Data filters

You need Edit permission at the property level to create, edit, and delete filters.

Data filters are configured at the property level and are applied to all incoming data.

Filters are evaluated from the point of creation forward, and do not affect historical data.

Once you apply a filter, the effect on the data is permanent; for example, if you apply an exclude filter, that data is never processed and will never be available in Analytics.

Limits

You can create up to 10 filters per Google Analytics 4 property.

Filter types

There are currently two types of filters:

  1. Internal traffic: Internal traffic is identified by the event parameter traffic_type with the default value of internal (learn more). You cannot modify the parameter name, but you can modify the parameter value to create an additional value and additional version of the filter (the original filter is unmodified). For example, you might want to also identify the department or geographical location from which the internal traffic originates.

    Learn more about creating rules to identify internal traffic.

    For each Google Analytics 4 property, Analytics creates one default exclude filter for internal traffic. You need to create your own rules for identifying internal traffic in order for the filter to be effective. (Learn more about how the default filter is configured.) This filter is in Testing mode by default, and you need to activate it once you've validated that it's working as expected for your data.
  2. Developer traffic: Developer traffic originates from your app on development devices, and is identified with the event parameter debug_mode=1 or debug_event=1 (learn more about enabling debugging mode and debugging events). If you exclude developer traffic via filter, you can still see it in DebugView, so your developers can always validate their Analytics instrumentation.

Filter operations

When you create an include filter, Analytics processes only data that matches the filter.

When you create an exclude filter, Analytics does not process data that matches the filter.

If you include both types of filters, Analytics evaluates a union of the include filters first, then evaluates the exclude filters one at a time.

Filter modes

A filter has one of three modes:

  • Testing: Analytics is evaluating the filter but not applying permanent changes, and matching data is identified with the following dimension name and dimension value:
    • Dimension name: Test data filter name
    • Dimension value: <the name of the data filter>
  • Active: Analytics is evaluating the filter and applying permanent changes.
  • Inactive: Analytics is not evaluating the filter.

Create filters

  1. Sign in to Analytics.
  2. Navigate to the relevant property.
  3. Click Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters.
  4. Click Create Filter.
  5. Enter a name for the filter.
  6. Select a filter type (either Internal traffic or Developer traffic).
  7. Select a filter operation (either Include only or Exclude).
  8. (Internal traffic only) Event parameter name is currently set to traffic_type and is not modifiable.
  9. (Internal traffic only) Enter the parameter value. The current default value is internal.
  10. See Summary for an explanation of how the filter will operate per your configuration.
  11. Select a mode for the filter (Testing, Active, Inactive).
  12. Click Save filter.

For each Google Analytics 4 property, Analytics creates one default exclude filter for internal traffic with the following configuration:

  • Name: Internal Traffic
  • Filter type: Internal traffic
  • Filter operation: Exclude
  • Event parameter name: traffic_type
  • Event parameter value: internal
  • Filter mode: Testing

You need to create your own rules for identifying internal traffic in order for the filter to be effective.

Test filters

Your data that satisfies a filter is assigned to the dimension Test data filter name, and given a dimension value of the filter name. That data is available throughout the Analytics interface in dimension pickers (e.g., in reporting and Analysis) so you can use that data to validate your filters before activating them.

Data evaluated by your test filters is available right away in the Realtime report, and becomes available in other reports as they are refreshed throughout the day.

Test your filters before activating them. Filtering is a destructive operation: once you filter data, it's gone. Forever.

Activate / deactivate filters

  1. Sign in to Analytics.
  2. Navigate to the relevant property.
  3. Click Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters.
  4. In the row for the filter, click Edit
  5. Under Select a filter mode, select either Active or Inactive.
  6. Click Save filter.

Edit filters

  1. Sign in to Analytics.
  2. Navigate to the relevant property.
  3. Click Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters.
  4. In the row for the filter, click Edit
  5. Make the changes you want.
  6. Click Save filter.

Delete filters

  1. Sign in to Analytics.
  2. Navigate to the relevant property.
  3. Click Admin > Data Settings > Data Filters.
  4. In the row for the filter, click Edit
  5. Click Delete filter.
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