If you reach the limit on the number of custom dimensions or metrics you can create, you can free up space to create more custom dimensions or metrics by archiving the ones you don't use. You can always reuse the name of the dimension or metric after archiving it.
Archiving a custom dimension or metric affects any audiences, explorations, segments, or custom reports that are based on or use the now archived custom dimension or metric.
Archive custom dimensions and metrics
- In the left navigation, click Admin.
- In the Property column, click Custom definitions.
- In the row for the custom dimension or metric, click > Archive.
- Review the list of entities in Analytics (e.g., audiences, explorations) that use the custom dimension or metric.
- Click Archive.
When you archive a custom dimension or metric that is used in the definition of an audience, that audience definition becomes invalid and the audience doesn't accumulate any new users.
Historical data for the audience is preserved, but no new data is generated once the audience becomes invalid.
You can't export invalid audiences to other products (e.g., Google Ads, Google Optimize).
If you've previously exported the audience to other products, the audience will continue to function as expected. However, since the audience is not accumulating new users, the user count will drop as the membership duration expires for existing users until the audience contains no users.
If an audience includes an archived custom dimension or metric, you see a warning icon next to the audience name in the audience list:
When you edit the audience definition, you see an additional message that the audience includes an archived custom dimension or metric:
Explorations and segments
Warning icons similar to the ones for archived audiences appear in Explorations for explorations or segments that include archived custom dimensions or metrics. In addition, the dimension and metric lists in Explorations identify archived custom definitions with a warning icon.
As with audiences, explorations and segments with archived custom definitions are invalid and will not load.
If you remove the archived custom definition, then the exploration or segment will load.
While archived custom definitions appear in the dimension and metric lists (with a warning), you can't add them to explorations or segments.
When you archive a custom dimension or metric, any reports that use the custom dimension or metric become invalid until you remove the archived custom dimension or metric from the reports. Look for the following warning in the Data quality icon at the top of the report:
To remove an archived custom dimension or metric from a report, an editor or administrator must follow these steps:
- Click Customize report on the top right of the report.
- In the Report data section, open the dimension or metric picker.
- Remove the archived custom dimension or metric from the report.
Note: Only editors and administrators can customize reports. Non-editor or admin users cannot edit the report and must contact an editor or administrator to archive the dimension or metric. Learn more about customizing reports