Google Analytics 4: Auto Migration vs. Manual Migration

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

If you use Google Analytics, you may have recently received an email from Google regarding your account. It states that Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023, and recommends that you manually switch your account over to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible.

So, what does this migration to Google Analytics 4 entail, and what happens if you miss the July 1st deadline? Today, we’re talking through all of your options, along with our agency’s recommendation, so that you can make the best choice for your account. Read on to learn about manual vs. auto migration, and how you can opt out of the whole process altogether.


Manual Migration

Google provides a step-by-step guide to migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, along with the amount of effort each step should take. There are 11 steps in total, though not all of them may apply to every type of account. Some of the most important steps include the following:

  • Use GA4 Setup Assistant to create a Google Analytics 4 property.
  • Add users.
  • Link to your Google Ads account.
  • Validate your conversions.

Once you’ve set everything up, you’ll be able to toggle between both types of Google Analytics properties, but after July 1st, you won’t see new data in Universal Analytics.


Auto Migration

Failing to manually migrate to Google Analytics 4 by July 1st means that Google will automatically create a GA4 property for you (unless you opt out). The property will be based on the settings of your UA account, but not every Universal Analytics configuration has a Google Analytics 4 equivalent, and Google’s automated process may not make the choices you would prefer.


Opt Out of Migration

If you would rather not have a Google Analytics 4 account at all, you can opt out of the migration process entirely. Users with the Editor role in Google Analytics can visit the Admin page, select “GA4 Setup Assistant,” and turn off the automated process.

If you miss the opt-out deadline, you can also erase your automatically-created property by disconnecting and deleting it.


What We Recommend

We have to agree with Google on this one. Manual migration is the best way to ensure that you have a Google Analytics 4 account that’s set up the way you would like. The sooner you complete the manual migration steps, the sooner you can begin collecting data using Google Analytics 4; this is important if you want more one-to-one historical data, because not every Universal Analytics metric has a direct Google Analytics 4 counterpart, making data comparisons between the two difficult. Even if you opt out of Google Analytics 4, your old property won’t collect new data, so if you want to continue using Google Analytics, you’ll need to make this transition.



Our team of experts at Relevance Advisors is here to help you succeed. Reach out today and learn how we can help you migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.



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