This article will help you:
  • Manage settings in the Privacy subtab of your Project Settings
  • Anonymize IPs, mask descriptive names, force parameters, draft/paused experiments, and other information for additional privacy
  • Filter IP addresses from Optimizely results
  • Understand tradeoffs between additional privacy and integrations/compatibility

In the Settings tab of the Home page, you're able to manage all settings for a given project. This article describes the settings available to you in the Privacy tab.

The Optimizely snippet contains objects that make it easier for users to QA and debug experiments, as well as transmit information to other systems. Some users may prefer a higher level of privacy for the functionality and information contained in these objects. You can change various configuration options (Masking Descriptive Names, Force Variations, Draft and Paused Experiments, IP Anonymization, and IP Filtering) in the Privacy subtab.

Masking Descriptive Names

In order to share data with third-party analytics platforms, Optimizely contains some information about experiments, variations, audiences, sections, and segments that needs to be exposed at the client level. While these descriptive names are helpful for debugging and offer significant benefits for some third-party integrations, some customers may want to replace all of the descriptive names with numerical IDs that can be tied back to the Optimizely system to determine their full-text equivalents.

To hide descriptive names in the data object and remove them from your JavaScript file, all you have to do is click the checkbox that says Mask descriptive names in project code and third-party integrations under the Masking Descriptive Names section. Once the change is made, your third-party services will receive the numerical IDs instead of the descriptive names, but otherwise all integrations should continue working the same as before.


Your new projects will have Mask descriptive names enabled by default, so you will not see variation names pass into your analytics platform. This also means that Optimizely will not be able to pass the descriptive names of individual variations into your analytics platform.

If you change data object name settings while an experiment that has a standard or custom third-party integration is running, you will create two sets of results for that test in your analytics platform. The best time to make the change is when there are no experiments with any sort of integration running.

Force Variations 


Optimizely’s preview mode allows users to quickly QA experiments and share them with team members. The following is information for users who prefer to do more manual debugging.

Optimizely gives you the option to manually force yourself into a specific variation in a specific experiment on any page that contains your Optimizely JavaScript file. This is often useful to quickly force specific variation code to execute on various pages on your website without having to preview each one from the Optimizely editor. This helps speed up the process of debugging in certain situations, such as if you want to determine how the same block of code will impact various product pages.

In most cases this functionality isn’t necessary, so we turn it off by default. If you need to turn it back on just uncheck the Disable the force variation parameter option.

The force variations option should primarily be turned on when debugging an experiment. Keep in mind that if it’s an experiment that is not currently running, you will need to enable Draft and Paused Experiments. After conducting your QA process, the best practice is to turn off this functionality.

Draft and Paused Experiments

In order to do some additional debugging and quickly share information between team members, it is often useful to be able to force a specific experiment/variation combination to execute on the page, regardless of status. We make it possible to do so, as well as view a test on different browsers before starting it or while it's paused. This functionality can be used in conjunction with the Force Variation option to debug on experiments that are not currently running.

Draft and Paused Optimizely experiments are included in the Optimizely JavaScript file by default. While this is a very useful functionality of the product, some users don't want their upcoming and prior experiments to be visible to end users. 

To change this setting and remove all draft and paused experiments from your file, check the Exclude draft and paused experiments checkbox in the Draft and Paused Experiments section of the dialog.

Much like the Force Variations query parameter this functionality should be primarily turned on for debugging purposes and should generally be removed once the process is complete.

IP Anonymization

In some countries you may be required to remove the last block of an IP address to protect the identity of your visitors. Optimizely allows you to easily remove the last block of your visitors' IP address.

To turn this option on, check the Anonymize IP addresses box under Privacy Settings. Checking this box will change the last block from the IP into a 0 (zero) for all tracking calls made to Optimizely. The full IP address will not be stored anywhere and cannot be retrieved later.

If you're using both IP Anonymization and IP Filtering, make sure that the regular expression that you use for IP Filtering treats the final octet as 0 (zero).


Privacy Settings only impact the experiments in the project. You can automatically anonymize IP Addresses for ALL experiments under ALL projects through your Account Settings.


If you are an administrator, you can anonymize IP addresses automatically for all new projects. You can also lock this setting permanently to ensure you are always in compliance. To do this, log in to Optimizely and click your account name in the top-right corner.

Then, navigate to the Account tab and check Anonymize by default or Lock this setting permanently, based on your organization's needs.


If you select Lock this setting permanently, you cannot undo this action yourself once saved. You will need to contact Optimizely's support team to reverse this setting, once saved.


IP Filtering

You can also filter individual IPs or IP ranges out of your experiment results, for example, if you want to exclude your company's employees from being counted toward experiment results. To learn more, see our article on IP Filtering.

IP Filtering won't prevent certain visitors from seeing the experiment -- it will only exclude them from the experiment results. To exclude IP ranges from being included in experiments, see our article on IP Address Audience conditions.