Using the BigQuery sandbox

The BigQuery sandbox gives you free access to the power of BigQuery subject to the sandbox's limits. The sandbox allows you to use the web UI in the GCP Console without providing a credit card. You can use the sandbox without creating a billing account or enabling billing for your project.

The web UI is the graphical interface that you can use to create and manage BigQuery resources and to run SQL queries. See the BigQuery web UI quickstart for a working introduction to the web UI.

Getting started with the sandbox

The BigQuery sandbox is available to any GCP customer including Firebase users. To get started using the GCP free trial, click here. To get started with Firebase, click here.

If you are a current Firebase user, see Link BigQuery to Firebase in the Firebase help for instructions on linking Firebase to BigQuery.

For updates on the BigQuery sandbox, see the Release notes.

To open the sandbox:

  1. Open the GCP Console.

    Go to the GCP Console

  2. In the navigation pane, click BigQuery. You can also open the BigQuery web UI directly by entering the following URL in your browser.

  3. Accept the terms of service.

  4. Before you can use the BigQuery sandbox, you must create a project. Follow the prompts to create your new project.

  5. After you create your project, the BigQuery web UI will display a sandbox banner like the following.

    Sandbox UI

While you're using the sandbox, you do not need to create a billing account, and you do not need to attach a billing account to the project.


The BigQuery sandbox is subject to the following limits.

To overcome the sandbox limits, you can upgrade your project and remove or update the expiration time for your resources. After upgrading from the sandbox, BigQuery Quotas and limits still apply.

Upgrading from the sandbox

To upgrade from the BigQuery sandbox:

  1. Enable billing for your project.
  2. Update your BigQuery resources:

    1. Remove or update the dataset's default table expiration.
    2. Remove or update the dataset's default partition expiration.
    3. Remove or update the expiration time for your tables.
    4. Remove or update the expiration time for your views.
    5. Remove or update the expiration time for your table partitions.

Troubleshooting the sandbox

If your tables have expired, you can recover them within 48 hours. For more information, see Restoring a deleted table.

You can also view information on your sandbox resources by using the audit logs. Audit logs will reveal details around whether a resource was created using the sandbox and details on when resources automatically expired.

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