/analytics/community?hl=en
This content is likely not relevant anymore. Try searching or browse recent questions.
Users vs. Visitors, New and Returning 0 Recommended Answers 7 Replies 197 Upvotes
1 Recommended Answer
$0 Recommended Answers
1 Relevant Answer
$0 Relevant Answers
I'm trying to understand the difference between Users and Visitors in Google Analytics.  These terms are not interchangeable, correct?

If I understand correctly:
A User is identified by a cookie which has been stored within 2 years
A New User is identified by a new cookie (i.e. that cookie has not been stored within the last 2 years)
Why is New Users bigger than Users?  I've heard that New Users contains duplicates, but I don't quite understand how.

What is a New Visitor vs. a Returning Visitor, and how does that relate to a User?
Does Returning Visitor mean a new Session from an existing User?  Therefore, does New Visitor mean a new Session from a New User?  If those are both the case, then wouldn't New Visitor + Returning Visitor = number of Sessions from all Users?  But those numbers don't add up, so which of my previous assertions are incorrect?
Details
Relevant Answer Relevant Answers (0)
All Replies (7)
Relevant Answer
With regard to new users being greater than users. You should be aware that GA can also cause slightly off numbers to occur for users arriving at your site around midnight. More here: https://help.analyticsedge.com/article/misunderstood-metrics-new-vs-returning-visitors/

What may help is that a user, given a long enough date range, can have both a returning label and a new label i.e. they make their first visit (new) and then come back later (returning). 

Visitor and user tend to be used interchangeably when talking about websites, but GA uses 'user' in the interface but also 'visitor' in the actual dimension (this is also relevant when using the API or creating advanced segments). They are both the same thing. A user, or visitor, is a person or, more accurately, a unique browser.  

A user makes sessions, therefore my first session on your website receives a 'new' label. Subsequent sessions receive a 'returning' label. 

New users + returning users will not equal total users, it will usually return a higher number. This is because some of the users have both labels. The higher the total of new + returning, the more return sessions your users make. If the numbers are similar then most of your users make only one, session. Refer to the link above for a more detail explanation.

One final reflection - yes, in the perfect world a user's cookie is stored on their browser for 2 years. However, some users will confound this in different ways, for example by deleting cookies, using a different device or browser, or by using a safari browser which has ITP present (where the cookie life time is reduced to 1 day).
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Thanks Johnny W.

Perhaps my confusion stems from thinking Users and Visitors are different, and not interchangeable.  If they are the same, then the last paragraph of my initial question is invalid. 
But looking at Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning, "New Users" and "New Visitors" are never the same.  So how does this happen?

I had seen the link you provided about sessions across midnight (https://help.analyticsedge.com/article/misunderstood-metrics-new-vs-returning-visitors/).  What was confusing to me was that a New User would be considered New again the next day and not Returning.  But I think I understand now, that anything spanning across midnight will be double-counted as-is?  So a Returning User could also be counted twice if their session spans over midnight?  And therefore both metrics could contain duplicates (in addition to the nature of Returning Users being previously counted Users anyway).
What still doesn't make sense to me is why New Visitor and New User are not counted the same here if they really are interchangeable.  Is that article suggesting that one is double-counted and not the other, and why is that the case?

I also understand that cookies can be cleared/removed/etc. and don't care about that.
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Think of a New User as a count of SESSIONS with New Visitor tags. Because we all assume a User can be 'New' only once, it doesn't make sense that there would be double-counting. When GA tags a single session twice with a session 'count' after midnight, it effectively creates a second New User. It is not actually a new session -- it is a single session with 2 session counts.
This article may help to understand the hit vs session confusion:
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
helo, man plz help me, my Demographics and interest report not working, what I do?  I can,t see my new and old visitors
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Hi Santanu - much better to start a new thread.

Anyways - do you mean that they are not showing any data? If your date range and / or visitor number is low then the demographic reports will return as null; this is a threshold imposed by Google to prevent the identification of users. Or it may be that case that these reports are not activated.
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Trying to solve the same issue.

This is the Audience > Overview report.

If I calculate the percentage of new users by New Users / Users => 381K / 389K  this gives me 98% which is completely different from the 80% given by the segment data, pie chart on the right side.

What's the trick here? What should I trust?
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
@John Ostrowski Please note that in the graph you shared, the metrics you are trying to compare are completely different. In the chart, the metric which is shown is called "New Users" while in the graph, the metric which is used is "New visitors". While in theory they might look like they are the same, in reality these are completely different metrics. 

As noted in this article https://analyticshelp.io/blog/google-analytics-reporting-sessions-discrepancy/ if you are having a lot of traffic during midnight, the Google might create a new session and in that session the metric of "New Users" will increase by 1 while the metric "New Visitors" will not. 

can you check what percentage of your users view the page close to midnight?
marked this as an answer
This question is locked and replying has been disabled.
Discard post? You will lose what you have written so far.
Write a reply
10 characters required
Failed to attach file, click here to try again.
Discard post?
You will lose what you have written so far.
Personal information found

We found the following personal information in your message:

This information will be visible to anyone who visits or subscribes to notifications for this post. Are you sure you want to continue?

A problem occurred. Please try again.
Create Reply
Edit Reply
Delete post?
This will remove the reply from the Answers section.
Notifications are off
Your notifications are currently off and you won't receive subscription updates. To turn them on, go to Notifications preferences on your Profile page.
Report abuse
Google takes abuse of its services very seriously. We're committed to dealing with such abuse according to the laws in your country of residence. When you submit a report, we'll investigate it and take the appropriate action. We'll get back to you only if we require additional details or have more information to share.

Go to the Legal Help page to request content changes for legal reasons.

Reported post for abuse
Unable to send report.
Report post
What type of post are you reporting?
Google takes abuse of its services very seriously. We're committed to dealing with such abuse according to the laws in your country of residence. When you submit a report, we'll investigate it and take the appropriate action. We'll get back to you only if we require additional details or have more information to share.

Go to the Legal Help page to request content changes for legal reasons.

Reported post for abuse
Unable to send report.
This reply is no longer available.
/analytics/threads
//accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin
You'll receive email notifications for new posts at
Unable to delete question.
Unable to update vote.
Unable to update subscription.
You have been unsubscribed
Deleted
Unable to delete reply.
Removed from Answers
Marked as Recommended Answer
Removed recommendation
Undo
Unable to update reply.
Unable to update vote.
Thank you. Your response was recorded.
Unable to undo vote.
Thank you. This reply will now display in the answers section.
Link copied
Locked
Unlocked
Unable to lock
Unable to unlock
Pinned
Unpinned
Unable to pin
Unable to unpin
Marked
Unmarked
Unable to mark
Reported as off topic
/analytics/profile/0