Google Tag Manager Updates: Workspaces and User Interface


Google Tag Manager Workspaces Announced

Some big changes have come to Google Tag Manager – the entire interface just got an overhaul and a much-desired new feature was unveiled today: Workspaces.

These changes were announced today on the Google Analytics blog, and signify Google’s continuing investment in growing the functionality of Google Tag Manager. These new changes are specifically targeted at the larger enterprise sites, helping to streamline workflow between multiple individuals and teams working in the same container.

That being said, even individuals working alone on small websites will immediately notice some changes and find value in the Workspaces feature.

A Few Visual Changes

Let’s start with a few of the interface changes.

Overview screen

You’ll notice some terminology changes right off the bat on the Overview screen – but you’ll see the big differences on the Tags and Variables pages. For starters, the triggers are no longer color-coded on the Tags page. Instead, they are all gray with icons:


Personally, I miss the colors – it was much easier to tell apart types of triggers at a glance in my opinion, especially when looking for a general pageview tracking Google Analytics tag that fires on the All Pages trigger.

Additionally, the checkbox options are gone for the Variables page – we now have a page that lists the built-in variables, followed by the user-defined variables:


I already miss the checkboxes…

Sliiiide To The Left

Anyway, the most significant change comes in the form of the overlays that slide in from the right when you attempt to edit anything or create a new tag:

creating a new tag

And once you start making edits to a tag, for example, you’ll probably end up seeing multiple overlays pop up on top of that one.

Note that the “X” to close the overlay is on the top left of the overlay – which seems backwards to me but perhaps it is no big deal to those of you on Macs. I had to accidentally click the “+” icon in the top right a few times out of habit before I could remember this little detail…

Name Before Publishing

Here’s an interface update that our Analytics Department Manager, Alex Moore, begged for personally at the last Google Analytics Summit.

We preach consistent naming strategies and note-taking as best practices and it’s now easier than ever to remember to name your Containers. You’ll actually get reminded every time you publish, TWICE!

Google Tag Manager Name Version

It is yet to be seen whether these updates improve the experience and functionality of Google Tag Manager, but there are a couple benefits to point out. For example, you can now enable variables on the fly while updating tags and triggers.

Most importantly, however, all of these updates are part of the GTM upgrade that brings you Workspaces.

What Exactly Are GTM Workspaces?

If you’ve been wishing for greater version control and more efficient collaboration with others inside of GTM, you’re going to love Workspaces. And if any of the interface updates are driving you as batty as they are driving me, believe me – Workspaces are completely worth it!

Workspaces allow you to make updates to a specific instance of your GTM container – while others can work on a separate instance of your container at the same time. When one of you needs to publish your updates, they can be merged together first.

Rolling out immediately, Google Tag Manager 360 customers will be able to create unlimited workspaces within their containers, while free Google Tag Manager users will be limited to three concurrent workspaces (which will still be very helpful!)

Take a look at Google’s documentation for some background information, but we’ll go through some of the key steps together.

Meeting the New Workspaces

Once Workspaces have been enabled in your GTM container, click on the Default Workspace link on the left-hand side of the screen:

workspace link

This will open the available Workspaces in your container, via an overlay once again:

workspace overview

Here you’ll see the Default Workspace to get started, but you can create new Workspaces for different teams or purposes. For example, perhaps you have a team of colleagues working on advertiser vendor tags, and you have another colleague who is working on some complex analytics tracking with a lot of custom javascript. You’ll likely want to provide separate Workspaces for these different types of updates.

For one-off changes here and there, your Workspace may be temporary – you can delete them after you have completed your updates, merged and published. Or, you may wish to set up different Workspaces as a means to organizing different types of updates. For example, you may wish to maintain a Workspace for advertiser tag updates if you’re continually changing and adding new vendor tags.

Setting Up Workspaces

Creating a new Workspace is pretty straightforward – enter a Workspace name and description:

new workspace

Creating a new Workspace is essentially creating a separate instance of your current GTM container configurations. All of the tags, triggers and variables you already have will exist in this Workspace, but all additions or edits you make will only apply to this Workspace until you are ready to publish them.

Publishing A Workspace

The first step to publishing your updates within a Workspace is to create a new version of the container.

new version

Once the new version is created, the Workspace is automatically removed and there will immediately be a notification that appears at the bottom of your screen telling you to update the other existing Workspaces:

new workspace available

What this means is you need to merge the updates in your recently created version with the other Workspaces so that they can all align once again.

If for whatever reason you miss this notification, no worries – you can also select UPDATE from the Overview screen where a similar notification now appears:

new workspace available - from now editing overview tab

Check for this notification each time you come back to GTM so that you can be aware of recent updates.

Click on the UPDATE link and GTM will show you a recap of the changes that were made and let you know if you have any conflicting updates between your recent changes and the existing configuration of the other Workspaces. If you have conflicts, you will need to either merge or overwrite those changes before you can publish.

Once you have successfully merged your updates with the other Workspaces, they will reflect your recent changes and you will be able to publish the container.

Conflict Resolution

I mentioned it above, but Workspaces includes built-in conflict resolution. It will help show you any differences between Workspaces and make it easy for you to copy over changes to your current Workspace or reject the changes.

In short: Awesome.


While some of the interface changes in GTM might take a little getting used to, GTM Workspaces definitely add exciting new capabilities to GTM.

Keep in mind that permission levels have not changed with this update – you still can only apply them at the Account or Container level. You do not have the option to provide individual users with access to certain Workspaces only.

For another detailed post on Workspaces, check out the fastest Google Tag Manager blogger in all of Finland, Simo Ahava, and his guide to Workspaces.

Amanda Schroeder is a Senior Consultant and comes from the marketing industry where she found a need for accurate, insightful data that could aid in making results-driven decisions. Amanda’s passion for building solid measurement strategies and connecting all the pieces of integrated digital and traditional marketing campaigns has led her to her current role at LunaMetrics.

  • Simo Ahava

    Great article Amanda, and thanks for the mention 🙂

    • Amanda

      Sure thing – as always, your very detailed post was definitely worth linking to!

  • Not sure about these new changes – yet. I do like the naming before publishing changes though.

  • Dinesh Gopal Chand

    Thanks for writing… Such a nice blog..
    Yesterday I saw these changes. Look and feel is awesome.
    Initially I found little bit difficulty but after that I gained my speed back

  • Thanks for the update Amanda. By the way, does the trigger “All Pages” still work? I can’t seem to find the trigger any longer in the list. Also, on the Overview screen you can’t click the “All Pages” trigger for the tags that were configured before this change.

    • Michael Philpott

      “All Pages” will still work. The new trigger picker excludes triggers that have already been added to your tag. If tag doesn’t include the “All Pages” trigger and you haven’t added it already file in-product feedback and the GTM team can look at why its missing.

    • Amanda

      Hi Paul,

      The All Pages trigger still exists, the interface just looks different so it may be harder to find. If you do not already have this trigger set up and need to create it, the interface no longer gives you the simple option of selecting “All Pages” and moving on – you have to now specify what type of pageview trigger you want to apply. See my attached screen shot – the first three options are pageview-related options. You have to choose either DOM Ready, Page View or Window Loaded.

      And yes, you can no longer click on the All Pages trigger on the overview screen.

  • Dennis Hart

    UGGGH I don’t like Workspaces yet. It has slowed me WAY down and I’m getting tied up in knots. I had been using exports and imports to get all my tags built and migrated and now I can’t figure out how Workspaces fit into this.

  • Abhishek Deshpande

    hi, im unable to use the conflict resolution in GTM. is it only available to 360 users?

    • Amanda

      Hello Abhishek,

      Sorry for the late response. Conflict resolution is available regardless of whether you are a 360 customer. Your screenshot shows that your workspace needs updated – did you click on that link in order to see if there are any conflicts? Once you click that link, GTM should indicate whether or not there are any conflicts.

  • Натали Ворона

    Hi Amanda!
    Good overview)

    Can you help with one question? I`ve tried to set up GTM in new instructions (one part of the code in , another one in ), but now have a problem – Analytics Tag doesn`t track all traffic.. How that can be solved?
    Thank you

    • Amanda

      Good morning,

      Are you saying that some data is coming in to Google Analytics from your tag in GTM, but not all of it is? Or are you saying the tracking stopped completely?

      I would first check out the code on the page and see if there are any problems with the way that it was installed. Then check out the Google Analytics tags and triggers in GTM to see if there are any problems there.

      For example, do you see the correct pieces of the GTM snippet in the and in the (the piece should be in the body, for example – perhaps part of the snippet is missing)? Did you change the analytics tag and/or trigger in GTM in any way?

      Best of luck,

      • Натали Ворона

        Thanks for reply, Amanda!

        I see a half of usual traffic.. (we had a lot of organic traffic ana cpc)

        Both pieces are installed correctly.

        Tags are fired. (nothing changed)

        Best regards,

        • Amanda

          The code does appear to be installed correctly in that example. Maybe in the transition to updating the placement of the GTM script some pages had old code removed and were not updated with the new code. You could do a crawl with a tool like Screaming Frog or to see if you are missing the tracking code from some pages.

          • Натали Ворона

            Hi there

            GaChecker says script is placed on all pages (GTM and Analytics).

            Assistant says GTM is implemented outside

            I hope that`s some mistake after update.. and soon it`ll be ok

            Thanks for help!

  • J


    I was hoping you could help me with applying changes in GTM. I am stuck with actually making them live.

    A summary of what happened.

    I enabled the advertising feature with in GA Universal and from what I read is that you have to create a save a new version (see imgur link below). After saving a new version I gave it a name of “V2” along with a description. After doing all that I am not able to figure out how make the new changes live.

    Do I click on “Actions” then “set as latest version”?

    I exported V9 and V10 and compared the two files and they have quite a few differences.


    • Amanda

      Hello there, it looks like you do not have Publish permissions. In the screen shot you attached, your options are Preview or Create Version. You should talk to your team members and see if someone can publish your updates or if they can give you Publish permissions. If you receive Publish permissions, you will see a red button for Publish at the top right of the screen as well.


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