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How to use ad inspector in your app

Ad inspector automatically begins inspecting your app’s ad serving once you open your app on a registered test device. You can view details about your ad requests loaded while using the app, or you can load ad requests by running test ads within ad inspector.  

Note that you may see a set of ad requests even on app start if your app prefetches ads. 

In this article, learn how to:

View ad requests by ad unit 

After you invoke ad inspector on your test device using a gesture or a custom API call, you’ll see the Ad units tab that lists your app’s ad units in the order of latest activity (whether they’ve shown an ad or not).

You can inspect your ad units:

  • In context: You can test your ad units as if you were the user by navigating through your app. Invoke ad inspector on the screens where ads load. 
  • Out of context: You can test your ad units with test ads so that you don’t have to navigate through your app. Invoke ad inspector on any screen. In the Ad units tab, find the ad unit you’d like to test. Then, tap Request test ad

Out of context ad units are listed after the ad units with activity in the Ad units tab.

Note: We recommend initializing the Google Mobile Ads SDK before using ad inspector. You won’t be able to see the full list of your ad units until you’ve initialized the SDK.  Learn more about initializing the Google Mobile Ads SDK  (Android, iOS). 

Additionally, if your app contains ad units that are not associated with your AdMob app ID, the ad unit will only appear if at least one request has been completed for that ad unit.

View SDK request logs  

Tap an ad unit to view its SDK request log. The SDK request log details the mediation waterfall for the latest ad requests. It shows the ad sources that were called in the waterfall until the ad was filled (or the waterfall ended without a fill). It also lists the ad sources that were not requested after the ad was filled. 

You can also view more specific details about your bidding ad sources and your waterfall ad sources from the SDK request log.

From the SDK request log, tap More and then Share request string to export the full ad request. This can help you troubleshoot further or share with Google Support to help you debug. 

Details about bidding sources 

To view bidding details in ad inspector, you must install version 20.2.0+ for Android and version 8.5.0+ for iOS.

In the SDK request log, tap More and then View all bidders to see all of the bidding ad sources configured for that ad unit. 

The bidding results are sorted in the following order:

  1. The ad source that won the auction.
  2. The ad sources with issues. Learn how to troubleshoot these issues.
  3. The ad sources that did not return an ad or did not bid. This could be due to an issue with your third-party ad source. Refer to your ad source directly for support.
  4. The ad sources that lost the bidding auction.

About third-party bidding parameter details

To view details about the third-party parameter sent in an ad request, tap More and then Third-party bidding parameter. Decoding your third-party bidding parameter provides you with the following information about your third-party bidding source:

  • SDK version
  • Adapter version
  • Buyer generated data 
    To share this data with your third-party ad source, tap Click to copy. Buyer generated data is collected from your third-party bidding source through secure signals. Google can’t interpret this information and passes this data directly to the third-party bidders.
  • Adapter class name
  • If an error was detected, the error type and description will be provided. Learn how to troubleshoot bidding parameter issues

Details about waterfall ad sources

You can expand each waterfall ad source that did not fill an ad to view details about the no fill error. 

For third-party ad sources, the error messages are sent directly from the ad source. If you need more information, refer to your third-party ad source.

View your third-party adapters

After you invoke ad inspector, you’ll see the Adapters tab that lists your third-party SDK adapters and their status. If there’s an error on your adapter, learn how to troubleshoot the common SDK adapter issues

The ad inspector adapter tab in Ad Mob.

Testing single ad sources

With ad inspector, you can test the setup of a single, third-party waterfall ad source. This allows you to verify that you’ve correctly implemented the third-party mediation adapter and that the ad source is serving as expected. 

Note: You must initialize the Google Mobile Ads SDK before you can use single ad source testing. 

To start a single ad source test, toggle Single ad source test at the bottom of the app. Then, select the ad source you’d like to test. When ad inspector is enabled for a single ad source test, all future ad requests will attempt to return ads from the selected ad source.

Note: In single ad source test mode, all ad requests will attempt to fill with the selected ad source, regardless of whether that ad source is associated with the given ad unit. This means that if the ad source you’re testing is not in the mediation waterfall for an ad unit, you'll see a "No fill" error message that says your ad unit isn't configured for the ad source. 

In a single ad source test, you can tap an ad unit to view its SDK request log. This lets you know whether the ad source filled the ad requests made after single ad source testing is enabled. If the ad source did not fill an ad request, you’ll see an error message with details about what caused the no fill error.  

If you’ve added multiple instances of the selected ad source to a mediation waterfall, you’ll see each instance of the call to the ad source in the waterfall until the ad was either filled or the waterfall ended without a fill. 

Single ad source testing automatically expires after 60 minutes. 

How to force restart

When you turn on single ad source testing, you’ll need to force restart your app. Because some apps cache ads at startup, restarting your app ensures that the single source test applies to every ad request in the testing session.

For Android devices, you can usually force restart an app through your phone’s Settings app. Settings can vary by phone. For more information, refer to your device manufacturer

Learn how to force restart an app for iOS devices.  

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