Important: This documentation is about an older version. It's relevant only to the release noted, many of the features and functions have been updated or replaced. Please view the current version.

Grafana Cloud Enterprise Open source

Use dashboards

This topic provides an overview of dashboard features and shortcuts, and describes how to use dashboard search.

Dashboard feature overview

The dashboard user interface provides a number of features that you can use to customize the presentation of your data.

The following image and descriptions highlight all dashboard features.

  • (1) Grafana home: Click Home in the breadcrumb to be redirected to the home page configured in the Grafana instance.
  • (2) Dashboard title: When you click the dashboard title, you can search for dashboards contained in the current folder.
  • (3) Share dashboard or panel: Use this option to share the current dashboard or panel using a link or snapshot. You can also export the dashboard definition from the share modal.
  • (4) Add: Use this option to add a panel, dashboard row, or library panel to the current dashboard.
  • (5) Save dashboard: Click to save changes to your dashboard.
  • (6) Dashboard insights: Click to view analytics about your dashboard including information about users, activity, query counts. Learn more about dashboard analytics.
  • (7) Dashboard settings: Use this option to change dashboard name, folder, and tags and manage variables and annotation queries. Learn more about dashboard settings.
  • (8) Time picker dropdown: Click to select relative time range options and set custom absolute time ranges.
    • You can change the Timezone and fiscal year settings from the time range controls by clicking the Change time settings button.
    • Time settings are saved on a per-dashboard basis.
  • (9) Zoom out time range: Click to zoom out the time range. Learn more about how to use common time range controls.
  • (10) Refresh dashboard: Click to immediately trigger queries and refresh dashboard data.
  • (11) Refresh dashboard time interval: Click to select a dashboard auto refresh time interval.
  • (12) View mode: Click to display the dashboard on a large screen such as a TV or a kiosk. View mode hides irrelevant information such as navigation menus. Learn more about view mode in our How to Create Kiosks to Display Dashboards on a TV blog post.
  • (13) Dashboard panel: The primary building block of a dashboard is the panel. To add a new panel, dashboard row, or library panel, click Add panel.
    • Library panels can be shared among many dashboards.
    • To move a panel, drag the panel header to another location.
    • To resize a panel, click and drag the lower right corner of the panel.
  • (14) Graph legend: Change series colors, y-axis and series visibility directly from the legend.
  • (15) Dashboard row: A dashboard row is a logical divider within a dashboard that groups panels together.
    • Rows can be collapsed or expanded allowing you to hide parts of the dashboard.
    • Panels inside a collapsed row do not issue queries.
    • Use repeating rows to dynamically create rows based on a template variable.

Keyboard shortcuts

Grafana has a number of keyboard shortcuts available. Press ? or h on your keyboard to display all keyboard shortcuts available in your version of Grafana.

  • Ctrl+S: Saves the current dashboard.
  • f: Opens the dashboard finder / search.
  • d+k: Toggle kiosk mode (hides the menu).
  • d+e: Expand all rows.
  • d+s: Dashboard settings.
  • Ctrl+K: Opens the command palette.
  • Esc: Exits panel when in fullscreen view or edit mode. Also returns you to the dashboard from dashboard settings.

Focused panel

By hovering over a panel with the mouse you can use some shortcuts that will target that panel.

  • e: Toggle panel edit view
  • v: Toggle panel fullscreen view
  • ps: Open Panel Share Modal
  • pd: Duplicate Panel
  • pr: Remove Panel
  • pl: Toggle panel legend

Set dashboard time range

Grafana provides several ways to manage the time ranges of the data being visualized, for dashboard, panels and also for alerting.

This section describes supported time units and relative ranges, the common time controls, dashboard-wide time settings, and panel-specific time settings.

Time units and relative ranges

Grafana supports the following time units: s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours), d (days), w (weeks), M (months), Q (quarters) and y (years).

The minus operator enables you to step back in time, relative to the current date and time, or now. If you want to display the full period of the unit (day, week, month, etc…), append /<time unit> to the end. To view fiscal periods, use fQ (fiscal quarter) and fy (fiscal year) time units.

The plus operator enables you to step forward in time, relative to now. For example, you can use this feature to look at predicted data in the future.

The following table provides example relative ranges:

Example relative rangeFrom:To:
Last 5 minutesnow-5mnow
The day so farnow/dnow
This weeknow/wnow/w
This week so farnow/wnow
This monthnow/Mnow/M
This month so farnow/Mnow
Previous Monthnow-1M/Mnow-1M/M
This year so farnow/Ynow
This Yearnow/Ynow/Y
Previous fiscal yearnow-1y/fynow-1y/fy


Grafana Alerting does not support the following syntaxes at this time:

  • now+n for future timestamps.
  • now-1n/n for “start of n until end of n” because this is an absolute timestamp.

Common time range controls

The dashboard and panel time controls have a common UI.

The following sections define common time range controls.

Current time range

The current time range, also called the time picker, shows the time range currently displayed in the dashboard or panel you are viewing.

Hover your cursor over the field to see the exact time stamps in the range and their source (such as the local browser).

Click the current time range to change it. You can change the current time using a relative time range, such as the last 15 minutes, or an absolute time range, such as 2020-05-14 00:00:00 to 2020-05-15 23:59:59.

Relative time range

Select the relative time range from the Relative time ranges list. You can filter the list using the input field at the top. Some examples of time ranges include:

  • Last 30 minutes
  • Last 12 hours
  • Last 7 days
  • Last 2 years
  • Yesterday
  • Day before yesterday
  • This day last week
  • Today so far
  • This week so far
  • This month so far

Absolute time range

You can set an absolute time range in the following ways:

  • Type values into the From and To fields. You can type exact time values or relative values, such as now-24h, and then click Apply time range.
  • Click in the From or To field. Grafana displays a calendar. Click the day or days you want to use as the current time range and then click Apply time range.

This section also displays recently used absolute ranges.

Semi-relative time range


Grafana Alerting does not support semi-relative time ranges.

You can also use the absolute time range settings to set a semi-relative time range. Semi-relative time range dashboards are useful when you need to monitor the progress of something over time, but you also want to see the entire history from a starting point.

Set a semi-relative time range by setting the start time to an absolute timestamp and the end time to a “now” that is relative to the current time. For example:

Start time: 2023-05-01 00:00:00

End time: now

If you wanted to track the progress of something during business hours, you could set a time range that covers the current day, but starting at 8am, like so:

Start time: now/d+8h

End time: now

This is equivalent to the Today so far time range preset, but it starts at 8:00am instead of 12:00am by appending +8h to the periodic start time.

Using a semi-relative time range, as time progresses, your dashboard will automatically and progressively zoom out to show more history and fewer details. At the same rate, as high data resolution decreases, historical trends over the entire time period will become more clear.

Zoom out (Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z)

Click the Zoom out icon to view a larger time range in the dashboard or panel visualization.

Zoom in (only applicable to graph visualizations)

Click and drag to select the time range in the visualization that you want to view.

Refresh dashboard

Click the Refresh dashboard icon to immediately run every query on the dashboard and refresh the visualizations. Grafana cancels any pending requests when you trigger a refresh.

By default, Grafana does not automatically refresh the dashboard. Queries run on their own schedule according to the panel settings. However, if you want to regularly refresh the dashboard, click the down arrow next to the Refresh dashboard icon, and then select a refresh interval.

Selecting the Auto interval schedules a refresh based on the query time range and browser window width. Short time ranges update frequently, while longer ones update infrequently. There is no need to refresh more often then the pixels available to draw any updates.

Control the time range using a URL

You can control the time range of a dashboard by providing the following query parameters in the dashboard URL:

  • from: Defines the lower limit of the time range, specified in ms, epoch, or relative time
  • to: Defines the upper limit of the time range, specified in ms, epoch, or relative time
  • time and time.window: Defines a time range from time-time.window/2 to time+time.window/2. Both parameters should be specified in ms. For example ?time=1500000000000&time.window=10000 results in 10s time range from 1499999995000 to 1500000005000