Closed VS Archived Forms

Hi there,

I am slightly unclear about what the differences between closed and archived forms are. From my understanding, a closed form no longer appears on the tablet, but still appears in downloads, whereas an archived form no longer appears in downloads? Additionally, based on my experience I think that if you archive all of the forms under a case, then that case no longer appears on the tablet? Is this correct?

Many thanks,


Hi Chloe,

Forms in CommCare don’t have a specific ‘open’ or closed state in the system. At the user data level, only Cases have a state (Open or Closed), generally speaking a closed case will be removed from a user’s device but there are exceptions (such as when the closed case has an open ‘child’ case, which will result in the parent case remaining on device until the child case is closed or otherwise removed). Closed cases will still be included in exports (if configured) and visible in the other parts of the UI. A closed case may represent the completion of a service schedule, or a beneficiary who has died. In both cases, the existing case data will be retained by the server and available for review, export, etc.

You can consider archiving forms associated with cases to be equivalent to instructing CommCare to assume that the form never happened at all. This will result in a case being ‘rebuilt’ to reflect whatever state it would be in if only the remaining forms applied to it had been processed. In the event that all forms associated with a case are archived, this will result in a case not existing at all. Not syncing to the server, but also not being available as a historical record for export.