Issuing a query dry run

When you run a query in the bq command-line tool, you can use the --dry_run flag to estimate the number of bytes read by the query. You can also use the dryRun parameter when submitting a query job using the API or client libraries.

You can use the estimate returned by the dry run to calculate query costs in the pricing calculator. You are not charged for performing the dry run.

Permissions required

At a minimum, to run a query job, you must be granted permissions. In order for the query job to complete successfully, you must also be granted access to the tables or views referenced by the query. Access to the tables or views can be granted at the following levels, listed in order of range of resources allowed (largest to smallest):

The following predefined IAM roles include permissions:

  • bigquery.user
  • bigquery.jobUser
  • bigquery.admin

In addition, if a user has bigquery.datasets.create permissions, when that user creates a dataset, they are granted bigquery.dataOwner access to it. bigquery.dataOwner access gives the user the ability to query tables and views in the dataset.

For more information on IAM roles in BigQuery, see Predefined roles and permissions.

Performing dry runs

You can perform a dry run for a query job by using:

  • The --dry_run flag with the query command in the bq command-line tool
  • The dryRun parameter in the job configuration when you use the API or client libraries

Performing a dry run

To perform a dry run:


Currently, you cannot perform a dry run by using the Cloud Console.


Enter a query like the following using the --dry_run flag.

bq query \
--use_legacy_sql=false \
--dry_run \

The command produces the following response:

Query successfully validated. Assuming the tables are not modified,
running this query will process 10918 bytes of data.


To perform a dry run by using the API, submit a query job with dryRun set to true in the JobConfiguration type.


Before trying this sample, follow the Go setup instructions in the BigQuery quickstart using client libraries. For more information, see the BigQuery Go API reference documentation.

import (


// queryDryRun demonstrates issuing a dry run query to validate query structure and
// provide an estimate of the bytes scanned.
func queryDryRun(w io.Writer, projectID string) error {
	// projectID := "my-project-id"
	ctx := context.Background()
	client, err := bigquery.NewClient(ctx, projectID)
	if err != nil {
		return fmt.Errorf("bigquery.NewClient: %v", err)
	defer client.Close()

	q := client.Query(`
		COUNT(*) as name_count
	FROM ` + "`bigquery-public-data.usa_names.usa_1910_2013`" + `
	WHERE state = 'WA'
	GROUP BY name`)
	q.DryRun = true
	// Location must match that of the dataset(s) referenced in the query.
	q.Location = "US"

	job, err := q.Run(ctx)
	if err != nil {
		return err
	// Dry run is not asynchronous, so get the latest status and statistics.
	status := job.LastStatus()
	if err := status.Err(); err != nil {
		return err
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "This query will process %d bytes\n", status.Statistics.TotalBytesProcessed)
	return nil


Before trying this sample, follow the Java setup instructions in the BigQuery quickstart using client libraries. For more information, see the BigQuery Java API reference documentation.


// Sample to run dry query on the table
public class QueryDryRun {

  public static void runQueryDryRun() {
    String query =
        "SELECT name, COUNT(*) as name_count "
            + "FROM `bigquery-public-data.usa_names.usa_1910_2013` "
            + "WHERE state = 'WA' "
            + "GROUP BY name";

  public static void queryDryRun(String query) {
    try {
      // Initialize client that will be used to send requests. This client only needs to be created
      // once, and can be reused for multiple requests.
      BigQuery bigquery = BigQueryOptions.getDefaultInstance().getService();

      QueryJobConfiguration queryConfig =

      Job job = bigquery.create(JobInfo.of(queryConfig));
      JobStatistics.QueryStatistics statistics = job.getStatistics();

          "Query dry run performed successfully." + statistics.getTotalBytesProcessed());
    } catch (BigQueryException e) {
      System.out.println("Query not performed \n" + e.toString());


To perform a dry run using the Python client library, set the QueryJobConfig.dry_run property to True. Client.query() always returns a completed QueryJob when provided a dry run query configuration.

Before trying this sample, follow the Python setup instructions in the BigQuery quickstart using client libraries. For more information, see the BigQuery Python API reference documentation.

from import bigquery

# Construct a BigQuery client object.
client = bigquery.Client()

job_config = bigquery.QueryJobConfig(dry_run=True, use_query_cache=False)

# Start the query, passing in the extra configuration.
query_job = client.query(
        "SELECT name, COUNT(*) as name_count "
        "FROM `bigquery-public-data.usa_names.usa_1910_2013` "
        "WHERE state = 'WA' "
        "GROUP BY name"
)  # Make an API request.

# A dry run query completes immediately.
print("This query will process {} bytes.".format(query_job.total_bytes_processed))