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Downloading Data

This page discusses how to download the data or a visualization from a Look or from the Explore page in a variety of formats. Downloading dashboards is discussed separately on the Viewing Dashboards and Viewing Legacy Dashboards documentation pages.

To download merged results queries, you can save the query to a dashboard and then download the dashboard as a PDF or as a collection of CSV files).

To download data from a Look or an Explore page, click the gear menu in the upper left and select Download:

Downloads to formats that use the renderer (that is, PNG and PDF) will use results from Production Mode. If your download is in another format, the download will show results from whatever mode — development or production — that you are in.

File Formats

Data can be downloaded in the following formats.

For dashboards:

For Looks, Explores:

While choosing your data format for downloading, if you don’t see the HTML or PNG (Image of Visualization) options (for Looks) or the PDF formats (for dashboards), talk to your Looker admin about installing the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.

For JSON format, Looker uses field labels as its rendered value in its JSON output. See the Change in JSON Formatting Community article for more information about how Looker renders fields in JSON format.

Transposed visualizations will render in PDF and PNG downloads only.

For Looker developers, if you are in Development Mode, data downloads in most file formats query your model as it is in Development Mode. PDF and PNG file formats are the exception; data downloads in those file formats always query your model as if it is in Production Mode.


In the Results section, choose whether you want visualization settings applied to your data download:


In the Values section, choose how you want the downloaded query results to appear:


You can choose how much data you want to download as follows:

All Results

When you click Run in a Look or an Explore, Looker checks your permissions and determines whether the complexity of the query and the database dialect will allow the entire query to be downloaded. If you have the permissions (for results above a set limit) and if Looker determines that your entire query can be downloaded, the All Results option will be available in the Download window.

The option to download All Results may be unavailable under certain conditions:

Even when the All Results option is available, you should still use caution when downloading all results. Some queries are very large, containing thousands or millions of rows, which can overwhelm most spreadsheet programs — or even your Looker instance.

If the All Results option is unavailable, which may be the case depending on your permissions, you can instead use the Custom option to specify the maximum number of rows allowed with your permissions.

Streaming Query Results

Streaming refers to Looker's ability to process data in chunks, rather than all at once. If Looker can stream a result set, then unlimited downloads are possible.

Looker streams downloaded results in CSV format only.

In addition to the format limitations, there are two cases where streaming is not possible:

  1. Table Calculations: Table calculations cannot be streamed. Therefore, to download unlimited results for a query, you must remove table calculations from the query.
  2. Database Limitations: Some databases cannot stream if pivots are included in the query. For these databases, pivots must be removed in order to download unlimited results. Some databases can't stream any results, which means that unlimited downloads are not possible. Below is a list of what databases support streaming, as well as databases that support streaming with pivots applied:

Remove All Sorts from Query

When you select All Results, you may also see the option to Remove all sorts from query. This option prevents sorting on your query before downloading the results. Selecting this option may speed up your download, since sorting a query can be costly to performance for certain database types.

The Remove all sorts from query option is not supported for pivoted results.

Download or Open in Browser

Once you’ve selected your options, you can click the Download button to download a file to your computer, or click Open in Browser to view the file in the browser.

Expand Tables

To display all rows of a data table — rather than just those rows that display in the dashboard tile thumbnail — in a PDF dashboard delivery or download, check the Expand tables box. If you do not see the Expand tables option, talk to your Looker admin about installing the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.

Paper Size

You have the option to specify the optimal size and orientation of dashboard PDFs by selecting from the Paper size drop-down menu. Large visualizations or groups of overlapping dashboard tiles may need to be resized to fit cleanly on a PDF page. If you do not see the Paper size option, talk to your Looker admin about installing the latest version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.

For Admins: Enabling Downloading Data for Your Looker Instance

For downloads of large Excel files, see the Managing Business User Features documentation page if you encounter any problems.

Certain downloading options require that admins of customer-hosted Looker deployments have installed the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer. Admins can read more about rendering image-based data formats when sending and scheduling dashboards, Looks, or Explores on the Managing Business User Features documentation page.