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Refresh data source fields

Keep your data source and data set schemas in sync.

If you add, remove, or change the fields in your underlying data set, report editors can refresh the data source to see those changes in Looker Studio.

Refreshing fields only applies if the structure (schema) of your data set changes. To see new data in the report, if you are an editor, you can force Looker Studio to update the report cache by clicking Refresh in the righthand side of the report header.

When to refresh data source fields

Schema changes in your data set are not automatically detected by Looker Studio.

If you:

  • Add new fields to the data set
  • Remove fields from the data set
  • Rename fields in the data set
  • Reorder fields in the data set

Then you should refresh the data source fields so that they both match.

For example, if you add new columns to a Google Sheet, or modify the SQL query used in a custom BigQuery connection to return more or fewer fields, you should refresh the data source.

If the structure of your data set changes but you don't refresh, your data source and the data set will be out of sync. This can cause unpredictable results.

To refresh data source fields

  1. Edit the data source.
  2. In the bottom left corner, click REFRESH FIELDS.
  3. If changes are found, click APPLY.

Effects of refreshing data source fields

Refreshing fields can cause significant changes to the data source and any reports that use it. These changes, once made, cannot be undone. Please proceed with caution.

When you refresh data source fields:

  • New fields from the data set are added to the data source. Only fields containing data are added (empty fields are ignored).
  • Removed fields in the data set are removed from the data source. 
  • Renamed fields are treated as if you've removed the old field and added a new one. The new name is NOT applied to the old field.
  • Reordered fields are not listed in the changes found but the changed order is applied to the internal structure of the data source (you won't see this change).
  • Reports already added to this data source remain attached, however, you may need to fix any charts broken by the field changes.
  • Calculated fields that use a removed or renamed field are disabled. You can edit or remove the calculated field, as needed.
  • Charts that use a removed or renamed field will show a configuration error. You can edit or remove the chart, as needed.
Changing field types or aggregations in the data set are not detected by refreshing fields. You'll need to reconnect the data source to see these changes. See below.

A note on changing languages and refreshing fields

Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager both support dynamic interface language switching: if you change your Google language, you'll see those products appear in the new language (provided that language is supported by Analytics and/or Google Ad Manager). 

Similarly, if you create an Analytics or Google Ad Manager data source in one language, switching languages and refreshing the data source fields changes the displayed field names to the currently selected language.

For example, suppose you create an Analytics data source while your Google language is set to English. The data source field names will appear in English. If you then change your language to Italian and refresh the data source fields, the displayed names now appear in Italian. Note that any dimensions or metrics you've explicitly renamed in the data source will revert to their default names in the new language, but calculated fields, and fields you've renamed in the report, will not be changed. Learn more about changing your Google language.

Reconnect a data source

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