How to upgrade to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

In this article, you will learn how to upgrade to GA4 (Google Analytics 4).

Google has been showing the following display banner to all the Google Analytics users and asking them to set up a new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property:

Upgrade to GA4

Note: If you already have Apps+Web property then you don’t need to do much. You already have access to the GA4 property as GA4 is just a new name for ‘Apps+Web’ property.

Scroll down to the bottom of this article and just connect your Apps+web property with your GA3 property. And your upgradation is complete.

What is Google Analytics (GA4)?

GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics. Since it is the 4th version, it is called as GA4.

Following are the other three versions:

Note: GA4 also uses the gtag.js library but uses a new measurement model called ‘Event+Parameter’ model.

The GA4 allows you to integrate mobile app and website usage data into a single GA Property.

Even if you don’t have a mobile app, Google still recommends that you create and use the GA4 property. Run the G4 property in parallel with your GA3 property as eventually, Google is likely to discontinue support for GA3 and other older GA versions.

Note: GA4 won’t become a 100% replacement for your GA3 property, anytime soon. It is still not ready for commercial consumption mainly because of lack of robust ecommerce reporting. So keep your GA3 property intact.

If you are brand new to Google Analytics 4 then check out this article: What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

CASE-1: If you already have GA3 property (aka Universal Analytics property) then follow the steps below to create a new GA4 property:

Step-1: Navigate to the admin section of your reporting view in your GA3 property:

 

Step-2: Click on the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant‘ link under the ‘Property’ column:

 

Step-3: Click on the ‘Get Started‘ button under the section ‘I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property‘:

 

Step-4: Click on the ‘Create Property‘ button:

Google Analytics will now automatically create new GA4 property:

Your existing GA property will remain intact.

So now you have access to at least two GA properties. One is your existing GA property and the other one is your new GA4 property.

However,

This new GA4 property will not automatically start collecting data. You would need to configure your GTM so that the data start following in your new property.

Step-5: Click on the ‘See your GA4 property‘ button:

You should now see a new tab opened up in your browser window with the following similar screen:

 

Step-6: Click on the ‘Tag Installation‘ button:

 

Step-7: Click on your web data stream:

 

Step-8: Click on ‘Use existing on-page tag‘ under the section ‘Tagging Instructions‘:

 

Step-9: Click on ‘Google Tag Manager’ drop-down menu:

 

You will now see the instructions for setting up a tag for tracking your website data in the new GA4 property via GTM:

 

Step-10: Take a note of the measurement ID.

Step-11: Navigate to your GTM account and then click on the ‘New Tag’ link:

 

Step-12: Name your new tag something like G4 tracking – All pages and set the tag type to ‘Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration‘:

 

Step-13: Enter the measurement ID you recorded earlier in the ‘Measurement ID’ text box:

 

Step-14: Set your trigger to fire on all pages:

 

Step-15: Click on the ‘Save’ button.

Step-16: Click on the ‘Preview’ button at the top right-hand side:

 

The tag manager preview mode window would open in a new browser tab. If it doesn’t then it means your browser is blocking the window.

Step-17: Enter your website URL and then click on the ‘Start’ button:

Once you clicked on the ‘Start’ button one new tab will open up in your browser window which shows your website.

Step-18: Switch back to the browser tab which shows your tag manager preview mode window and then click on the ‘Continue’ button:

 

Step-19: If you see the tag G4 tracking – All pages under the Tags Fired section then it means your tag is firing correctly:

 

Step-20: Navigate back to your GTM account and then click on the ‘Submit’ button:

 

Step-21: Give your version a name and then click on the ‘Publish’ button:

 

Step-22: Navigate to your website and visit a couple of pages.

Step-23: Navigate back to your GA4 property and then click on the cross button next to ‘Web stream details‘:

 

Step-24: Click on the ‘Real-time’ icon to open the real-time report:

 

You should now be able to see data in your real-time report:

 

Note: When you create a new property from within an existing GA property, the GA4 property is now the default option:

 

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CASE-2: What if you already have a Google Analytics Apps+Web property?

If you already have a GA Apps+Web property set up (as I do) then you already have access to the GA4 property. This is because GA4 is just a new name for the Apps+Web property.

Now all you have to do is to connect your Apps+Web property to your GA3 property (the one which uses the analytics.js or gtag.js tracking) by following the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA3 property.

Step-2: Navigate to the admin section of your main reporting view:

Step-3: Click on the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant‘ link under the ‘Property’ column:

 

Step-4: Scroll down and then click on the drop-down menu ‘Select an existing Google Analytics 4 property‘:

 

Step-5: Select your existing ‘Apps+Web property’ and then click on the ‘Connect Properties’ button:

 

You should now see the following screen:

 

Your GA3 property is now connected to your Apps+Web property (aka GA4 property).

 

Step-6: Click on the ‘See your GA4 property‘ button.

Once you click on this button, you will be redirected to your existing Apps+web property:

Remember GA4 is just a new name for your Apps+web property.

 

Step-7: Click on the ‘Property Settings’ link in your Apps+web property:

 

Step-8: Rename your property by removing the word ‘Apps+web’ and then adding the word ‘GA4’ somewhere like the one below:

 

Note: Even after you have created your new GA4 property or connected your existing GA3 property with your Apps+web property, you would continue to see the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant’ option in your GA3 property:

 

However, when you again click on the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant‘ link, you should see the option to ‘See your GA4 property’ which confirms that you have successfully set up the GA4 property and also connected it with your old GA3 property:

 

CASE-3: If you are installing Google Analytics tracking for the first time then follow the steps mentioned in this article: How to install Google Analytics on your website

Through this article, you can install both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics on your website at the same time. Here I have assumed that you do not have a Google Analytics account.

 

Other articles related to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

#1 Google Analytics 4 Intro

  1. What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – The Apps + Web Property
  2. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) vs Universal Analytics – What is the difference?
  3. Google Signals for GA4 – How to see gender, interest and age data in Google Analytics 4
  4. Understanding Measurement ID in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  5. Google Analytics 4 training and tutorial

#2 Google Analytics 4 Integration

  1. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Data Studio
  2. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Ads
  3. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with BigQuery

#3 Google Analytics 4 Events

  1. How to set up event tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to set up Custom Events in GA4 via Google Tag Manager
  3. How to setup enhanced measurement tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  4. All Events Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. How to create user properties in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#4 Google Analytics 4 Conversions

  1. How to set up conversion tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to import conversions from GA4 property to your Google Ads account

#5 Google Analytics 4 Ecommerce

  1. How To Set Up Ecommerce Tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

#6 Google Analytics 4 Specialized Tracking

  1. How to set up cross-domain tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to set up site search tracking in GA4
  3. How to set up scroll tracking in GA4

#7 Google Analytics 4 filters

  1. What are data filters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
  2. How to create and test a new data filter in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
  3. How to block internal traffic in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

#8 Google Analytics 4 Advanced

  1. Analysis Hub Google Analytics – How to use the Exploration Report in GA4
  2. How to use Debug View report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. Introduction to Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Version 2
  4. How to create a remarketing audience in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. How to create a custom audience in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  6. How to build comparison (Advanced segment) in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#9 Google Analytics 4 Reporting

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Upgrade to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

I already have Apps+Web, do I have to do anything?

If you already have Apps+Web property then you don’t need to do much. You already have access to the GA4 property as GA4 is just a new name for ‘Apps+Web’ property.

In this article, you will learn how to connect your Apps+web property with your GA3 property, and your upgrade is complete.

What is Google Analytics (GA4)?

GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics. Since it is the 4th version, it is called as GA4.

Should I stop using GA3?

GA4 won’t become a 100% replacement for your GA3 property, anytime soon. It is still not ready for commercial consumption mainly because of a lack of robust ecommerce reporting. So keep your GA3 property intact. However, Google is likely to discontinue the GA3 property in the future. 

I’ve upgraded to GA4 but I am still seeing a message asking me to upgrade. Is there a problem?

Even after you have created your new GA4 property or connected your existing GA3 property with your Apps+web property, you would continue to see the ‘upgrade to GA4’ option in your GA3 property.

However, when you again click on the ‘Upgrade to GA4‘ link, you should see the option to ‘See your GA4 property’ which confirms that you have successfully set up the GA4 property and also connected it with your old GA property:

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About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

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