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I ran into a pesky problem today in Google Tag Manager, where some tags were listed as ‘Still Running’ when viewed in the Google Tag Manager preview pane. One ‘Still Running’ tag prevents other tags from firing if they are triggered at the same time and haven’t run yet, so you can end up with several tags ‘Still Running’ if you trigger them all at the same time. This can be quite a pain and, depending on your experience with Google Tag Manager, not straightforward to fix.

Here are three errors that typically lead to the pesky ‘Still Running’ problem. If you’ve found this because you have the same issue, do any of these solutions fix it for you?

Error #1 – Mixing Settings with Constants

One time where this can happen is if you have a Google Analytics Settings variable in a Constant field, or a Constant variable in a Google Analytics Settings field. This can happen when you have an account that has been running a while and still uses the Constant method of setting up a Google Analytics tag. If you then go to add a Settings variable out of habit but add the Constant instead, your setup will break.

Error #2 – Infinite Loop

Another common cause of this issue is a custom javascript function (either as a tag or as a variable) that has an infinite loop in it. Any time that that variable or tag runs the function, Google Tag Manager will get stuck. To track down this type of error you want to put a Console.Log call in your javascript function. If your console log outputs infinitely, then you’ve probably got this issue on your hands.

Error #3 – Race Condition

This is the issue that I ran into today, and this can be a tricky one to diagnose. Basically this occurs if you have code that calls variables that haven’t been properly initialised yet. If your ‘Still Running’ condition is occuring on Page View, then this could be the problem. To solve this problem, you can move functions that require heavy processing of variables to DOM Ready or even Window Loaded, so that the initialisation steps have already been done at Pageview. You can also require that another tag runs before the tag that is firing using Tag Sequencing.

In my case today, I just moved the offending tags to DOM Ready and the problem was resolved.

So there you have it. Three different errors and three different solutions. I hope that this helps you out if you run into the same thing!

Have you ever run into this issue due to a different cause? If so, please comment below and share your tips.


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