Unlike Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 follows GDPR rules. Therefore, it has an excellent feature that allows us to delete any data from Google Analytics 4 with a few clicks – Data Deletion Requests. Besides that, you can also delete an entire user’s profile if the user asks for that.
As a result, I created this article explaining how to achieve it.
Core reasons to use data deletion in GA4
Though data deletion in Google Analytics 4 is easy, you should have reasons to delete some data from Google Analytics 4. The critical reasons from my experience are usually the following ones:
Firstly, you can send personally identifiable information (PII) in GA4 by mistake. For instance, email address, full name, etc. Since Google doesn’t allow storing such information in GA4 with the ability to delete your account, you can protect yourself in advance by using the data deletion request feature and delete this data from GA4.
Secondly, you are setting up Google Analytics 4, and your team made some mistakes that unfortunately resulted in the incorrect data, or you want to remove all data before the setup was done correctly. In this case, you can use the aforementioned feature to delete all events from the specific period from Google Analytics.
Thirdly, your engineering team changed something in the website code resulting in sending incomplete data. You can also address it by removing this data from Google Analytics 4 and having only 100% correct data there.
Of course, these are only the sample reasons that you can have to delete all or some data in Google Analytics 4. Anyway, the feature is helpful, and since you are reading this article, it means you have the reason to use it. 🙂 The following question is how to do it properly and delete data correctly. Therefore, let’s discuss it next.
How to delete data from Google Analytics 4?
So, in order to delete data in GA4, you should take the following actions:
- Open GA4
- Go to Admin and select “Data Deletion requests”
- Click on “Schedule Data Deletion request” button, select the deletion type and configure the request appropriately
GA4 Data Deletion Types
Reading the guide above, you can have questions about what type of deletion requests you should select. It depends on the case you have, but, in general, getting back to our samples if you have the incorrect data that you sent before making your GA4 setup correct, you can use “Delete all parameters on all events” and select the dates.
If some of your events weren’t sent correctly and you want to delete only them or delete certain parameters on these events, you can select “Delete all registered parameters on selected events” or “Delete selected parameters on the selected events”.
|Delete all parameters on all events||This option deletes all registered and automatically collected parameters across all collected events.|
|Delete all registered parameters on selected events||This option deletes all registered parameters collected across a list of events you select in the next step.|
|Delete selected parameters on all events||This option deletes registered parameters that you select in the next step across all collected events.|
|Delete selected parameters on selected events||This option deletes registered parameters that you select in the next step across a list of events that you also select in the next step.|
|Delete selected user properties||This option deletes user properties that you select in the next step|
Or, if you are interested in deleting PII data from user properties or event properties, you can use “Delete selected parameters on selected events” or “Delete selected user properties” and specify the parameter the field ” Only delete parameter values that contain the following text.”.
For instance, you can use “first_name” to delete first names data from your event parameters which have it. The field works as “contains”.
It’s also worth mentioning two vital things:
- Only GA4 users with edit access can delete data in GA4.
- Once you submit the request in GA4, you have 7 days to cancel it and your data won’t be deleted. On 8th day, the deletion process will start and all GA4 users with edit access
How to delete users’ data in GA4?
Sometimes you have a case when you don’t need to remove events, but you need to remove the entire user’s profile data. In this case, you should use the User Explorer report instead.
The process is even way easy than with data deletion requests because this deletion will be proceed by Google Analytics 4 much faster, and you won’t be able to access the user’s data immediately, and it will be wholly removed from all GA4 reports within 72 hours.
If you want to include the users’ profiles deletion button in your app or on your website into the user’s profile, you can use User Deletion API in this case.
How data deletion impacts GA4 reports?
Once your request is proceed successfully, Google Analytics 4 will remove that data from all reports and therefore your report can differ from what you had before. Mainly it means reports that show traffic channel attribution and the ones with machine-learning models. The last one though will be updated only after 7 days of your data deletion request was proceed successfully.
Limitation of GA4 Data Deletion Requests
Data Deletion requests are not different from other GA4 features that have limitations. However, the limitations of this feature are not significant and you can enjoy using it in 99% of cases without reaching them or overcoming them with creating a few requests instead of one. Some of the most prominent limitations are:
- You can select up to 100 events from the event list per one request.
- You can select up to 100 parameters from the parameters list
- You can select up to 100 user properties from the user property list
Unlike Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 allows us to delete any data we need. There is a new feature that makes it happen – Data Deletion Request.
Though you can use this feature to delete any event or users data from GA4, if you need to delete the entire user’s profile, you should use “User Explorer” report.
If you didn’t find some information in this article, please let me know in the comments below and I will update the article briefly.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need to take the following actions to delete data in GA4:
1) Open GA4
2) Go to Admin and navigate to “Data Deletion requests” feature
3) Click on “Schedule Data Deletion request” button, select the deletion type and configure the request appropriately
If you want to delete the entire user’s data, you should use User Explorer report instead.
Yes, you can delete a user using user_id or pseudo_id generated by GA4. Go to GA4 Explore – User Explorer report, find the user and click on “Delete” button on user’s profile page.
You can remove any personal users’ information using Data Deletion request in Google Analytics 4. You can find it on GA4 Admin page -> Data Deletion Requests.
Yes, you can delete any data from Google Analytics 4 using Data Deletion request feature. You can find it on GA4 Admin page.