GA4 pitfall to avoid: only 2 months of data in custom reports

GA4 pitfall to avoid: only 2 months of data in custom reports

GA4 pitfall to avoid: only 2 months of data retained for custom reports by default. Make sure you extend it to 14 months in a click.

Whether you’ve already deployed GA4 or will do in the future, there are some pitfalls to avoid. The biggest one is leaving untouched the default setting of 2 months for data retention.

What this means is that your custom reports (“explorations” in GA4 parlance) will only have data for the last 2 months. Want to report further in the past? You just can’t. Standard reports still go back in time, but anything custom that you’ve created will be severely restricted.

Luckily, you can change that in a few clicks, right after you setup your GA4 property or anytime after that (hint: check your own settings now if you’ve never done it before).

3-step process here with screenshots:

Go to admin (you need admin rights):

Then open Data Retention:

Simply choose 14 months instead of the default 2 months:

Need more than 14 months of custom reports? You’re not alone, most companies do. At present, the only way to get this is to enable the free streaming from GA4 to BigQuery, then report from BQ. Simple enough to set up as well. Or upgrade to GA4 360 and get up to 50 months.

But 14 months out of the box in GA4 in 3 clicks is better than 2 months!