This article lists out the different row limits that can be found across Looker. The rule of thumb is:
- If results are being displayed in the browser, the row limit is 5000.
- If results are being exported from Looker, there is no row limit as long as the results stream.
- We’ll go into more detail about streaming at the end of the article. Table calculations are the most common reason that a result set doesn’t stream, so removing table calculations usually allows for an unlimited download.
Explores, Looks, Dashboards, SQL Runner
Queries created via the Explore page will have a maximum limit of 5000 rows. This also applies to Looks and dashboards, and to queries created in SQL Runner.
In most cases, it is possible to download the unlimited result set from an Explore, Look, or dashboard.
It is only possible to download all results if the result set streams, and if the user downloading has the
download_without_limit permission. If these conditions are not met, then a custom limit can instead be set in the download modal. This custom limit has a default maximum of 100,000 rows.
Email schedules can send up to 15 MB of data as long as the results stream. These are not subject to any row limit, just the total size limit.
API calls are subject to the same row limits of the context they are called in. That is, API calls based on an explore, Look, or dashboard will be subject to the 5000 row limit, while downloads can be unlimited. Check the section above for the type of API call you’re using.
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. There are only two cases where streaming is not possible:
Table Calculations cannot be streamed. Therefore, to download unlimited results for a query, table calculations must be removed from the query.
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 with these databases. Below is a list of what databases support streaming: