Guide isn't displaying

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Typically, most guide display issues are caused by guide settings, segment behavior, or ad blockers. You can always test your guide using the guide preview, using the debugger tool, creating a test segment, or turning off ad blockers in your browser.

If none of these methods help you understand why your guide isn't displaying, you can read through these guidelines for assistance. This article reviews troubleshooting guidelines for when a guide isn't displaying as expected.

Product area: Guides (web)

Check your browser settings

Ad blockers are plug-in extensions that you can add to browsers to prevent advertisements, such as pop-up guides, from displaying on websites. You can turn off ad blockers in your browser to allow Pendo guides to display.

Adding CNAME can also help with ensuring that events are collected and guides are served to visitors who are subject to ad-blocking software like firewalls.

Review the guide configuration

Pendo must be installed on a Page or iframe for a guide to display. If you have verified that Pendo is installed on the Page or iframe where the guide needs to display and you’re still experiencing issues, check the following guide settings.


Ensure the target elements are present on the Page and have valid CSS targeting rules. Automatic guides display until they're dismissed. When there isn't an activation set, programmatic activation launches the guide from a button, the Resource Center, or through API.

Guide ordering and throttling

Ensure the guide isn’t being restricted by guide ordering or throttling.


Ensure the domain matches where the guide should be displayed. The guide location is set in the Location tab on step 1 of the guide. Common location issues include:

  • Target element isn't visible. The element target rule is incorrect or the element isn't on the target Page.
  • Page location setting. Sitewide or page-specific selection is restricting visibility.
  • Page target mismatch. The visitor's browser URL doesn't match the target Page rule.
  • Targeting in iframes. The Page target doesn't match the URL of the iframe where the visitor sees the guide.

Guide status

Ensure the guide is either set to display in Staging, where your testing environment is, or to Public, where your live domain is. Draft and Disabled guides don't display.


Ensure the visitor meets any applied segment rules for the guide to display. Visitors can fall out of segment rules, as their data isn't static, and visitor eligibility refreshes each time they generate a Page Load Event. When segmenting the Resource Center, the visitor must be included in the segment for the relevant Resource Center module to view the content.


Ensure the current date and time range matches the scheduled window of the guide.

Previous views

Ensure the visitor hasn't already advanced or dismissed the guide. Once advanced or dismissed, the guide won’t display again unless your activation method is configured to allow repeat displays, such as badge and target element interactions or Repeat Guide Display for automatic activation. You can verify if a visitor has seen the guide by checking the guide metrics.

Adjust your app settings

To improve guide performance, applications created after June 2023 have the Prefer MutationObserver to 500ms timer setting turned on by default. This setting makes the agent more responsive to webpage changes. However, the MutationObserver API doesn't detect changes in elements within shadow DOM trees. To address this limitation, we offer the Use MutationObserver on Shadow DOM elements app setting, which is available only when Prefer MutationObserver to 500ms timer setting is turned on.

To ensure your guides display correctly when the target element becomes visible, we recommend making the following adjustments:

  • Turn on the Use MutationObserver on Shadow DOM elements app setting.
  • Alternatively, turn off the Prefer MutationObserver to 500ms timer app setting.

You can make these adjustments by navigating to Settings > Subscription Settings, opening the relevant app, and modifying the corresponding settings. After making each adjustment, remember to test your guide display.


For more information about guide display issues and segment questions, see our Segment of Eligible Visitors differs when applied to Guide article.

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