Google Analytics IP filter not working? Here is how to fix it

Last Updated: May 24, 2022

One of the issues I often see is that the IP based view filters in Google Analytics not working for many people.

If you are currently facing this problem then follow the steps below:

Step-1: Check your current IP address by using this tool

Step-2: Compare your current IP address with the IP address that you excluded via your IP based view filter in Google Analytics. Is it still the same? If not, then remove your old IP address and exclude your current IP address.

Note: Whether you use IPv4 or IPv6 based address, they both can change any day, any time without any prior notice. Because of this reason, IP based view filters are not effective in excluding internal traffic in Google Analytics.

The best way to block internal traffic in Google Analytics is by using the ‘Google Analytics Opt out Add-on

If your current IP address matches the one you excluded via GA view filter then make sure:

#1 You are not testing your IP based filter on historical data (like Google Analytics data from yesterday). This is because filters in Google Analytics do not work retroactively. They start working only from the day and the minute, they are first created. So do not use historical data to test your new IP based filter.

#2 Filters in GA can take some time to start working. So do not test your filter as soon as you create/modify it. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you start the test. Sometimes it may take up to 24 hours for your new filters to start working.

Note: Google Analytics built-in filter verification tool can not test/verify IP based filters:

ga ip filter filter verification

#3 Do not use browser-based tools (like ‘Google developer console’, ‘Google Tag Assistant’) to test GA filters.

This is because filters in Google Analytics work after a hit has been sent to your GA server and before it is processed and reported in your reports.

But browser-based tools, like the Google Developer Console, report on a hit as soon as it is sent to the Google Analytics server.

So if you use the Google Developer Console to test your IP filter, you would see the hit being sent to the GA server, even when you have excluded your IP address via the view filter. You may conclude that your IP filter is not working when in reality it is working.

Similarly, Google Tag Assistant will report that your Google Analytics tag is firing even when you have excluded your IP address via the view filter. 

So both Developer Console and Tag Assistant tools are not useful for testing any GA filter (and not just IP based filters).

If your IP based filter is working correctly, you should not see any internal traffic in your GA reports, not even in your real-time reports.

But sometimes, real-time reports in GA produce false negatives results (i.e. show that the IP based view filter is not working when in reality it is). Also if you are getting a lot of traffic, then finding your specific GA session in real-time reports won’t be possible. 

So do not rely on just real-time reports for testing your view filters.

How to correctly test your IP based view filter in Google Analytics

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Install Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension and then enable it.

Step-2: Install Google Analytics Debugger Chrome extension and then enable it.

Step-3: Switch on the Google Analytics debugger by clicking on its icon on the top right-hand side of your browser address bar:

turn on ga debugger

Step-4: Right-click on the tag assistant icon and then select ‘Options:

ga ip filter tag assistant options

Step-5: Change the ‘Level of Details’ for all Google tags to ‘Detailed Information’:

ga ip filter detailed information

Step-6: Within the tag assistant options, make sure that the ‘Recording: Follow Links Across Tabs’ checkbox is checked:

ga ip filter follow links accross tab 300x194 1

Step-7: Click on the Google Tag Assistant icon again and then click on the ‘Menu’ button. Make sure that ‘Auto Validation’ and ‘GA Debug’ settings are turned ON:

ga ip filter auto validation on

Step-8: Login to your Google Analytics account and make sure that you have at least ‘read and analyze’ permission at the view level for the view whose data you are going to analyze via Google tag assistant recording.

Step-9: Navigate to one of the web pages of your website on which Google Analytics is installed.

ga ip filter show in a seperate tab

Step-10: Click on the Google Tag Assistant icon again and then click on ‘Menu’ button > ‘Show in separate tab’. The ‘Show in separate tab’ menu item will open the Google Tag Assistant in a separate browser tab:

Step-11: Click on the ‘Record’ button at the bottom of the ‘Result of Tag Analysis’ window:

ga ip filter record button

Step-12: Now reload the web page from where you want to start the recording. This reload will send a request/hit to Google Tag Assistant and your recording will actually start.

Step-13: Click on the ‘Stop recording’ button:

ga ip filter stop recording button 300x178 1

Step-14: Click on the ‘Show Full Report‘ button:

ga ip filter show full report

Once you clicked on this button, you will be redirected to ‘Google Tag Assistant Recordings’.

Step-15: Click on the ‘Google Analytics Reports’ tab:

ga ip filter ga report tab

Step-16: Select your GA property and view. You will then see the ‘Google Analytics report’ of the tag assistant recording.

Step-17: Click on the ‘change location’ link on the left-hand side of the ‘Google Analytics report’:

ga ip filter change location

Step-18: Select the option button ‘Use a specific IP address’ and then enter the IPv6 based IP address you want to test:

ga ip filter use a sepecific ip
ga ip filter flow

Step-19: Click on the ‘update’ button to start the test. Once the test is complete, scroll down to the bottom of the Google Analytics report and click on ‘Page Load’ under the ‘Flow’ section:

Step-20: Click on ‘Hit 1’:

ga ip filter hit1 300x253 1

Step-21: Now look for following similar message under ‘Mutations’: ‘Hit dropped by filter exclude internal traffic

ga ip filter hit dropped by filter

Note: Here ‘exclude internal traffic’ is the name of my IP based filter.

This message confirms that your IPv6 based filter is working. On the other hand, if your filter is not working then you will see following similar message under ‘Mutations’:

ga ip filter hit captured without modification

Related Article: How to turn on IP Anonymization in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder,
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade

Learn and Master Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - 126 pages ebook

error: Alert: Content is protected !!