How to Use the New and Improved Preview Mode in Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Assistant

Google Tag Manager was recently updated with a brand new preview mode – called Tag Assistant.

You have always been able to preview your work in Google Tag Manager, but many users complained about how complicated the process was. Preview mode was embedded in an iframe, which was incredibly fiddly to access. Now Tag Assistant opens up in a brand new window, and comes with a few extra new features too.

The new Tag Assistant mode will make debugging your work in Tag Manager and checking if tags are firing correctly easier than ever before. And the great thing is, it's simple to use.

Here is a guide to the changes, and how to get started with the new preview mode.

What has changed?

As mentioned, the main change is that Tag Assistant now opens in a new tab.

The previous version of preview mode only tracked tags on the page that you were on. The new version now tracks all tags, only stopping when you close Tag Assistant down.

You can share your preview with other people, as long as they have the Tag Assistant extension on Chrome. Just send them the link of the specific preview, and you can easily get a second opinion on your work.

Tag Assistant has also moved from using third-party cookies to first-party cookies. This is because Google has pledged to remove third-party cookies from Chrome by 2022.

This move has not only been brought in to comply with regulations like GDPR, but will also help make debugging easier when using different browsers, private-browsing modes and extensions.

Bear in mind that you can't switch back to the previous preview mode.

How to use the new preview mode

To start, click the preview button at the top right of the page. If you want to preview a specific version you can access the preview button from the versions tab.

You'll then be asked to enter the URL you want to preview. Click start and Tag Assistant will open.

Bear in mind that with Tag Assistant, at least one version has to be published first. Unlike the previous preview mode, you can't preview anything this is unpublished

The Tag Assistant will automatically open up two new tabs, one for itself and another for the website you are previewing.

There is a tab on the Tag Assistant page where you can see information about the tabs that fire. Click on the tag to find out more information about it.

Our thoughts about the new preview mode

Tag Assistant is only a few weeks old at the moment, so there are still a few bugs that Google needs to fix before it becomes 100% fully functional.

The new version is a lot less complicated to use and will undoubtedly grow and evolve in the coming months.

We're fans of the update and will definitely be testing our work before we publish it a lot more!

Are you using the new Tag Assistant? What do you like the most about it?

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