User Explorer Report in Google Analytics 4

User Explorer report is one of the core elements of Google Analytics, and it became better in GA4 than Universal Analytics. You can apply filters; you can sort events by date; you can also hide certain users’ actions, and can use it to meet GDPR and CCPA regulations to remove users’ data from Google Analytics 4. 

Moreover, you can use User Deletion API to remove a user from GA4, which allows you to integrate this functionality into users’ profile settings on your website or product.

You can learn more about this feature in this article. I guarantee to keep it short and comprehensive. Let’s get started. 

What’s a User Explorer report, and Why should you use it?

According to Google’s documentation, user explorer lets you select specific groups of users, such as users who engaged with your property on both your app and website and drill down on each user’s activities.

This report is viable to understand your users better and troubleshoot your implementation. If you see that your website or product traffic or sessions are duplicated, you can use this report to figure out the cause of it and fix it.

Besides that, you can have a group of users who are highly loyal to your product, or they have an onboarding score close to 100% and way higher than others have. You want to know why precisely these users, what they did with the product and how you can share this experience with other users. User Explorer report can help you to answer these questions.

So, to start, you should access it. 

How to find the User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4?

To access the GA4 User Explorer report, you should take the following steps:

  1. Open Google Analytics, go to Explore and click on “Templates gallery”

    Step 1 Open GA4 Explore and Select Templates

  2. Select “User explorer”

    Step 2 Select User Explorer report

  3. Click on “App-instance ID” to View Individual User Activity

    Step 3 Click on App-Instance ID

  4. You can apply segments and filters to select the group of users you want to work with.

    Step 4 Use Segments and Filters

Apart from that, you can always dive deeper into User Explorer report by clicking the right button on your mouse and selecting “View users”. It’s a unique feature that Universal Analytics didn’t have.

Right button click to access User Explorer
Click on the right mouse button to access User Explorer in any GA4 Explorations

Overall you can already spend some time playing with segments, filters and reports but let me explain the core components of this report.

How to use the GA4 User Explorer report

As you can notice above, there are many elements that you can select, add, edit or remove in this report. Let’s move through them to understand better when you should use which.

User Explorer Navigation Instructions
GA4 User Explorer Navigation

The first position is responsible for the time period you apply. Remember to adjust it to see the appropriate users.

The second section allows you to add, create and edit segments of users, you can apply them using section #5.

The third and fourth sections allow you to add dimensions and metrics from gallery to this report and use them for reporting adding them to sections #6 and #8. 

“Start row” is responsible for showing the report from the first user or the second or third ones. You can change 1 to 2 and 3 and see that the first or the first two users are hidden.

“Show rows” feature allow you to select the number of users you want to see. The default value is 10 but you can adjust it up to 500 users.

“Cell type” allows you to apply bar, plain or heat map for your report. I usually use plain, but you can experiment with it on different reports and see which suits you best.

Section #10 allows you to create and apply filters. For instance, you can use segments or filters to include only users from the US. 

And last but not least, section #11 allows you to redo the change, export the report or share your visualisation with your colleagues in read-only mode.  The green icon shows that your report uses 100% of the data, and the red icon shows that the threshold was applied. If this is the case, I recommend you look at cardinality. Most likely, there is a bug in GA4 implementation.

Besides all of the above, you can sort users by clicking on the column headers. As I mentioned above, to move from the overall level to the individual user view, you should click on the app-instance id or user id. It will automatically open the data about a particular user in the new tab.

How to use the GA4 Individual User Activity View

So, let’s discuss what features we can use in Individual User Activity View. 

Individual User Activity View navigation Instructions
Individual User Activity View Navigation

The first section allows us to select the type of event we want to see:

  • Screen View
  • Conversion
  • Error
  • Others

If we are not interested in the certain events, for instance “scroll” event, we can remove it using filter “event name doesn’t contain scroll”. This way we can select only events we are interested to see. It can speed up your analysis.

Besides that, you can display all events or collapse them to date and then select the exact date you are interested to delver deeper.

And the last one of this section is that you can sort events by date, ascending and descending. 

The second position gives you information about the user, such as user_id or app-instance id, first acquisition channel, location and other custom dimensions. 

The third section shows you the overview metrics of your user’s activity.

The fourth section allows you to see the exact events users generated, and by clicking on them, you can access section 6 which shows you the event parameters, audiences and device information. Remember, if you want to see more event parameters and dimensions in this report, you should add them as custom dimensions in GA4; otherwise, you can read the last chapter of this article to find another solution.

The fifth section presents the number of events per event category generated on a specific date. 

You can also see the overall number of events by event category in section #6. 

How to delete a user in GA4 using the User Explorer report

The last section of Individual User Activity View is section #8. You can use it to delete the user. Please be careful because there is no redo function for that.

Once you click on this button, this user will stop displaying in the exploration reports within 24 hours and will be permanently deleted within the next 63 days.

However, if you receive a request to delete users’ data from your SaaS customer, you can use this option. Otherwise, you can check all available options to delete a user in GA4 here or use User Deletion API

Way to advance GA4 User Explorer report

Of course, the main disadvantage of using GA4 User Explorer report is that Individual View shows only custom dimensions (event and user-scope). It doesn’t allow full access to your data via a few clicks. 

However, you can still integrate GA4 with BigQuery and access the entire users’ data. Then you can write SQL statements and prepare the data for Data Studio. Using Google Looker Studio (Data Studio), you can build a report allowing you to see all event and user parameters without creating custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4.

If you would like to receive a sample of such a report, comment below, and if this article gets 15 comments, I will create it and update the post with it. Just one thing, remember to use your actual email address for the comment; otherwise, I won’t be able to keep you posted.

Wrapping Up

So, this article covered what’s User Explorer report is, why you need it, how to use it and how to use Individual View Report available in Google Analytics 4. As a part of that, you learned how to delete users’ data in GA4 and what to do to have more event and user parameters in the User Explorer report.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the user explorer report in GA4?

GA4 User Explorer lets you see the specific segment of users and drill down on each user’s activities.

Where is the user explorer in GA4?

You can find User Explorer report in GA4 Explore -> Template gallery -> User Explorer

How to create the user explorer report in GA4?

To create a User Explorer report, use GA Explorations. Navigate to GA4 Explore, selectTemplate gallery and click on “User Explorer” template.

How to enhance the user explorer report?

Suppose you want to see more event and user dimensions. In that case, consider adding them as custom dimensions or using Google BigQuery & Data Studio to build the report using row GA4 data.

Why doesn’t User Explore report show data from older date ranges?

Google created User Explorer report on the 12th of May, 2021. Therefore, you can’t access data before that date.  


17 Replies to “User Explorer Report in Google Analytics 4”

  1. Thank you for the great article, it was very helpful and informative. I had one question/comment relating to “Way to advance GA4 User Explorer report.” You mentioned that there is no way to access the full data via a few clicks, and my team and I agree and are trying to figure out a solution. Basically we are looking for how to duplicate the old Universal Analytics User Explorer report with the in depth data of seeing what pages, products, and journey visitors are taking, not just the blanket event of page view, scroll, etc. You mention there might be a way to do this Google Looker Studio. If you can let me know the best way to duplicate the UA User Explorer report in which can see me in depth data into GA4 that would be a huge help, thank you!

    1. Hi Kyle,

      Thank you for the comment. In order to build a User Explorer report and see all users’ data and properties in Looker Studio, you should use BigQuery.
      You can’t do it by connecting Looker Studio to Google Analytics 4.

      1. Hi,
        I am also relly interested in finding a way to replicate the User Activity report. I am fine to do it in BigQuery if necessary. Do you have any documentation or example to help me understand how to do it ?
        Thanks a lot for your article

        1. Hi Darko,

          Unfortunately, I don’t have documentation that I can share with you. However, it’s easy if you are an advanced BigQuery (SQL) user. It would be best to run a SQL query to catch necessary event data and assign them to user_id or pseudo user_id. Afterwards, you should visualise this data in Google Looker Studio with a user_id filter to quickly access the specific user’s profile.

          You wrote the third comment. Once this article gets 15 comments, I will publish an article with proper instructions and send you an email.

          Best regards,

  2. Thank you for the article. I do not agree with your statement that the GA4 report is better than Universal Analytics one – I can’t even see what page the user event is coming from! This is just useless.

      1. This seems pretty annoying since the default GA4 event already should have Page Title and Page Location as default parameters.

        They also specifically say not to create a custom dimension that will create a lot of unique results as it will lead to can lead to cardinality issues.

        Personally I think this is just Google making a mistake; the parameters should be available in the template, they were in UA.

        1. I am also unable to get page level data in User Explorer report. Having only a list of events is not enough for this report. page_location is a default parameter under page_view event. Is there a need to create custom_parameter for it again? I don’t want to proceed with Big Query. Pls help!

  3. Hello sir,
    I need to get the application instance id in my google sheet (Power bi would be better), do you happen to know how I can make that happen ? It would be nice if i would have to use bigquery


    1. Hi Antoine,

      There are at least two solutions. The easy one is the following.

      You should link your GA4 property to BigQuery and then connect BigQuery to Google Sheets or connect BigQuery to Power BI.

      BigQuery dataset has “user_pseudo_id”. It’s the “App-instance ID” you see in the GA4 interface.

      Let me know if you have any additional questions. Also, don’t hesitate to subscribe to my GA4 newsletter to learn more 😉

      Best regards,

  4. Hi

    I’m very much impressed and interested while reading this blog post.
    I got more points after reading this blog so I wanted to check out how do I track user activity (role based: sales/internal user/partner/third party user) for a web app in real world.

    is it any BigQuery integration required or we can do it with google analytics4

  5. Would really like to see the BigQuery/looker example.
    GA4 is a half baked product. I don’t understand Google move.. and with Optimize next month.

  6. Hello There! Thank you for the great article.
    Do you know if there is any API integration with this User Explorer? The old GA had the User Activity API and I haven’t found anything similar for GA4

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