What Cookies Does Google Analytics Use?

Google Analytics uses few cookies to build all the cool reports that you see in Google Analytics. In this post I will show you what those cookies are

  • _utma
    This is written the first time visitor visits the site. Updated with each visit.
    Use: Helps identify the unique visitors. I will provide more information on this cookie in future post.
    Expires: 2 years from last update
  • _utmb
    Session cookie that is update with each page view or event.
    Use: This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site
    Expire: 30 mins after the last update/visitor inactivity
  • _utmz
    This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach the site. The cookie is updated with each page view.
    Use: It is used to calculate traffic drivers e.g. search engine traffic, ad campaigns and navigation within the site
    Expires: 6 months from set/update
  • _utmv
    This cookie stores the custom variable information that you set in your code.
    Uses: It is used to set and pass custom variable information to Google Analytics server.
    Expires: 2 years from set/update
  • _utmx
    This is a Google Website Optimizer (GWO) cookie and won’t show up if the site is not using GWO.
    Uses: The cookie stores the variation a particular visitor is assigned to for each experiment, so that the visitor continues to see same variation in each his/her visit.
    Expires: 2 years from set/update

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