My Google Analytics page shows almost twice as many Users than Sessions. It really doesn't make sense to me, does anybody know what's the reason for this?

Here is a snapshot from my GA dashboard: enter image description here

  • 4
    Yeah. It does not make sense to me either. Welcome to Googlieland!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 29, 2014 at 22:11
  • None of my websites have more users than sessions according to Google Analytics. I don't know why that would be the case for your site. Jun 30, 2014 at 15:41
  • 1
    Is this a custom report/using any custom dimensions or parameters or the complete unaltered default?
    – JCL1178
    Jul 3, 2014 at 21:26
  • It's the default report, it's completely unaltered.
    – Kiril
    Jul 4, 2014 at 4:36
  • 1
    Here is Universal Analytics documentation, there is the standard snippet. The only difference I can see is the third parameter when calling create: ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXXX-1', 'yourdomain.com'); Standard is: ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXXX-1', 'auto'); Maybe you need to track multiple subdomains and your snippet should be: ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXXX-1', {'cookieDomain': 'yourdomain.com'});
    – Binarysurf
    Jul 10, 2014 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


For those that land on this question where they experience more users than sessions in Audience Overview (I.e. no custom report or hit level dimensions concerned, which seems to crowd out search results when researching this issue) ask this:

  1. Are you running events on your website?
  2. Are those events on iframes or sub domains?
  3. Are you firing events on landing pages that load before the pageview tag?

I learned this today. If you have events that fire on an iframe but no pageview tag on the iframe, then a new user is generated in Google Analytics on the back of that event, but no new session.

The prescribed way to get around this is to add the iframe or subdomain name to the referral exclusion list in Admin > Profile > Tracking info. However, that currently seems buggy since I had done that and not working as expected and I still saw this issue.

Regarding the 3rd point, if your visitors are landing, triggering an event and then bouncing before the pageview tag fires it may under report sessions. For example, one of our clients pageview tags, configured in Google Tag Manager, waits for the page to load before firing since we want the crm system to finish loading so we can grab some data and feed as a custom dimension into GA.

This is not actually my answer, you are getting it second hand via me from here. Read the link for more details. Posting here since I was getting frustrated finding anything on this.

  • Welcome back Doug, and thanks for the informative answer.
    – dan
    Nov 25, 2015 at 4:20
  • Yep - 3rd point in your answer definetly resolves the issue - making UA PageView tag to fire before any UA Event tag brings sessions data back on track. Thanks.
    – webdev-dan
    Nov 26, 2020 at 21:49

If you build a custom report that has page level dimensions (like Page, Page Title, or a page level custom variable) Users might appear greater than Sessions. This may occur when viewing the sessions metric against any sort of page level dimension because sessions are incremented on, and therefore associated with, the first hit of the session.

Why a custom report shows more Users than Sessions

  • as far as I can tell, I don't have any custom reports. I have several other Google Analytics accounts for our User Acceptance Testing environment (which is identical to the website) and it's showing up just fine.
    – Kiril
    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:51
  • 1
    This is where I was headed but once @Lirik confirmed it was the default report, I had to jump ship.
    – JCL1178
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:39

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