Preview mode

Preview your experience variants on multiple devices.

Preview mode allows you to validate that a variant renders as intended before you start an experiment. You can also preview a running or ended experiment.

We recommend using preview mode on Chrome. Safari users must go to Preferences > Privacy and uncheck "Prevent cross-site tracking" to use preview mode.

How preview mode works

Preview mode is a state that allows you to see your experiment exactly as your user would see it. Once you've created a variant, generate a preview via the following:

  1. Click Preview on the experiment detail page.
  2. Choose from the list of preview options, or
  3. Click Share Preview to generate an unique URL that can be shared with colleagues.

The Optimize Experiment detail page

Audience targeting conditions, including Analytics Audience targeting, are not applied while in preview mode. Preview mode allows you to see changes without having to satisfy your targeting criteria. To see a preview only when all targeting rules are matched (i.e. true), select Debug from the dropdown list of preview options.

Use debug mode to review targeting rules and experiences

If you want to review targeting rules (or an experience) before they go live consider using Optimize debug mode, which is located under Preview on the experiment details page. Note: you need at least read access to the container to use debug mode.

Learn more about how to debug Optimize experiences.

Using the Chrome extension

When using the Optimize extension in Chrome, you'll see additional features in addition to Web Preview and Share Preview, mentioned above including Tablet Preview and Mobile Preview. When previewing a variant, click the Optimize extension icon (to the right of the address bar) to view information about the container, experiment and variant you're previewing.

The Optimize extension dialog is displayed when previewing a variation.

Exit preview mode

Be sure to exit preview mode so you can go back to viewing the original version of your site. To exit preview mode, click Turn off Preview in the extension or on the experiment details page. If the experiment details page shows a blinking preview icon , you're still in preview mode.

Extension icon states

The Optimize extension provides valuable information about the status of the variant you're previewing. The following states are indicated by the icon:

Active previewing state.
Inactive preview page. This occurs when you are previewing a different variant
and the variant in the current tab is no longer active.
No Optimize snippet was detected on the page.
The current page is not being previewed.

Share a preview

On the experiment details page, under preview options, click Share Preview to generate a URL that can be shared with a colleague or stakeholder for review. When the link is clicked on, the user enters preview mode. They will similarly need to exit preview mode to go back to viewing the original version of the site. To exit preview mode, click Turn off Preview on the landing page of the share preview URL.

Share a preview dialog box


Sharing a preview can sometimes generate a blank page. If this happens, close the window and try again in a new window.

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