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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
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Users and new visitors

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi there,


I've read a few help articles about this but haven't yet got clear understanding.


I run a monthly report - and it shows 


Users 6000

New visitors 3000

Returning visitors 16000


I'm trying to get my head around how I can have 6000 unique Users - but only 3000 New visitors. I would have thought if 6000 unique users had come in July, then I would have 6000 New visitors registered - then any Returning visitors on top. 


Any explanation would be much appreciated 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Users and new visitors

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Mark,

what do you see if you set up a custom report with the two metrics 'sessions' and 'users' and the dimension 'user type' from that data?


Re: Users and new visitors

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Christoph,


What I get when I set up that custom report is:


User Type            - Sessions -   Users

                                   19,114    -     6,035

Returning Visitor -   16,038    -     3,786

New Visitor         -     3,076     -     3,075



The question I'm getting is - if there are 6000 users, how can there be only 3000 new visitors - and I'm at a loss for how to give a clear answer.


Any light you can shed would be fantastic,


Thanks again,



Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Mark M
August 2016

Re: Users and new visitors

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Marc,

dont' worry - that's just quite normal data:

Sessions are either new or returning, and the sum of both matches the total number of sessions.

Users, however, may count in both returning and new sessions. That's because a user's first session is always a new session. If, however, that same user is coming back (without having removed his cookies) he will be in a returning-user session. Actually, he is both one of the new users and one of the returning users. In this way, the sum of returning and new users won't match the total number of users. In your data, it was about 800 users in your date range that were new users first and returning users afterwards.