How to Backup a Google Tag Manager Container

Written by Michael Wilson

Michael is the Digital Analytics Director at GlowMetrics, implementing complex tracking for our largest clients via Google Tag Manager while leading our wider analytics work across Google Analytics, Data Studio and Optimize.
June 2, 2017

You may have heard about a number of Google Tag Manager containers which temporarily disappeared recently. Google, to their credit, rectified the situation quickly and the containers were restored again within a number of hours.

This was a very rare occurrence but for those few uncertain hours, it was reassuring to know that we had a backup of all of our client’s containers so we could easily restore them in the worst case scenario.

Of course, it’s always good practice to keep backups of your work – whether it’s your Google Tag Manager container and all your tags, or any other digital data that is of importance to your business.

We’ve put together a quick guide below which explains how to backup your GTM containers – if you haven’t done it already, why not add regular backups to your work flow and do it on a weekly (or at least monthly) basis?

Exporting your Google Tag Manager Container

1.  Click on Admin -> Export Container.

2. Select your ‘Default Workspace’ – this will contain the most recent version of your tags, triggers etc.

3. Click on ‘Export’ and save your exported .json file somewhere safe!

That’s your container backed up – all of your tags, triggers and variables! It’s a really simple process which may save you hours of work recreating tags again, should your container happen to go missing because of a technical (or human!) error in the future.

Should you need to restore a backup, you’ll find the ‘Import Container’ option in your Admin, immediately above the ‘Export Container’ button.  The whole import process is fairly self explanatory – but if you’re having any problems, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with us directly.


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