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ODK common errors and solutions

Message ‘Error getting form list’ after selecting ‘Get blank forms’ in the Collect app

Have you received this error while using ODK? SurveyCTO is here to help!

What does this error mean?

This error means that whichever ODK-based Collect Android app you are using can’t connect to your ODK or ODK-based platform’s server, which prevents it from downloading and presenting the list of forms on the server. This is caused by different kinds of connectivity issues.

How do I fix this error?

To fix this error you will want to check why your Collect app is not able to connect to your server and resolve the connection issue. These are the most common sources of connectivity problems:

  1. Under “General Settings” of your Collect app, navigate to the section where you entered log in details for your server. Is the server URL you have entered correct? Are there any typos in the URL name (even spaces at the start or end that might be hard to see but would prevent the URL from being correct)?

  2. Delete and then re-enter the username and password used under “General Settings” as they might have typos. Does the error go away?

  3. If the first two solutions do not work, it might be a device-level issue. Open a browser on your device and try to navigate to any website like or Does the web page load? If not, that means your device as a whole is not able to connect to the internet. You will need to check the wi-fi and/or data connection to fix that.

We hope you found this helpful. Feel free to browse through our other ODK error guides. To try SurveyCTO for yourself, and see all the improvements we made to ODK, you can sign up for a free 15-day trial. We offer 24×7 support from research experts, customizable form designs, smart data quality controls, and best-in-class data security.

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Chris Robert


Chris is the founder of SurveyCTO. He now serves as Director and Founder Emeritus, supporting Dobility in a variety of part-time capacities. Over the course of Dobility’s first 10 years, he held several positions, including CEO, CTO, and Head of Product.

Before founding Dobility, he was involved in a long-term project to evaluate the impacts of microfinance in South India; developed online curriculum for a program to promote the use of evidence in policy-making in Pakistan and India; and taught statistics and policy analysis at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before that, he co-founded and helped grow an internet technology consultancy and led technology efforts for the top provider of software and hardware for multi-user bulletin board systems (the online systems most prominent before the Internet).