[UA] Create and edit audiences

This article is about creating and editing audiences in Universal Analytics. See the following resources for similar information related to Google Analytics 4:

When Google Analytics remarketing audiences are exported to Google Ads or Display & Video 360 campaigns, they are normally updated at least once per day. If you do not use any of these audiences to display an ad for more than 365 days, these audiences will be updated less frequently (once every 30 days).

When you start using these audiences in active campaigns, or when you create a new remarketing list, Analytics will resume updating at least once per day.

Audiences exported to Google Optimize are updated daily whether or not you use the audiences in experiments.

You can use preconfigured audiences that the Analytics team has developed to cover many of your use cases, you can create new audiences from scratch, and you can import any of your existing segments to use as the basis for new audiences. Once you've developed an audience, it becomes available in the accounts you select, and you can put it to work right away as part of a campaign or experiment.

In this article:


  • You need the Editor role for the property in which you want to create the audience.
  • If you base an audience on the Session Date dimension, you need to publish the audience at least 5 days before the session date you want to capture. While Analytics backfills Search and Display audiences with up to 30 days of data, it does not backfill based on Session Date.


  • There is a limit of 2000 audiences per property.
  • You can publish a maximum of 50 audiences to an Analytics 360 property, and a maximum of 20 audiences to an Analytics Standard property.
  • You can publish an audience to an unlimited number of non-advertising accounts, like Optimize or Analytics.
  • You can publish an audience to up to 10 advertising accounts singly or at once (e.g., Google Ads Manager Accounts, Google Ads Serving Accounts, Display & Video 360). A Google Ads Manager Account counts as 1 of 10, but the audience is available to all child accounts of that Manager Account.
    You cannot publish Universal Analytics audiences to Search Ads 360 or Campaign Manager 360.

Create an audience

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Admin, and navigate to the property in which you want to create the audience.
  3. In the Property column, click Audience Definitions > Audiences.
  4. Click + New Audience.
    New audience configuration options
  5. By default, your new audience is based on data from the current reporting view. Any users filtered from the view you use will also be filtered from the audience.

    To change the view, click Edit, select a new view, then click Next step.
  6. When choosing an Audience definition, you have three options:
    1. Select a preconfigured audience

      Some of the preconfigured audience definitions include:
      • Smart List: Let Google manage the audience for you.
      • All Users: All users to your site or app who already have the necessary advertising cookies or mobile-advertising IDs.
      • New Users: Any users who have conducted only one session on your site or app.
      • Returning Users: Any users who have conducted more than one session on your site or app.
      • Users who visited a specific section of my site/app: Click the edit icon, and enter the URL of a page or directory on your site, or a screen in your app. This option uses the contains match type, and matches any URL that contains the string you enter here.

        If there are more than 1000 page/screen URLs for your site/app, then Analytics displays matches as you enter text only if matches are found within the first 1000 URLs. If there are no matches in the first 1000 URLs, then Analytics displays nothing. In this case, you can copy and paste the URL from a browser, or from some other source of URLs like a spreadsheet.
      • Users who completed a goal conversion: Click the edit icon, and select a goal from the menu. This option requires that you have previously configured Analytics Goals.
      • Users who completed a transaction: This is already configured to include any user with more than zero transactions.
    2. Create a new audience definition

      If you don't want to use a recommended audience, click Create New to create a new audience based on a segment you define. See Audiences you create.

      Audience Builder, no filters defined

      When you finish configuring your audience, click Apply.

      Audience definition

      If your audience definition has an Exclude condition, an additional check box appears, and you have the option to permanently or temporarily remove users from that audience. Learn more

      If your audience definition has user-level filters, then the Lookback days option appears. With Lookback days, any users who have met your audience criteria anytime during that lookback period are added to your audience the next time they initiate a session on your site.

      Learn more about how filters are evaluated.

    3. Import a segment

      You can import a segment to use as the basis for your audience. When you're defining an audience, click Import Segment, and then choose from the segments that are available in the current property.
  7. Enter a name for your audience, then click Next step.
  8. Under Audience destinations, use the + Add destinations menu to select the accounts in which you want to use the audience. Destinations include Google search and display advertising (like Google Ads Display, Google Ads RLSA, Display & Video 360, and Google Ad Manager), services like Google Optimize in which you use audiences for experimentation or personalization, and Analytics. If you have a Google Ads manager account, that is also included as part of Google Ads eligibility.

    If your audience includes Age, Gender, or any of the Interest dimensions, you can publish that audience only to Google Ads (Display).

    If your audience includes sequences, you cannot publish that audience to Analytics.
  9. Click OK, then click Publish.

When you create a new Display audience, Analytics prepopulates the list with up to 30 days of data so that you can use the list in 24-48 hours. If you have fewer than 30 days of data available, then Analytics uses the data you have. Analytics cannot prepopulate Search audiences.

If you use Query Time import, Analytics also backfills your audiences whenever you add a new Query Time import schema, and whenever new Query Time import data become available.

Edit an audience

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Admin, and navigate to the property in which you want to edit the audience.
  3. In the PROPERTY column, click Audience Definitions > Audiences.
  4. In the list of existing audiences, click the name of the audience you want to edit.
  5. Click Edit for Audience source, Audience definition, or Audience destinations.

    When you edit the source (reporting view) or definition, new users are added based on the new source or definition, and existing users who were added based on the previous source or definition remain in the audience until their membership duration expires.

    When you edit destinations, you can close an audience for individual destinations so that it no longer accumulates users in those contexts. You can subsequently reopen an audience for a destination by editing the audience again.

Close/delete/reopen an audience

When you close an audience, it no longer accumulates users. However, users in that audience can still be served ads until their membership duration expires.

When you delete an audience, it is removed from all destinations, and members of the audience are no longer eligible to be served ads per the audience criteria.

You can close an audience for individual destinations when you edit an audience.

To close an audience for all destinations at the same time:

  • Open the audience for editing, then click Close Audience in the lower right.

To delete an audience:

  • Close it for all destinations, then click Delete Audience in the lower right.

To reopen an audience that you've closed for all destinations:

  • Open the audience for editing, then open it for individual destinations.

Audiences and the Management API

The Google Analytics Management API gives you programmatic options to create and edit audiences. Learn more

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