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I see that the "screen resolution" is smaller than the "browser size" in MANY cases. How is that possible?

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Some of these entries look a bit fishy. Any ideas what's going on? Is there a bug in Google Analytics?

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  • 2
    I wonder if this is due to a dual screen setup?
    – davidgo
    Dec 1, 2020 at 18:02
  • 13+%? I dont think so...
    – Toskan
    Dec 2, 2020 at 5:19
  • @Toskan What's wrong with "13+%"? Does that strike you as high or low?
    – MrWhite
    Dec 4, 2020 at 12:16
  • it cannot be a dual screen setup. The window is higher than the screen height. Unless they have like a 4 screen setup, like 2 next to each other and 2 below. With 800x600 px. 13%? It's laughable, very unlikely. Its much more likely its a bot or some GA fluke.
    – Toskan
    Dec 6, 2020 at 2:04
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    At first I thought it was somehow related to zoom level (which GA is also aware of) but that shouldn't change the aspect ratio. 800x600 shouldn't scale to 1370x770. And like you said, the % of users does seem a little high, but we can't see the sample size (user total). We can see that the expected res/size combos have much more normal session duration (for humans) but that won't mean as much if the sample size is too small.
    – Trich
    Feb 4, 2021 at 18:58

2 Answers 2

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I've tried for the last couple of days to unveil the mystery around how the Browser Size dimension in Google Analytics is computed, and couldn't find an authoritative source yet.

In my own observations of GA data, across different GA accounts, targeting wildly different websites, Browser Size is capped at 2610x1610 top. And I don't know why. Of course that is so wrong that makes me wonder what Browser Size represents, actually.

Anyway, back to the question

How can Screen Resolution be smaller than Browser Size in Google Analytics?

The viewport width is directly innerWidth, which can be increased or decreased by zooming out or in, respectively.

For example, lest's start from a browser window which is 1000px wide at 100% zoom.

  • if you zoom out to 50%, then innerWidth becomes 2000px wide
  • if you zoom in to 200%, then innerWidth becomes 500px wide

In Google Chrome, a maximised browser window spans all the available screen width, thus (at 100% zoom and with a devicePixelRatio of 1) innerWidth happens to be equal to the screen width. At other zoom levels, innerWidth can be bigger or smaller, depending on the zoom level.

It would have been great if Browser Size had been innerWidth.

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Utter speculation, but I'm new here and want to help:

I think the resolution that the browser tells the website to render at is different from the actual screen-resolution of the phone. Especially with the 800x600 case I can see how that could increase user experience.

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