How To Recover Your Google Analytics Account [2024]

Panic. That’s what you feel when you have lost access to your Google Analytics account. It’s exactly the same as losing a key to your car or home. The solution is also similar: it’s always in the last place you look. So, where do you even begin to recover your GA account? Let’s find out.

Quick Navigation

How can you even lose access to your GA account?

Some organizations implement systems or processes to keep track of all the digital assets they have in place.

The majority of organizations fly by the seat of their pants with provisioning and protecting digital assets. They don't even think of the possibility of losing access to Google Analytics and other treasures.

Over the past decade, hundreds of people have come to me after losing access to their Google Analytics account.

It happens to small business owners, and it happens to big businesses.

  • People set up accounts and forget all about them. 
  • Employees come and go, taking the keys with them as a parting gift.
  • Web developers go out of business or had no business working on your site in the first place.

There are more ways to lose track of your Google Analytics account than I care to share here.

Bottom line: it happens all the time.

What follows in this article is the process I use to recover an abandoned Google Analytics account.

Recovering access to your Google Analytics account

Some organizations implement systems or processes to keep track of all the digital assets they have in place.

The majority of organizations fly by the seat of their pants with provisioning and protecting digital assets. They don't even think of the possibility of losing access.

So when it comes time to check your Google Analytics, you may find that they have denied your access. That is likely the struggle that brought you to my website in the first place.

Here are three steps you should take to recover Google Analytics access.

Step 1: Determine if Google Analytics is on your website.

Before you attempt to recover the account, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website.

The presence of the Google Analytics tracking code on your site helps to discover the source of your problem. If Google Analytics is not on your site, then this article will not help you. The only solution is to install Google Analytics.

How do you check for the presence of Google Analytics? Here are the steps.

  • Open your website in a web browser – I prefer to use Google Chrome
  • View the page source for the site. You can do this in every browser by selecting an option like View page source or similar.
  • Hit CTRL + F to find text in the source code. Search for each any of the following text strings, one at a time.
    • ga.js
    • analytics.js
    • UA-
    • GTM
    • gtag.js
  • If you see any of this text, you likely have Google Analytics installed
  • If you don't encounter this text, you may not have Google Analytics. To verify, I recommend installing the Google Tag Assistant Chrome Extension and following their instructions

For successful searches, your code will look something like this.

gtm-snippet

Chances are that you have Google Analytics on your site. So let's move on to the next step.

Step 2: Check with your organization to see who has access to Google Analytics

By this point, you have determined that the Google Analytics code is on your site. But you don't know how to log into the account.

90% of the time you will be able to recover access to Google Analytics through step 2.

Now comes time for internal communication with your organization.

The first thing you should do – and this is so simple that it may sound patronizing – is to try to log in to Google Analytics with every Google account you own. You can try logging in with or without a Gmail address, such as a company-wide email. Do you have access?

Once you determine you don't have access, it's time to ask others. Gather a list of potential members who could have access to Google Analytics. The usual suspects include:

  • Your marketing director, CMO or other marketing leadership
  • Your internal web development team or external web developer resources
  • Your web analysts, data scientists, business intelligence team or anyone in this function
  • The owner of your business
  • You (maybe using a different Google account? Trust me, this happens all the time). Maybe you removed yourself and can’t remember doing so.

I recommend emailing these people to see if they have Google Analytics access. Someone almost always does have access, and this step saves a lot of headaches.

Don't assume that others won't have access just because of their tenure or role. I have seen GA accounts set up by all kinds of positions in an organization. From project managers to SEO specialists. From social media gurus to customer service representatives.

Ask until you find an answer.

And if that answer is that nobody has access, then you are ready to consider the next step.

Step 3: Reclaim your Google Analytics account

Nobody in your company knows how to log into Google Analytics? Then Google is your only option for recovery.

Warning: On Google support, there is a tiny warning that recovery for Google Analytics is currently not available. This is related to the notorious sunsetting of Universal Analytics, since you need to have the UA-ID instead of the new GA4 measurement ID.

Maybe you lost Google Analytics access because you fired your web developer. Or was it when your digital marketing manager left your organization in a huff? No matter the reason for this loss, Google will need to be involved in the next step.

Think of Google as the locksmiths to recover your Google Analytics account. 

This is what you need to do:

  1.  Recover your analytics account from the tracking code

In the first step, I explained how to look up your tracking code. Look specifically for the UA-ID. 

  1. Prove ownership with a txt file or meta tag
  • Name it analytics.txt
  • Paste the following in the file
GooGhywoiu9839t543j0s7543uw1 - pls add {INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS} to GA account {INSERT UA-ID} with ‘Manage Users and Edit’ permissions - date {INSERT DATE}.
  • Replace the variables (marked in bold) with your data
  • Upload the file to the root folder of your top-level domain, or subdomain.
  • Double check that you can actually see the content. Open the file with a browser. E.g. www.yournicecoolwebsite.com/analytics.txt

Pro tip: you can also add a meta tag to your site with the following information. Replace the bold with your information. 

GooGhywoiu9839t543j0s7543uw1 - pls add {INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS} to GA account {INSERT UA-ID} with ‘Manage Users and Edit’ permissions - date {INSERT DATE}.
  1. Optional: prove ownership of Google Adsense and Google Ads

If your GA account is associated with a Google Ads or Adsense account, you also need to verify the ownership, as outlined in this Google support article

I hope you have an elephant’s memory or are well organized. Amongst the information you need to provide as proof are sample keywords and the exact amount and date of your last invoice. 

  1. Contact Google Support

After all the preparations, you need to contact Google through this form.

Make sure you select “Gain access of a property or account“ as Issue type

How do we engage Google to recover the account?

If you go through step 3, this process usually takes two weeks to achieve. Two weeks is a long time to be in limbo! But not nearly as long as your organization went without access to date.

“Recovery” example: Proof that the GA account recovery process works

One of my readers used the process outlined in this guide to request access to my Google Analytics account. The image below is a screenshot of the message Google sent me asking if I wanted to give him access. Although I won't be authorizing Philippe to use my Analytics account, he gets full marks for his effort!

Google Analytics Account Recovery

Useful FAQ

Can I recover a deleted GA account?

From the moment you delete a Google Analytics account or property, you have 35 days to restore it. Google sends an email and reminders to the administrator of the account. If you don’t take any action, the account and data will be lost forever.

Final note

Losing access to your precious GA account and data is a disaster. All that hard work for nothing. 

If you succeeded in recovering access to GA with the steps above, you have learnt a good lesson.

Don't let this happen again. Ever. 

Don’t wait until Google has finished with its ambitious plan for a passwordless future

Make sure that others in your organization have access. Write down the access procedure and let others in your organization know. It’s a 

I hope this guide helps you understand the decision process of recovering your account.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons

Save $2,000 and enjoy lifetime access to Data Driven Insiders and our upcoming live Meta Ads Blueprint course.

Scroll to Top