I'm storing my own copy of Google Analytics session data and I'm trying to figure out their schema.

I'm trying to figure out why does Google Analytics end sessions at midnight?

2 Answers 2


Midnight is the logic time to end a session - if there has to be a specific time at which each and every session, no matter how long it is open has to be ended.

Even if it might seem stupid to count two sessions for a user visiting from 11:55pm - and leaving after 10 minutes. You might want to count visits per day/week/month/year. An in this case there has to be some kond of delimiter. As each day/week/month/year ends/begins at midnight, this is the right time to end one session amn start a new one.

Instead of the 10 minutes example, take a 10 hours session. Wouldn't you want to have a 5 hours session on, let's say march 31 and 1st of april, instead of 10 hours on the march 31?

  • 2
    "until there's 30 minutes of inactivity" If someone is actively doing stuff the session should not end
    – Pit
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 12:42

From Google Analytics Help : How a session is defined in Analytics https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565?hl=en

End of day expiry

Bob opens your website at 11:50 PM on the 14th of August and leaves your website at 12:10 AM on the 15th of August.

The first session ends at 11:59:59 PM on the 14th of August, and the second session begins at 12:00 AM on the 15th of August.

End of day is determined by your view timezone settings.

  • 3
    Yes but why did they build it like this? Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:52
  • you voted this down because google made it this way? what's wrong with you?
    – Josip Ivic
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 11:49
  • 2
    I imagine it was voted down because "google made it this way" does not answer the question: Why did Google make it this way? If a user visits the site at 11:55pm and is active for just 10mins then GA appears to count 2 "sessions", when there is really only 1 user session that straddles midnight. Why is that? Is that really what happens? There might be a perfectly good reason for this, however, this would seem to (potentially) artificially inflate the number of real user sessions. (?)
    – MrWhite
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 23:23

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