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Category | Google Analytics
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Getting Full Ownership of a Google Analytics Account

As a website owner/administrator, it's a best practice to always have the possibility of adding/removing users from your Google Analytics account and editing any setting on the property to make it work as you want.

Despite this, I often hear things like:

  • Why I can't create filters on my Analytics?
  • Why I can't add new users to my Analytics account? or
  • The Analytics administrator left the company and can't contact them,
  • I lost administrative (manage users) permissions, and now I can't give access,
  • I want to upgrade the permissions for my user and don't know how.

If that sounds familiar, don't worry I'll show you how you can get full permissions of your Google Analytics even if the current owner is unreachable.

How to Get Access to a Google Analytics Account

First, let's tackle down the basic stuff. If you know you have full permissions, but you are unable to sign in to the Analytics property anymore, start with these:

  • Don't remember the email address you used for your Analytics: follow these guidelines.
  • Don't remember your Analytics password: Google Analytics uses the same password as your Google account. If you lost it just click on Forgot password? to reset it.
  • You think you are using the correct email and password, but still can't sign in.
    • Your user is not validTo be able to sign in to GA you must use a Gmail address or a personal email (hello@yoursite.com) that is linked to a Google account. If you unlinked the email, you need to connect it again or ask the administrator to change your user email.
    • Your user is valid: Contact the administrator of the Analytics account (must have Manage Users permissions) and make sure you have access, if not ask them to give you access.

How to Recover/Claim Ownership of a Google Analytics Account

If none of the above solve your problem, you will have to claim ownership of the Analytics account.

STEP 1: Prove Ownership of the Site

The first thing to be able to get your Analytics back is to prove that you own the website where the tracking code is installed. This process requires adding a file to the top level of your domain.

Claiming Ownership or Your Analytics Account

  1. Create a simple file with the name analytics.txt and with the following text (change parts in yellow)

    GooGhywoiu9839t543j0s7543uw1 - pls add {INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS} to GA account {INSERT UA-ID} with ‘Manage Users and Edit’ permissions - date {INSERT DATE}

    • {INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS} - the email you want to give "Manage Users and Edit" permissions
    • {INSERT DATE} - the date you create the file
    • {INSERT UA-ID} - your tracking code number. Should look like this UA-000000
    Don't know your tracking code number? You can use this chrome extensionclick here to expand the instructions
    1. Install the Google Tag Assistant extension,
    2. Open one of your website pages,
    3. Click on the extension icon  
    4. Click on Enable at the bottom left corner
    5. Refresh the page
    6. Click again on the extension  and you should see something similar to the following image. 

    NoteDon't enter the dash and the last number of your code "UA-000000-1" unless you only need access to that specific property and not the whole account.

  2. Add the analytics.txt file to your site on the top level and with "read" permissions so it can be accessed like this yoursite.com/analytics.txt, if you have trouble doing this contact your hosting provider they usually help without a problem

STEP 2: Fill the Form and Request the Permissions

Once you uploaded the file and made sure that it is accessible by going to yoursite.com/analytics.txt you will need to fill this form.

Most of the fields are self-explanatory. But if you are not familiar with this process you might get lost. I'll give you some tips to avoid some of the mistakes I made the first time I went through this process.

Analytics recovery form fields:

  • Contact email: can be any email, not necessarily the email you want to add to GA,
  • AdWords customer ID: Enter N/A, this field is only required if you are recovering your AdWords account,
  • Last known login email address for Analytics account and Name of last known user: If you don't know/remember enter N/A Google will figure it out later,
  • Website or apps you are tracking: the website where you uploaded the text file,
  • Email address you want to use to log in to Analytics: must be a Gmail or an email associated with a Google Account,
  • Summary of the issue: something like: "I'm trying to recover my Analytics account, I already proved ownership of the site in yoursite.com/analytics.txt" or "the GA administrator left the company and can't contact him..."

STEP 3: Google Representative Answer

Although the file you uploaded and the form speed up the process, it is not automated. A Google representative will contact you usually within 24hrs.

If there is any information missing from the form, the representative will ask you a few questions. If not they will try to contact the current Analytics administrator. 

Note: From the screenshot above, you will notice that I made the mistake of entering the last number of the analytics code -1 in the analytics.txt file. So I had to go back and remove it so they would give me access to the whole account.

If after 2 business days there is no response from the current manager, the Google employee will grant you the access based on the analytics.txt file you previously uploaded on the site.

That's it now you are in total control of your Analytics account and can make all the changes and add all the users you want.

Let me know in the comments if this short tutorial helped you recover your Analytics or if you found any problem in the way.

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