Google Analytics 4 - Sessions metric

Updated on

Oct 19, 2023

The difference between the Sessions metric in UA and GA4

The session counts in your GA4 property may be lower than those in your UA property. This can be explained by the fact that GA4 does not create a new session when the campaign source changes mid-session, while UA does create a new session under that case.

  • If a session crosses a day boundary (e.g., if it starts at 11:55 pm and ends at 12:05 am), it is considered a single session, though it is counted once daily. Thus, a single session can be related to different traffic sources and multiple days. As a result, the session count will differ from the unique number of sessions.
  • GA4 properties use a statistical estimate of the number of sessions on your website or app by estimating the number of unique session IDs, while UA properties don't estimate the number of sessions.

Learn more about the session differences in UA and GA4.

How to set up an accurate session count for GA4

The only way to get session count as a metric is to filter report data by ```Event name = ‘session_start’``` and add Event count as a metric. Follow the steps below to get this metric in your reports:

  1. Set the following extraction template parameters:
  2. ~Aggregation by date: Daily.
  3. ~Parent template: Free-form Daily Report.
  1. Select the Event name in the Available dimensions list and the Event count in the Available metrics list.
  1. Filter extracted data in your report by ```Event name = ‘session_start’```.
    The Event count metric will show session counts based on session_start event.

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Google Analytics 4 - Sessions metric


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