General question: In Views 3, on Drupal 7, when a View display in configured using Views UI, what is the location where the configuration is 'read' and applied when...:

  • ...creating a query to generate a page?
  • ...loading its Views UI page (I believe this is the table views_display)?

Background / why asking: I've encountered a very strange problem where (despite repeatedly clearing all caches including Views cache and even disabling Views caching in Views advanced settings), the output a view generates in situ in a panel / block on the page doesn't match the rules shown for it on editting it in Views UI.

Edit: Actually, looks like they are both coming from the same place but the two displays got merged and became non-overridden in a strange way. I'll keep this open as I'd like to know for sure where these are stored in the DB for future reference anyway.

It's a dev environment with no memcache / memcached / boost etc - no additional layers of caching.

There's one existing question where someone finds Views UI somehow 'loses' the override settings for a views display, but it's not related to my case: there's nothing on my general question, the cause doesn't apply in my case, and none of the suggestions there help. There's also a question which includes my general question on drupal.org but none of the replies answer my question.

1 Answer 1


The table {views_view} has the list of views. The more or less matches up with what is on admin/structure/views, except for views created by modules.

The table {views_display} has displays for each view, keyed to {views_view} with the vid column. The id column is the machine name from admin/structure/views/view/foo/edit. There is one row per display. The display_options column has a serialized version settings from the edit form, and it more or less matches up with the display section when you export a view from admin/structure/views/view/foo/export. I am also pretty sure that the actual query is essentially built up from the same column.

In my years of using a sledgehammer to make Drupal do what my clients need, I don't recall ever poking through the views tables for anything. I will periodically look at an export to see what is going on with a view, and export/edit/import views to adjust things, though.

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