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Looker documentation will be moving to cloud.google.com in mid-2022!
All the information you rely on will be migrated and all docs.looker.com URLs will be redirected to the appropriate page.
Organizing and managing access to content

Looker content takes the form of Looks (saved snapshots of data from a query) and dashboards (collections of tiles that show visualized query results).

Looker stores content in folders; users can organize content in folders with subfolders. Access to folders and subfolders is granted through access levels. Only users with the appropriate access level can create subfolders, assign access, or make changes to shared folders.

Be careful when organizing folders. Changes can affect all users who have access to each folder, including your personal folder if other users have access to Looks and dashboards from your folder.

Folder access levels

Typically, users can organize their personal folders as desired by creating subfolders and assigning access to them. A user or a group of users can have one of two access levels for a folder:

For a more thorough discussion of content access and permissions, see How content access and permissions interact.

Viewing and managing folder access levels

To manage a folder, you need both the appropriate permissions from your Looker admin and the Manage Access, Edit access level for that folder. This lets you edit the name of a folder, create subfolders, and specify which users can view or manage the folder.

  1. Navigate to the folder.
  2. Click the gear icon and choose the Manage Access option:

If you are not allowed to change access levels, you cannot manage the folder. Your screen will look like this:

  1. If an Add group or user field appears, then you can manage the folder:

  2. If the folder is a subfolder, Looker shows whether this folder currently inherits its access-level settings from its parent.

  3. If you want to customize access-level settings for a particular set of users and groups, you can add those users and groups to a list and manage each of them individually.

    • To change the access level for a user or group, click the current access level and choose the one you want instead. You cannot change the ability of Looker admins to manage the folder:

    • To remove the access level from a group or user, select the X beside the name.

    • To add one or more groups or users, click the Add group or user field, choose a group or user, and then select the desired access level. Select Add to set the access level for the group or user.

Creating a folder

You can create a new folder within the Shared folder or your personal folder. By default, a folder inherits the folder access levels of its parent.

  1. Navigate to the parent folder.

  2. Click the New button.

  3. Select the Folder option.

  4. In the Create folder pop-up, enter a name for the folder.

  5. Click Create folder.

Setting your default folder

By default, if your admin has enabled the pre-built Looker homepage option, Looker displays Shared folders in the left navigation. If you set a different default folder, it replaces Shared folders in the left navigation.

To set a different folder as your default, navigate to that folder and select Set as your default folder from the folder’s gear menu:

The default folder appears in the left sidebar navigation:

Renaming, moving, or deleting a folder

You can rename, move, or delete subfolders within Shared or your personal folder. However, you cannot change top-level folders, such as Shared or your top-level personal folder, in this way.

  1. Navigate to the folder.
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Rename, Move, or Delete.

Use caution when you delete a folder. In a single action you can delete all folder content, which could include subfolders. A Looker admin might be able to recover the content, but — even if this is possible — the content will be returned to the personal folders of the users who created it and not back to the folder that you deleted.

Copying or moving Looks and dashboards

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a folder, you can copy or move its Looks and user-defined dashboards to another folder. You can also move a LookML dashboard to another folder if you have the develop permission on the model that includes the LookML dashboard.

If a dashboard has tiles based on Looks, then those Looks must be in the same folder as the dashboard. If you try to move a Look that is used in a dashboard, Looker instead makes a copy of the Look in the new location and keeps the Look in its original location. This ensures that your dashboard doesn’t have any missing tiles. If you copy or move a dashboard to a new location, then Looker will copy or move its Looks to the new location as well.

  1. Check the box to the left of the item or items that you want to change. If you have the pre-built Looker homepage enabled and are in grid view, you can hover over a thumbnail to see the checkmark and then click it to select the Look or dashboard.

  2. Buttons appear above the list of dashboards or Looks. Click Copy or Move.

  3. In the Copy pop-up or Move pop-up, click the name of a top-level folder on the left to navigate to it.

  4. On the right, select a subfolder or navigate down to a subordinate subfolder. You can also type the subfolder name into the Search field to filter the list.

  5. Click OK.

Upgrading legacy dashboards

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a folder, you can upgrade the legacy dashboards in that folder to dashboards.

  1. In the Dashboards section of the folder, select the box for the legacy dashboards to be upgraded.
  2. Select Upgrade.

  3. In the Upgrade pop-up, select Upgrade.

See the Viewing dashboards documentation page for more information on upgrading legacy dashboards, reverting dashboards to legacy dashboards, and upgrading LookML dashboards to new dashboards.

Converting dashboards from Looks to query tiles

You can create a dashboard tile by linking to a saved Look (also known as a Look-linked tile), specifying text, or specifying a query directly. Saving many Looks that are only needed for a single dashboard can cause clutter. To avoid this, you can convert all tiles that are based on saved Looks to query tiles.

Then, you can choose to delete the source Looks, if they meet the following criteria:

You can also use a legacy dashboard’s gear menu to convert the dashboard’s Look-linked tiles to query tiles, or you can use an individual legacy dashboard tile’s menu to convert a single tile to a query tile.

  1. From list view, select one or more dashboards from your folder.

  2. Click the Convert Looks to Tiles button.

  3. In the Convert All Looks to Tiles pop-up, you can select the box to move Looks to the trash and then hover over the link to see the list of Looks that are identified for deletion.

    Looker shows this link only if there are Looks that can be deleted safely, such as those that are not scheduled for data delivery, not used in other dashboards, not favorited, or not public.

  4. To prevent Looker from deleting the source Looks, make sure that the box is not selected so that Looker will keep all the Looks for now. You can delete them manually later to clean up your folders.

  5. Click Convert to convert all the dashboard’s Look-linked tiles to query tiles.

Looker replaces each Look-linked tile with a new query tile that uses the same query and visualization settings as the original Look. If you opted to move Looks to the trash, those converted Looks no longer appear in folders.

If you later realize that you need a deleted Look, your Looker admin might be able to recover it for you, if your Looker admin team has not already emptied Looker’s trash as part of their maintenance process.

Deleting Looks and dashboards

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a folder, you can delete its Looks and dashboards.

  1. Select the box to the left of the items to delete.
  2. Click the Move to Trash button that appears above the list of dashboards or Looks:

  1. Click OK in the confirmation window.

    If you delete a Look that is the source for a dashboard tile, the dashboard’s Look-linked tile returns an Element not found error.

    For dashboards, the confirmation window may show an option to Move an additional X Looks associated with the above Dashboards to the trash:

When checked, the Move an additional X Looks associated with the above Dashboards to the trash option deletes any Looks associated with the dashboard. However, Looker only does so if the Looks are not scheduled for data delivery, used in other dashboards, favorited, or public. You can hover over the link at the bottom of the confirmation window to see the list of Looks that are identified for deletion.

If you don’t see the Move an additional X Looks associated with the above Dashboards to the trash option, Looker hasn’t identified any Looks that can be deleted safely.

If you accidentally delete content, your Looker admin might be able to recover it for you, if your Looker admin team has not already emptied Looker’s trash as part of their maintenance process.

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