DebugView is a great feature in Google Analytics 4 and is a strong improvement over GA3 (Universal Analytics). It allows you to correct the incoming data at a very accurate level. However, sometimes it doesn’t work. This is probably the exact reason you are on this page.
Saying “Not working” means that you can’t see the data from your own device (also known as “No devices available”). If so, I have several tips that may help you troubleshoot this issue.
If you know (or find) other possible solutionsPlease let me know in the comments and I will update the guide. Let’s make this guide useful for as many people as possible.
#1. Debug mode parameter not set
As this blog post explained, DebugView only displays events that include a specific debug mode parameter. It can be either ep.debug_mode or _dB. There are three ways it can be added to web events.
- By installing and enabling the GA debugger Chrome extension
- Or by enabling Google Tag Manager’s preview mode on a page you’re debugging
- or send a file Correction mode parameter with event
Which of these options would add _dB or ep.debug_mode Parameters for GA4 requests. You can learn more about each option here.
If you want to know how to enable DebugView on mobile apps, please refer to this page.
Even if you are 100% sure that one of these 3 options is configured correctly, you can still check if _dB or ep.debug_mode They are actually included in outgoing GA requests. In your browser, go to Developer Tools. I will be using Chrome, so I will press 3 points > More tools > Developer tools.
then go to network tab and in the search field, enter “plural? v = 2” (without the quotes). Refresh the page where you debug your GA4 setup. Then you will see a list of all requests that have been sent to GA4. Click on any recent request and then keep searching for _dB or ep.debug_mode.
If you see them, that’s fine. If not, read this blog post and enable the DebugView parameter by selecting any of the three options:
- GA debugger Chrome extension
- Activate GTM Preview Mode
- Or send the parameter debug_mode manually
#2. Check out the filters
At the moment of writing this blog post, Google Analytics 4 offers a basic set of filtering features. One of them is the ability to exclude your internal traffic based on IP address.
There are two types of IP address-based filters: internal traffic and developer traffic.
- internal traffic It is supposed to exclude all events coming from IP addresses (configured in Administrator > Data Flows > Web Data Stream > More Tagging Settings > Define Internal Traffic). This also prevents events from being displayed in DebugView.
- developer movement. This will be excluded from normal reports if debug more parameters are included in the request (but will be shown in DebugView)
If you go to Administrator > Data Settings > FiltersCheck which filters are set to active.
If you only have an active internal traffic filter and the developer is Tests or Inactive, you will not see your data in DebugView. Activate the developer filter as well.
It may take some time for you to start seeing the data in the debug view after these filters are configured. In the worst case scenario, if you still can’t see your data after several hours or the next day, there is another error.
In the past, the dev traffic filter was behaving strangely (it was still not working properly to display debugging) but this seems to have been fixed in the end.
Also, if you try to implement method 2 of this blog post, remove it. Some people have reported that it is unstable (and for them, it stops working on the second day after implementation). GA4 probably changed something on its end breaking this method.
#3. Google Analytics is blocked by some browser extensions
Your browser may have some extensions installed that prevent Google Analytics 4 tracking. Although you see tags activated in GTM preview mode, that doesn’t mean the data was sent correctly to GA.
For example, there is an extension called Google Analytics opt-out. It will prevent data from your browser from being sent to Google Analytics so you won’t see your device in DebugView.
There may be other extensions as well (such as some ad blockers).
So try disabling all browser extensions temporarily and see if you start seeing your device in DebugView. If it does start working, try enabling the extensions one by one and see which one breaks the patch again.
Wehn you specify this extension, let me know in the comments. I will mention it in this chapter. Thanks!
#4. Do you use Brave Browser?
Also, if you use a stricter browser (like Brave) for debugging, GA will be blocked by default. Thus you will not see your events in DebugView. In general, Brave is not suitable for debugging (because it also prevents GTM preview mode from working by default).
Solve? Use a different browser to test the GA setting, such as Chrome or Firefox.
5. Weird delays (sometimes)
I haven’t had this myself for some time but this has been a problem in the past. Anyway, you are probably experiencing this now. When I created a new GA4 property and then immediately started debugging it (via DebugView), my events didn’t display for several hours in DebugView (or sometimes there was a weird delay where events show up after 10 minutes or more).
There was no solution to that. just wait. So if you are dealing with a similar situation, waiting for several hours and then trying to correct again may be an option.
I know this is frustrating (especially when you have so many tasks to do now with the GA4 app). But sometimes, waiting a while helped.
DebugView not working: last words
If you know/identify more issues and possible solutions on how to fix DebugView if it’s not working, let me know in the comments. Many GA4 users will be thankful.