This article is about Universal Analytics, which is going away. It's critical that you migrate your Universal Analytics property settings to Google Analytics 4, or you will begin to lose data on July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties). Learn how to migrate your settings.

About Real-Time

Monitor activity as it happens on your site or app.

Real-Time allows you to monitor activity as it happens on your site or app. The reports are updated continuously and each hit is reported seconds after it occurs. For example, you can see how many people are on your site right now, which pages or events they're interacting with, and which goal conversions have occurred.

You may notice low realtime data in the Real-Time report in your Universal Analytics property when you first open the report. We recommend waiting a few minutes to see accurate numbers in Universal Analytics Real-Time reports, but to get the most accurate realtime data, we recommend that you use the Realtime report in a Google Analytics 4 property.
In this article:

See Real-Time data

Real-Time is available in all Analytics accounts. No changes to the tracking code are necessary.

To see Real-Time:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics..
  2. Navigate to your view.
  3. Open Reports.
  4. Click Real-Time.

Ways to use Real-Time

With Real-Time, you can immediately and continuously monitor the effects that new campaigns and site changes have on your traffic. Here are a few of the ways you might use Real-Time:

  • monitor whether new and changed content on your site is being viewed
  • understand usage of your mobile app through event tracking
  • see whether a one-day promotion is driving traffic to your site or app, and which pages these users are viewing
  • monitor the immediate effects on traffic from a blog/social network post or tweet
  • verify that the tracking code is working on your site or app
  • monitor goal completions as you test changes to your site

Limits and caveats

User ID enabled views

Real-Time reports are not compatible with User ID enabled views.

Filtered views

If your data looks incorrect in Real-Time, check which filters are being applied to the view. It's best to use an unfiltered view when debugging tracking code implementations. Changes made to views may take up to two hours to reflect in Real-Time.

Mobile App Tracking

Mobile hits are batched to conserve battery life, so you may notice delays. Batching typically occurs on the order of minutes.

No data in Real-Time

If you don’t see any data in your Real-Time reports, it’s possible that there are no active users.

Real-Time reporting is sometimes temporarily suspended in views that you haven’t recently accessed, however Real-Time is reactivated after you visit a Real-Time report in that view. When Real-Time reporting is suspended, data collection and all other reporting services aren’t affected.

To preserve system stability and efficient use of resources, Real-Time will temporarily stop processing hits if the volume is unusually large during any 30-minute period. Hit volume is reevaluated every 10 minutes based on 10-minute averages, and processing resumes when hit volume returns to normal levels.

Campaign attribution

Due to a change in the way Universal Analytics sends and stores campaign information for Real-Time reporting, it is possible that, during a single session, a user stops being recognized as coming from a specific campaign and is instead counted as a direct referral. As a result, you'll see traffic and conversions incorrectly attributed to a Source of (direct). You'll only see this in Real-Time reports; in standard reports, traffic and conversions will be attributed correctly.

An upcoming version of Real-Time reporting will not have this issue. In the mean time, however, you should be aware and interpret referral counts in Real-Time reporting appropriately. To mitigate this issue, you can either force the sending of campaign information on every hit within a session, or use standard reports (instead of Real-Time) when analyzing or reporting referral counts.

Next steps

To learn more about the reports and how to interpret them, read Using the Real-Time reports.

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