Filters help you to ignore methods and instances of classes which you are not interested in, such as standard Java classes, libraries, framework internals, application server core classes etc., so you can more easily focus on own classes of the profiled application.
Applying filters in profiled application runtime
Limiting collected information to certain classes only reduces its value for further analysis, as some important detail potentially can be missed.
The only reason not to collect all available information is to reduce profiling overhead which otherwise would be significant.
That is why CPU tracing is the only profiling mode which applies filters during profiled application runtime.
No other profiling mode which collects stack trace related information applies filters in runtime.
Applying filters in profiler UI
While reviewing a snapshot, you can use different filters or use none at all. In other words, you do not need to start a new profiling session to start or stop using filters. Views are automatically updated when filter settings are changed (of course, except for CPU tracing results which need to be collected anew - see above.)
Filters reduce the depth of call trees and length of stack traces, by skipping successive calls of methods from filtered classes, so you can more easily see the methods of the profiled application.
Filters are applied to views where method call stacks are shown, as well as to hot spot and method list views.
Non-filtered methods are marked with a filled arrow . Filtered methods have an outlined arrow :
Some automatic inspections use filter settings to focus on potential problems in own code of profiled application.
Settings | Edit Filters... in the main menu to configure filters.
Filter is specified via comma-separated list of classes to be filtered; '*' wildcard is accepted.
To specify classes which must not be filtered, prepend the pattern with '+'.
foo.*, bar.*, +bar.myclasses.* -
filter classes in packages 'foo' and 'bar' (with subpackages), but not in package 'bar.myclasses' (with subpackages)