How To: Successfully Upload Survey Responses

The cause of missing data is often an incorrect uploading technique

Note: We recommended sharing these instructions with participants. Feel free to copy and paste!

1 Verify the device has a strong connection

  • Use Wi-Fi, not Cellular Data.
        Option:  Turn off Cellular Data, and open a browser window to verify connection.

2 Press Upload


Pressing the button pictured above will sync all participant data and assignment updates. 

  • All responses stored on the phone, not yet received by the server, are sent up to the mEMA website.
  • All assignment and survey updates are brought down to the user's device.
  • The data will be immediately visible.
    Note: It is helpful to be aware of the time participants are expected to sync their devices in order to monitor success rates.

Wait for the yellow progress bar.

     The app will take time to exchange all of the information gathered. It is important to be aware of this process, and to allow the yellow progress bar to completely cross the screen before exiting the app, allowing the phone to go into sleep mode, or the screen to lock.


  • Expect to see the screen pictured to the left. 
  • The line's journey from left to right could take a moment. 
  • Do not put the app in the background.
  • Touch the screen every once in a while to prevent the screen from locking.


If it is suspected that the upload didn't complete, nothing is lost.


4a Ask the participant to navigate to the My Codes screen in the app and press the triple arrow icon to re-upload all data stored on the phone (pictured right).


4b Be sure to check "Refresh Data" (pictured above) when downloading the Flat Data File again. 

4c If the app screen is stuck on the message "Backing Up Data", the participant did not grant all permissions to the app. Have them close the app, go into the phone's Settings menu, grant all requested permissions, and then re-open mEMA and re-upload.

5 Upload stuck on "Backing Up Data"
If an Android user's upload is stuck on the "Backing Up Data" message, they have not enabled all permissions for mEMA.
  • Instruct participants to go to the phone's Settings menu > Apps (or Apps&Notifications) > mEMA > Permissions
  • Allow all permissions requested by the app

Note: Users should know that the permissions are required for mEMA to function correctly, but unless the researcher has turned on an option such as location recording, the mEMA app will not record and transmit any data. Please see section "Permissions" in Phone Settings for mEMA for more information.