Legacy features

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Looker will occasionally make updates to product design and functionality that render an existing feature's functionality obsolete. In some cases, the feature may be designated as a legacy feature — a feature that remains backward compatible for existing workflows. A legacy feature provides the option for existing users to continue to use the feature's functionality. When a legacy feature is enabled, the Looker instance cannot support the old and new functionality simultaneously.

After you learn about a new legacy feature, you should start planning to migrate to the new functionality before you disable the legacy feature.

See the Legacy feature schedule section on this page for version information about when each legacy feature is introduced, disabled, and removed from Looker.

Learning about new legacy features

Looker announces new legacy features in the release notes. The Current legacy features table on this page provides a timeline showing when current legacy features will be disabled and formally removed from the Looker product. See the Previously removed legacy features table on this page for Information about legacy features that have already been removed from Looker.

Enabling and disabling legacy features

New features that replace legacy features are often simpler, more reliable, more performant, and/or more useful than the features they replace. To take advantage of the improved functionality of a new feature that replaces a legacy feature, migrate away from the legacy feature. Once that transition is complete, a Looker admin can disable the legacy feature on the Legacy Features page in the Admin panel.

The Legacy Features page appears in the Admin panel only if there are legacy features available for that Looker instance. The number located next to the Legacy Features admin menu item indicates the number of legacy features that are enabled.

When Looker is updated, some legacy features are enabled by default, which means that the old feature is still active. When you're ready to move to the new feature, you can turn the legacy feature off.

If your Looker instance is created after a legacy feature is disallowed, that feature won't appear on the Legacy Features page, and admins won't be able to turn it on. The Legacy Features page won't appear in the Admin panel if there are no legacy features available to your instance for your current Looker version.

If you update your existing Looker instance to a version in which a legacy feature is disabled by default, your instance will use the new feature behavior automatically.

Migrating away from legacy features

Eventually, all legacy features are removed from Looker, so Looker strongly recommends moving away from their use. Start planning your migration as early as possible to avoid disruptions to your workflows.

Planning your migration

Looker announces new legacy features in the release notes. When needed, Looker provides transition guidelines for migrating away from legacy features. The Legacy feature schedule on this page provides a timeline that shows when current legacy features have been or will be formally removed from the Looker product. The schedule also notes when the features will be disabled by default.

Leave the legacy feature enabled while you implement any necessary transition guidelines. Once these guidelines have been implemented, disable the legacy feature. Be mindful of migrating away from the legacy feature before updating your Looker instance to the version in which the legacy feature is disabled by default. If you have any issues implementing the improved replacement feature, open a support request in Looker's Help Center by clicking Contact Us.

Legacy feature schedule

  • Introduced indicates the version in which the feature becomes a legacy feature and appears in the Legacy Features page in the Admin panel.
  • Disabled indicates the version in which the legacy feature is turned off for all instances that update to the release. The legacy feature toggle remains available in the Legacy Features page for the purposes of remediation, if required.
  • Disallowed indicates the version in which the legacy feature is removed from the Legacy Features page for newly created Looker instances. If you update your existing Looker instance to this version, the legacy feature toggle remains available.
  • Removed indicates the version in which the legacy feature is removed from the Legacy Features page for all Looker instances.

Current legacy features

Use Legacy LookML Runtime
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
When this legacy feature is enabled, all LookML projects will use the legacy LookML runtime by default rather than the new LookML runtime. To enable new LookML runtime for a LookML project while this legacy feature is on, add a new_lookml_runtime: yes LookML statement to the LookML project's manifest file. 22.6 22.14 23.6 23.6 (April 2023) Active
Can use Legacy Dashboards
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
When this legacy feature is enabled, it allows users to use the legacy dashboard experience. When this feature is disabled, all attempts to use or render a legacy dashboard are routed to the new dashboard experience. Admins can use this feature to test the migration of their legacy dashboards to dashboards. 22.20 23.2 23.6 23.6 (April 2023) Active Legacy dashboard deprecation - starting with Looker 22.20 (November 2022)
Legacy Hosted Action Hub
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
Allows all hosted action requests to instead use the Legacy Hosted Action Hub. 22.6 22.6 22.20 22.24 (January 2023) Active
Legacy Render Card Height
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
Enables slightly shorter dashboard tiles when rendering dashboard PDFs. 22.0 22.10 22.20 23 (specific version TBD) Active
Use old dashboard routes
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
When enabled, legacy dashboards use /dashboards/, and dashboards that use the new dashboard experience use /dashboards-next/ in their URL routes. 21.18 21.20 22.12 22.20 (November 2022) Active Upgrading the default dashboard experience for all Looker users
Revert to Legacy Dashboards
Description Introduced Disabled Disallowed Removed Status Resources
Allows users to revert dashboards to the legacy dashboard layout, look, and feel. This does not affect any previously created content. 7.18 21.0 22.0 22.20 (November 2022) Active Transition guidelines

Previously removed legacy features

Legacy Feature Introduced Disabled Removed Status Resources
Old field chooser 3.18 3.38 Removed in Looker 3.38
Field labels can override view label 3.16 3.44 3.46 Removed in Looker 3.46 Transition guidelines
Leading period in field names 3.16 3.44 3.46 Removed in Looker 3.46 Transition guidelines
Uppercase labels in download and chart configurations 3.16 3.44 3.46 Removed in Looker 3.46 Transition guidelines
Send email from looker@looker.com 3.32 3.44 3.46 Removed in Looker 3.46 Transition guidelines
Default Redshift PDT distribution style EVEN 3.36 3.44 3.46 Removed in Looker 3.46 Transition guidelines
$$ substitution 3.46 3.48 3.50 Removed in Looker 3.50 Transition guidelines
Joins declared in views 3.46 3.48 3.50 Removed in Looker 3.52 Transition guidelines
LookML "scoping" parameter 3.46 3.48 3.50 Removed in Looker 3.52 Transition guidelines
Legacy drill behavior 3.42 4.8 4.22 Removed in Looker 4.22 Transition guidelines
Add unscoped field name alias 3.52 3.54 3.56 Removed in Looker 4.6 Transition guidelines
Unsafe Liquid functions 3.48 4.20 5.0 Removed in Looker 5.0 Transition guidelines
Non-symmetric aggregates 3.16 4.20 5.0 Removed in Looker 5.0 Transition guidelines
Row limit only 3.16 4.20 5.0 Removed in Looker 5.0 Transition guidelines
LookML decimals parameter and int field type 3.38 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Deprecated LookML parameters 3.16 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Legacy Oracle security settings 3.50 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Single row table headers 3.52 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
JSON numbers as strings 3.52 4.0 & 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Coerce dimensions to measures 3.54 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4
Default query result persistence is five minutes 4.2 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4
YAML-based LookML for modeling 4.4 4.10 & 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Implicit dashboard default timezone 4.10 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Allow unlimited downloads that might crash Looker 4.14 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
User-based dev mode 4.16 4.16 & 5.0 5.4 Removed in Looker 5.4 Transition guidelines
Allow creating legacy API-only users 4.0 4.0 & 4.20 5.12 Removed in Looker 5.12 Transition guidelines
Allow calling legacy query API 5.2 5.6 5.12 Removed in Looker 5.12 Transition guidelines
Allow the access_filter_fields parameter 4.14 5.22 6.0 Removed in Looker 3.38 Transition guidelines
Native derived tables convert dates and yesnos to strings 5.22 6.0 6.6 Removed in Looker 6.6 Transition guidelines
Legacy visualizations 6.0 6.0 6.6 Removed in Looker 6.6 Transition guidelines
Show full field name 6.8 6.8 6.12 Removed in Looker 6.12 Transition guidelines
Legacy rendering 6.4 6.6 6.18 Removed in Looker 6.18 Transition guidelines
Legacy .strings files for localization 7.2 7.8 7.12 Removed in Looker 7.12 Transition guidelines
IDE Folders Toggle 7.0 7.10 7.12 Removed in Looker 7.12 Migrating to IDE folders
Snowflake Unquoted Database Name 7.8 7.12 7.16 Removed in Looker 7.16 Snowflake connection documentation
Treat the Datatype Datetime as a Timestamp 7.14 7.20 21.4 Removed in Looker 21.4 datatype parameter documentation
Unsafe Custom Visualizations 7.20 21.6 21.6 Removed in Looker 21.6 Admin Settings – Visualizations documentation
Revert to Legacy Explore Field Picker 21.12 21.12 21.16 Removed in Looker 21.16 Legacy field picker documentation
Legacy Branding 7.18 7.20 21.18 Removed in Looker 21.18
Syntax Tolerant Liquid 21.6 21.14 22.2 Removed in Looker 22.2
Use old navigation and legacy routing 21.20 22.0 22.2 Removed in Looker 22.2 New navigation documentation
Require authentication to retrieve API specifications 21.14 21.18 21.22 Removed in Looker 22.4
Save to shared space with external_group_id 21.4 21.16 21.0 Removed in Looker 22.4
Legacy Value Formatting 21.4 21.4 22.6 Removed in Looker 22.6
Legacy Query Streaming 21.8 21.8 22.6 Removed in Looker 22.8
Add Looks to dashboards 21.12 21.10 22.8 Removed in Looker 22.12 Adding saved content to dashboards
Save as look keyboard shortcut 22.0 22.0 22.10 Removed in Looker 22.14
Allow double-click to select text in textarea in table visualizations 22.0 22.14 22.14 Removed in Looker 22.14
Popular fields in explore search 22.0 22.0 22.20 Removed in Looker 22.20 Selecting fields from the Popular Fields drop-down
Allow XHTML-style Empty Tags in Custom Visualizations 21.20 22.20 21.20 Removed in Looker 22.20 Allowing XHTML-style empty tags in custom visualizations
Use old dashboard routes 21.18 21.20 22.20 Removed in Looker 22.20
Revert to Legacy Dashboards 7.18 21.0 22.20 Removed in Looker 22.20