Admin settings - General settings

The Settings page in the General section of the Admin menu lets you configure the instance-wide settings for Looker.

License Key

The license key is unique to the Looker instance that you're using. It enables or disables certain Looker features based on your licensing agreement.

The license key is hidden by default. Select the eye icon to display the license key.

Host URL

The host URL is the base portion of your Looker instance's URL. It is used specifically when links to your instance are created in scheduled emails and in all absolute URLs that Looker generates.

Make sure the Host URL setting uses http:// or https:// appropriately, based on your instance's server configuration.

Changing the host URL may affect the functionality of some Looker features. See the What happens if the URL changes for my Looker instance? Best Practices page for more information about changing instance URLs.

Technical Contacts

Email addresses that are added to this box will receive notifications of security updates, major bug fixes, and new Looker releases. The email address must belong to a valid Looker user. If you add an email that doesn't belong to a valid Looker user — for example, an email address for a distribution list — the email address will appear in the Technical Contact field, but Looker won't be able to deliver notifications to this address.

Looker Support requires permission from a technical contact to do any of the following:

  • Cause downtime for the instance, which could be due to a non-scheduled version update, performance changes to your Looker server, or other reasons
  • Change something about your Looker license, possibly to enable new features for you

Application Time Zone

When displaying data in an Explore, a Look, or a dashboard, Looker can convert time data from the connection's Database Time Zone to the appropriate time zone for that user.

If the User Specific Time Zones option is enabled, then an admin can set the user's default time zone or users can set their own default time zone. If the admin or user has not set the user's default time zone, then the Application Time Zone is used for that user, and all time-based data queried by that user will be converted to the Application Time Zone.

The Application Time Zone setting is also used as the default time zone for content deliveries. The time zone used for schedules does not affect time data returned by a query; it affects only the time a data delivery is sent.

See the Using time zone settings documentation page for more information.

Closed System

The Closed System setting is used in conjunction with groups to prevent users in one group from knowing about the users in another group. This is often useful for multi-tenant installations.

The locations in Looker where users might see other users include the following:

When the Closed System setting is enabled, non-admin users who don't have the see_users permission will only be able to see other users with whom they share a group. They will also only be able to see groups of which they are members.

All admins and any users who have been granted the see_users permission can see all users and groups on the instance.

When enabled, Login Consent Configuration causes a consent screen to be displayed to all users who attempt to sign in to the Looker instance. The consent screen will display the message that was entered in the Message Configuration field, and will require users to click the I Agree button on the consent screen before they can sign in to the instance. Once you have enabled Login Consent Configuration, the Message Configuration field becomes visible.

Message Configuration

If the Login Consent Configuration option is enabled, in the Message Configuration field, enter the message that will be displayed to all users who attempt to sign in to the Looker instance. This field becomes visible only after Login Consent Configuration is enabled.

Default Private Personal Folders

When Default Private Personal Folders is enabled, a user's personal folder is by default visible only to that user and to Looker admins. By default, other users won't see the folder in the People folder, and the content in the folder won't be visible on boards or in content searches.

If you do want to provide access to a personal folder, you can add access to other users or to user groups through the Manage Access option from the personal folder's gear menu.

If you disable the Default Private Personal Folders option, a user's personal folder can be viewed by any Looker user in the All Users user group.

New Account Notification

The New Account Notification setting can be enabled or disabled. When it is enabled, any Looker admin user will be emailed when a new Looker account is created. (Signed embed users are an exception; emails are not generated when a signed embed user is created.) The email will contain the new user's email address.

In-App Guides

In-app guides let Looker communicate with users in the application through tutorials, banners, alerts, and surveys. These communications are used to help users get more out of the platform, alert them to new features, get user feedback on the platform, and invite users to trainings and events where they can learn how to better use Looker.

Administrators can choose to disable guides for their instance, which will disable the guides for all users on that instance. There is no way to selectively turn off in-app guides for certain users. Looker won't show in-app guides to embedded users or non-admin users on private label instances.

Guides are designed and deployed by Looker's Customer Experience team and will change over time. Looker uses third-party software (Pendo) JavaScript to serve the guides. Looker vets the individual guides and adds them to the allowlist. When fetching a guide from Pendo, Looker uses SHA-256 integrity hashes to validate that the guide is unchanged. If there are any changes to the guide after Looker's review, Looker prevents use of the changed guide. If a user's browser cannot reach the Pendo server, then the guide is simply not displayed.

When enabled, this setting will show a cookie notification banner to all users on your instance. This setting is disabled by default.

We recommend that you enable this setting if you need to comply with the European Union's data protection regulations.

When Curated Search is enabled, users are able to search for content across shared folders, their personal folder, and boards. Content that is saved in other users' personal folders will be included in the results only if such content is also pinned to a board. The search results will exclude content that exists only in the personal folders of other users. Users have the option to exclude content in personal folders by selecting the switch next to the Curated Search feature name in the search modal.

Limit Automatically refresh dashboard option

When it's enabled, only Looker admins will be able to enable the Automatically refresh dashboard option on user-defined dashboards. This prevents non-admin users from automatically refreshing data on dashboards and dashboard tiles. Automatically refreshing dashboard data can place a significant strain on some database systems.

Google Cloud Project Number

The Google Cloud project number is required to enable in-app support. This value can be obtained from the Cloud Overview page in the Google Cloud console.

This change can take up to two hours to take effect. To implement the change immediately, click the Update button next to the License Key setting after entering your Google Cloud project number.

If you don't have a Google Cloud project for Looker yet, you can create one by following our Create a Google Cloud project guide or our more in-depth documentation on Creating and managing projects.

Use Gravatar

When enabled, this setting displays the Profile Picture option on the user menu, letting users select or create an avatar for their account using the Gravatar app.

User Specific Time Zones

When adding a connection, you specify what time zone your database stores time information as the Database Time Zone.

When User Specific Time Zones is enabled, each user is assigned a time zone, and Looker converts time-based data from the Database Time Zone to a user's time zone when the user views query results or interprets filters.

When User Specific Time Zones is disabled, Looker converts time-based data for all users to the Query Time Zone value.

See the Using time zone settings documentation page for more information.

Default Visualization Colors

The Default Visualization Colors setting lets you define a default color collection for visualizations, and also lets you create new color collections for use in your instances.

Setting a default color collection

Each Looker instance must have a default color collection.

To set a pre-existing color collection as your default, choose the color collection from the drop-down menu and click Update. Note: Setting a new default color collection will update all visualizations on Looks and dashboards that use the default color collection. Visualizations that are saved with a different color collection, or a custom palette, won't be affected.

You can see the first categorical, sequential, and diverging palettes of each collection directly under the drop-down menu. These are the palettes that will be used as the visualization defaults. To view all the palettes in the color collection, visit the Color collections documentation page.

Creating a custom color collection

To create a custom color collection, follow these steps:

  1. Select last New color collection option from the Default Visualization Colors collection drop-down menu.
  2. Give your new collection a unique name in the Name text box.
  3. Click each color palette to open the Colors in Palette menu.
  4. Select individual colors in the Colors in Palette menu to edit one at a time, or select Edit All to edit all of the colors at once.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each color palette.
  6. When you're finished editing your new color collection, click Create.

Color values can be formatted as hex strings, such as #2ca6cd, or as CSS color names, such as mediumblue. Or you can click on the color wheel to open and select a shade from the color picker. If you choose to edit all colors, use a comma between each color name to separate them. To add or remove a color, click on the + or - signs.

The new collection will automatically become the instance default, but you can choose a different default if you want.

Collection IDs and palette IDs for any new custom color collections are based on each collection's name. This allows LookML dashboards that use those collections to render consistently across instances if both instances have the same custom collections named identically.

Deleting a custom color collection

You can delete a custom color collection by selecting the collection from the drop-down menu and clicking the Delete button that appears. You cannot delete Looker's native color collections.

Load Assets from CDN

This option is available only for customer-hosted instances. Because Looker-hosted instances always load assets from the CDN, you cannot disable this setting for these instances.

CDN stands for content delivery network. A CDN is a network of servers that stores content in multiple geographic locations to reduce page load time for users. Your data is never stored on these servers; only items that are specific to Looker (such as images) are stored on the CDN.

The Load Assets from CDN setting can be either enabled or disabled. When it is enabled, Looker pages should load faster.

Persist Assets in Browser Cache

When this setting is enabled, static assets such as JavaScript files and fonts are cached in each user's browser storage. This speeds up subsequent navigations, because the browser does not need to continue to reload these assets from the Looker server.

Mobile Application Access

When this setting is enabled, users can log in to their Looker account on the instance using the Looker mobile app. When it's disabled, any existing mobile sessions are terminated.

Force mobile authentication

When this setting is enabled, users are required to sign in to the Looker mobile app every time they open the app on their mobile device. Users can also enable biometric login when Force mobile authentication is enabled.

Content Security Policy Enforcement

When this setting is enabled, Content Security Policy (CSP) headers that conform to Google strict CSP recommendations are sent and enforced. The CSP headers block third-party scripts from running on Looker and may break some browser extensions. To allow third-party scripts to run on Looker, disable this setting.

This option has been added to give developers time to adjust their scripts to conform to strict CSP recommendations and will be removed in a future version of Looker.

Public URLs

The Public URL setting can be enabled or disabled. When this setting is enabled, Looker users with appropriate permissions can generate public URLs to access Looker data.

Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content

This setting lets Looker admins define the email domains to which your users can deliver Looker content — Looks, dashboards, queries with visualizations — or alert notifications through email.

To limit content deliveries and alert notifications to email addresses with a specific domain, you can enter the domain in the format domain.suffix. For example, to limit email deliveries to just emails with and domains, you can specify these domains in the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content field and then grant users the schedule_look_emails permission.

See more about how this setting and a user's permissions affect their ability to deliver Looker content and alert notifications in the Permissions overview section on this page.

looker_internal_email_domain_allowlist user attribute

In addition to the email domains that are included in the global Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content field, you can also specify email domains on a per-group level using the looker_internal_email_domain_allowlist user attribute. The user attribute accepts the same string format as the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content admin setting.

If a group is assigned multiple email domain sets, for example through membership in multiple groups, then members of that group will be able to send emails to all domains that are assigned to each of the user attribute values, as well as the domains that are listed in the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content admin setting. In other words, the set of email domains that a group can send emails to is the union of the set of email domains that are listed in the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content field and every set of email domains that are assigned to the group by the looker_internal_email_domain_allowlist user attribute.

Permissions overview

Embed and non-embed users must have at least the schedule_look_emails permission to be able to email any Looker content. To send alert notifications, a user must also have create_alerts permissions.

Embed and non-embed users who have the schedule_look_emails permission may also be granted the schedule_external_look_emails permission (see more on permissions and dependencies on the Roles documentation page).

For an overview of how user permissions affect the domains to which users can send Looker content deliveries or alert notifications, see the following table:

User type Permissions Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content contains the domain Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content contains no domains
Non-embed schedule_look_emails Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to their own email address, to the email address of another Looker user on the same instance, or to an email address with the domain Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to any email address
schedule_look_emails Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to any email address Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to any email address
Signed embed schedule_look_emails Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to an email address with the domain Cannot email any Looker content or alert notifications
schedule_look_emails Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to any email address Can email content deliveries and alert notifications to any email address

Embedded Looker content is accessed through a dedicated embed user account, not by individual user accounts. When a person accesses Looker content through an embed, Looker isn't expected to know the individual user's email address.

One exception to the rules that are stipulated in the table is as follows: You can provide Looker with an embed user's email address by defining it in the email user attribute in the signed embed URL. For example:


If you define the email user attribute in the embed URL, Looker will allow an embed user who has only the schedule_look_emails permission to email Looker content to their own email address, even if their email domain isn't in the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content field, or if the Email Domain Allowlist for Scheduled Content field is blank.

URL Allowlist for Data Actions

This setting lets you define URLs (such as where your users can process data actions.

For example, if you add the URL to the URL allowlist for data actions, data actions will be able to be processed only at Attempts to process data actions at other URLs won't be allowed.

If this field is left blank, there are no URL restrictions for data actions. However, if you have included a user attribute in a data action, this field is required. In that case, you must provide valid URLs to process data actions.

Block Inline Embedded Images in Query Results

By default, Looker does not display Base64 encoded images in query results. Disable this setting to display Base64 encoded images in query results.

Block Formulas and Macros in CSV and Excel Files

When this setting is enabled, Looker prepends a ' character to all values that could be interpreted as formulas or macros in queries that are downloaded in CSV or Excel spreadsheet formats.

Outgoing Webhook Token

If a user uses a webhook to deliver content — such as a dashboard or a Look — the request will include a special Looker token that can be set here. Servers that receive webhooks can then verify that requests contain this value to verify the legitimacy of webhook requests.

Default Export Format

The Default Export Format setting lets you choose the default file format that is used when users choose to download data. Users can still choose a different file format if they like.

Format|File Extension|Description --|--|-- TXT|.txt|Generates a text file delimited by tabs. Excel Spreadsheet|.xlsx|Generates a spreadsheet file using the format for Microsoft Excel 2007 and later. CSV|.csv|Generates a text file delimited by commas. JSON|.json|Generates a JSON file with one record per line. HTML|.html|Generates basic HTML to display the data in a way that is similar to how the user sees it in their browser; however, the formatting is not exactly the same because Looker's CSS won't be included. Markdown|.md|Generates a standard Markdown file with a | delimited table.


When enabled, Looker admins and developers who log in to a new Looker instance will see the Looker onboarding walkthrough, which guides users through the four major steps to make use of a Looker instance:

  1. Adding a connection
  2. Creating a project
  3. Editing project files if desired
  4. Exploring data

Once any combination of admins or developers completes the full guide, it stops being displayed.

The In-App Guides setting must be enabled for the Onboarding option to be available.