How to use the Dry January app

December 2018 | 12 minutes

So you’ve downloaded Try Dry: the Dry January app. Brilliant! There are tonnes of benefits coming your way, for Dry January and beyond. This blog will help you with any questions you have about how the app works, and help you make the most of your drink-free buddy.

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If you haven’t downloaded the app, now is a good time to do it!

1. Download Try Dry: the Dry January app for Apple or Android.

2. Open the app. Now you’re getting to the good bit!

3. Swipe left/right to scroll through the screens you get when you open the app. On the last screen you’ll see a button that says Let’s do it! Tap it… and let’s do it!

4. On the Create account page enter your email address and create a password. You’ll get the option to receive tips, updates and encouragement by email. These emails are solid gold, and have helped many a person through their dry month, so we recommend you tick this box! You can opt out at any time – there’s a link in the bottom of each email.

5. Tap Continue.

6. On the next screen enter your first name, last name, date of birth and gender and tick the box that you agree to the terms and conditions. Tap Continue.

7. Select your country. If you live in the UK you will be asked to select your region and Local Authority too. We need to know this so we can evaluate Dry January and make sure it’s reaching as many people as possible to help them reset their drinking.

8. Tap Continue.

9. You’ll now be asked to enter your baseline drinking. See below for more info on how to do this!

Your baseline drinking is the average amount you drink per week (not during Dry January!) This information lets the app calculate how much money and how many units and calories you save in your month off (and beyond!)

1. On this screen you need to enter what drinks you drink and how many of them. You can swipe the screen up and down to view more drink types.

2. You can adjust the number of each drink type and size by tapping the + or icons.

3. Do the units, cost or calories not look quite right? Tap the little pencils above each number and you can edit them.

4. When you are finished tap Save.

Your baseline drinking can be adjusted at any time in the Settings tab. Just go to settings and tap Edit baseline drinking.

The units and calorie information we use is based on the averages for each drink type. If you know that you normally spend less than the app guesses, that there are more calories or your drinks contain a different number of units, you can edit these by tapping the little pencils above each number on the Edit baseline drinking screen.

After you have created your account and entered your baseline drinking information you will be asked if you would like to pledge some of your savings to charity. Every pound will go to Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, to help improve the lives of people, families and communities harmed by alcohol. If you would like to pledge:

1. During signup, tap the switch next to Pledge some of what I save. If you have already signed up you can get to this screen in Settings, then Edit pledge percentage.

2. The slider below will default to 20% but you can adjust by scrolling left or right.

3. Once you have selected your percentage tap the yellow Save button.

4. View your savings in the Dashboard or Savings tabs.

5. Tap the Donate button.

6. A new screen will come up with a donation suggestion based on the percentage you selected. You can either donate that amount by tapping the yellow Donate button or change it by changing the percentage or tapping the Give an amount tab.

7. If you select to Give an amount the default is £5, but you can adjust this by tapping on the amount. Enter your custom amount and tap Save.

8. Tap Donate button.

Need some extra motivation for your dry challenge? You can ask your friends and family to sponsor you and raise money for Alcohol Change UK.

1. On the Dashboard scroll down until you see Get sponsored by family and friends. Tap the box.

2. You will be able to tap on either the Just Giving or Virgin Money giving logo and will be taken to your preferred giving platform.

3. You will then be directed to our Dry January campaign page where you need to click on ‘Start Fundraising’ and you will be directed to register/sign in.

Just Giving

  • Once you have logged in or set up your account you will be asked to complete a selection of options:
  • Tick if you are fundraising in memory of someone
  • Confirm or change your fundraising page web address
  • Select whether you will be asking for donations in return for items (e.g. this will be yes if you are running a bake sale or selling raffle tickets)
  • You will be asked if the charity is contributing to the cost of you fundraising – you should select NO here
  • Select whether you would like to stay in touch with Alcohol Change UK
  • Read and agree to the terms and conditions
  • Select create your page
  • You can then personalise and edit your page. Each page will already contain information on Dry January and raising vital funds for Alcohol Change UK, however you can overwrite this with your personal story and add photos if you would like too. Don’t forget to tap on the share button to share it with your friends and family via social media to get the donations rolling in!

Virgin Money Giving

  • Once you have logged in or set up your account you will be asked to complete a selection of options:
  • Create a new fundraising page, select either individual or team
  • What are you doing to raise money – enter Dry January
  • When are you doing your activity- enter 01/01/20 (or if setting up page after the 1 January then enter the date as it will not let you pick a date in the past)
  • It will already have Alcohol Change UK selected so you DO NOT need to search for a charity
  • Have the charity contributed to the cost of your fundraising – You should select NO here
  • Opt in to hear from Alcohol Change UK if you wish
  • Select create my page
  • You can than personalise with your own story and images. If you are not comfortable with sharing your own story and would like some information to include on your page then please contact the team and they will be happy to help you with this. fundraising@alcoholchange.org.uk
  • Don’t forget to share with your friends and family on social media.


If you tap on either the Week, Month or Year tabs all your totals will update.

Your Current dry streak is the number of days you have stayed dry in a row as of this moment in time!

Your Best dry streak is the most consecutive days you have stayed dry since you started using the app.

1. Tap on the + at the bottom of the screen.

2. A screen will pop up: Did you stay dry?

Stayed dry

1. Tap I stayed dry.

2. A screen will pop up with confetti. Hurray!

3. Tap Done and a Dry January tea cup will appear in your calendar.

Had a drink

1. Tap Had a drink.

2. The Add drink screen will appear.

3. Tap to select Shop bought or Bar/Pub/Restaurant. This will change the amount that the app predicts your drinks cost.

4. Choose the drink type by scrolling left or right.

5. Choose the drink size by scrolling left or right.

6. Choose the alcohol percentage by scrolling left or right.

7. Choose the quantity by tapping the + or buttons.

8. When you are finished tap the yellow Add drink button.

9. If you only had one type of drink tap Done. If you had another type of drink type tap the yellow Add drink button and repeat!

1. Tap the Calendar tab at the bottom of the screen

2. Find the date you want to edit and tap on that date.

3. Following the add drinks/stayed dry process outlined above.

Maybe you selected small beer and not pint, or you now know the exact alcohol percentage of your drink. You can easily go back and edit drinks you entered earlier.

1. Tap the date you would like to edit in the calendar.

2. Look for the drink you would like to edit and tap that drink. The Edit drink screen will appear.

3. Adjust the scrollers relevant to the changes you would like to make.

4. Tap the yellow Save button.

1. Tap the date you would like to delete the drink in the calendar. Tap the date.

2. Look for the drink and swipe left on that drink. A red Delete button will appear on the right.

3. Tap the red Delete button.

1. At the top of the screen you will see the month and year listed.

2. To the left and right of the month and year are arrows.

3. Tap the left arrow to go back a month, or the right arrow to go forward a month.

1. Tap the Settings tab at the bottom right of the app screen.

2. The second section on the settings page is called Notifications. To have notifications switched on, tap the toggle so that it shows yellow with a white circle.

3. To have notifications switched off tap the toggle so that it shows white with a white circle.

Please note that if you turn notifications on and you are still not receiving notifications you may need to check your app permissions in your phone’s settings.