So you’ve signed that new client and you’re excited to get rolling on the campaign. You checked out their site and noticed they have Google Analytics installed. Hooray! Everyone loves historical data, right? Few quick taps on the keyboard asking the client to set you up with access and you’re feeling great. You run out for a fresh cup of coffee and come back to the most depressing email you’ll get all day:

GA Access

Stop me when this starts to feel familiar.

Too often clients have only one person with access to their Analytics profiles, whether an employee or a partner, and if that business relationship ends for whatever reason they are stuck without their valuable historical data. The good news is that it’s possible to recover this historical trend data and I’m here to show you how.

AdWords Help Center

The first thing you’ll want to do is login to your AdWords account (if you don’t have one, get one) and visit the Help Center here. Ideally, wait for a time when Live Chat is available, this way you know your getting eyes on your problem and not waiting in the dark for an email response that may or may not come. If you do choose to resort to email, select Google Analytics from the issue list so that your message reaches the right person:

AdWords Help

Make sure you have the UA number for the Google Analytics account handy, the rep will need it to know what account you’re trying to access. If you don’t know the email of the admin on the account the Google rep won’t be able to give it to you for what should be obvious reasons. If this is the case, the first step they will take is to email the administrator on your behalf asking them to reach out to you via email. In a perfect world, this should get you the contact you need to get set up with access to your account. However, we all know we live in a far from perfect world, so what should you do next if no one responds?

Upload Analytics.txt File to Your Domain

Assuming you did not hear back from the existing admin within 5 business days, you can recover your account by uploaded a .txt file to the domain that verifies your ownership over the domain.

Note: you must contact Google directly first as this process requires a personalized security key for the account you’re trying to access. 

The following steps are provided straight from Google support to verify your ownership:

1) Create a text file and save it as: analytics.txt

2) Google will provide a string of text that must be included in this .txt file. This string of text will look something like this:

2013ifnwls9582f954f8l34252ni3. Please add [INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS] to GA account [UA-XXXXXXXXX-X] with “Manage Users and Edit” permissions – date [INSERT DATE OF UPLOAD].

3) Upload this text file to the root of each of the domains from which you’re requesting access.

Verifying Implementation

You can see this file (just as you would a Robots.txt file) by appending /analytics.txt to the end of your domain. For example, on this site it would be http://www.brettasnyder.com/analytics.txt.

Once you’ve successfully added this .txt file to the domain, you’ll need to reply back to them email from your AdWords rep with the URLs of the uploaded files. This security measure ensures that you truly own the domain in question and once the Google rep verifies the information matches what was sent to you in the original email you’ll be granted “Manage Users and Edit” permissions to the Google Analytics account or property.

 

11 Responses to Reclaim Google Analytics Account Access

  1. Sabine says:

    Thanks for your article Brett but we don’t want to use Google AdWords and you can only create an AdWords account by filling out a form that requires you to make an Ad-text and give payment-information. How do we get around that?

  2. BrettASnyder says:

    You shouldn’t have to submit any payment information (I haven’t)…do you have a Gmail account? You should be able to login using your Gmail account without submitting any payment information.

  3. Liz says:

    I had the same problem as Sabine. I had to enter payment information. I do have a gmail account already. Is there another way to get to the Google live chat?

  4. Zach says:

    Thanks for the article Brett. My question is this. I added the analytics.txt file to our domain http://website.com but Google said that it is not the EXACT url that we used to set up the account. Could it be that someone set up the account to track http://www.website.com (technically a subdomain)and if so is there a way to upload the analytics.txt file to that subdomain specifically?

  5. Chris says:

    Just want to point out a little technicality with this:

    If the account that held the analytics account is deleted for more than 30 days, the analytics tracking code is impossible to recover. You will have to start over with a fresh tracking code and your historical data will be gone…

  6. christine says:

    Once you create the txt file how do you upload it? Where do you save it on your computer to upload or do you literally only have to type analytics.txt at the end of your URL?

  7. Carolyn Pace says:

    Great article! This helped me deal with Google so much. What a clumsy system they set up. Anyways, I’m almost there! I’m down to this step:

    3) Upload this text file to the root of each of the domains from which you’re requesting access.

    However, I’m not a web developer, I’m the marketing manager, and I’m not sure how to do this. Our website is through the Shopify platform, and I’m not sure how to do that with their system. Could you give more details and information about uploading txt files to domains?

    Thanks!

  8. audax says:

    hello guys i have lost my google account for my blog what could i do

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