the image 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 Basemap button Basemap 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 mode Navigation, 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 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 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.

Map settings

The Map tab provides the option to choose between Basic and Standard map types for the location questions in your survey.


This functionality is in beta. This means that documentation is incomplete, and functionality may undergo minor changes.

If the Basic map type is selected, you will only be able to use raster tile services and tile packages (TPK) up to 2 GB in size for your maps. The Standard map type supports the following:

  • Raster tile services
  • Web maps
  • Map services
  • Image services
  • Vector tile services
  • Web map services (WMS)
  • Web map tile services (WMTS)
  • Tile packages (TPK), no size limit
  • Vector tile packages (VTPK)
  • Mobile map packages (MMPK)

This option is set to Basic by default to ensure that current surveys and workflows continue to work as before.

You can also designate a map library folder, from which the app will pull offline basemaps. The map library can be accessed in the app through the basemap button in the map view.

Location settings

For each location provider known to the Survey123 field app, the following settings can be configured.

Information allows you to give your location provider a custom name. By default, the name returned by the device is used. If you do change the name, you will still be able to see the name returned by the device in the details. The name of the internal provider cannot be changed.

The Alerts 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.

Antenna height allows you to define the distance from the antenna to the ground surface. This value is subtracted from the altitude values captured in the survey.

The Altitude options allow you ensure values returned from your GNSS receiver are stored with the expected reference. Be aware that altitude values are generally poor, unless using a purpose built receiver. Only modify these options if you are using a suitable receiver. Refer to your GNSS receiver's manufacturer specification to be sure what altitude settings are needed.

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 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.