How to Increase Data Retention to 14 Months Instead of the Default 2 Months in GA4

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How to Increase Data Retention to 14 Months Instead of the Default 2 Months in GA4

Google Analytics 4 has the option to create custom reports called explorations. But you might notice when creating a custom report, you can only see data for the past two months. This is surprising because the old UA analytics let you go back in time to 26 months.

This is an important difference, and if you assume the data retention amount is the same as it was, you could be up for a surprise when you start creating quarterly or annual reports.

The screenshot below shows how the date range can only go back two months. Even after selecting a custom date range.

You can increase the amount to 14 months, but you have to manually change an option in the settings. In this blog post, I will walk you through the steps to do so.

Step 1. Login to Your Google Analytics

Click the Admin button in the bottom left-hand corner.


Step 2. Click Data Retention Link

In the property column, click the data settings dropdown and then the data retention link


Step 3. Change Event Data Retention to 14 Months

Click the dropdown and select 14 months and then save. This change will take effect in 24 hours but won’t recoup the data in the past.

What Other Differences Are There Between GA4 and UA Analytics?

Finding this difference probably makes you uneasy as to what other unknown differences are present with the new version in Google Analytics. I found this article that discusses some of the main differences of how data is tracked and the meaning behind certain terms. I will add more resources here as I find them.

Final Thoughts

Increasing your data retention to 14 months instead of the 2-month default is an easy fix. But it will make reporting on yearly and quarterly goals a lot easier. If 14 months of past data retention is not enough for your business, they do also offer a paid version that lets you retain up to 50 months of data. You can learn more about Google Analytics 360 here.

Do you have a question or need help making this update? Contact me.

Written by: Jake Lett
I share digital marketing tips and HubSpot tutorials to help marketers and business owners grow their business.

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