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What do to if tables from your UA backup are missing

This article is about verifying the data delivered by the Analytics Canvas UA Backup Utility to your data destination.  If you are in a Trial or are a customer of Analytics Canvas, you can use the tools within the main Analytics Canvas application to verify the data loaded successfully to your data destination.  If you are outside of your trial, use BigQuery, Sheets, or Excel to verify your data.

This article relates to the Universal Analytics Backup Utility offered by Analytics Canvas. 

Data Retention Settings

If your tables have less data than you anticipated, it is due to the data retention settings of your View. 

In the admin section of a Universal Analytics property, under "Tracking Info" > "Data Retention," you can find settings that allow you to specify how long Google Analytics retains user and event data before automatically deleting it.

The options available are:

  • 14 months
  • 26 months
  • 38 months
  • 50 months
  • Do not automatically expire

These settings control how much data is retained and are applied immediately.  If this setting was in place, your data has been destroyed and is irrecoverable.  Read more about data retention settings for UA and GA4 in this article from our blog


If your backup exported to BigQuery and your tables are missing or empty, it is likely one of the following issues: 

  1. Your BigQuery project was in "Sandbox" mode or was in a Free trial at the time of the export. 
  2. Read access was provided when Write access was required at the time of the export. 

To resolve the issue and export your data, first ensure you have the proper permissions and that all API connections have been enabled.  Refer to our article on connecting to BigQuery with a Google Cloud Service account and ensure that all steps have been completed, including enabling the appropriate APIs and completing all troubleshooting steps.

Note that if your BigQuery account was in Sandbox / Free Trial mode during the initial export, you must DELETE THE ENTIRE DATASET before you create a new Dataset with the same name or they dataset will retain the data limits and expiry settings of the sandbox / trial, and 60 days later, your data will be gone!  


Once you have verified permissions, enabled a paid account for BigQuery, and recreated your dataset, you can run your export again by adding a table to your export. 

Note: If your backup finished loading data before June 30th, 2024, it will be staged in your Analytics Canvas account.  Once the configuration issues are resolved, you will be able to re-export your data. 

Excel & Google Sheets

If data is missing from your Excel or Google Sheets files, it is because the table was too big to fit within a worksheet or workbook.  The table has been included as a CSV file and is available in the ZIP file download available under "Export Options". 


If you have followed the steps above and your data is still not available, check your data retention settings.  

If data should be available contact support.  If you used BigQuery, include screenshots or a video recording showing permissions granted to your service account in both Google Cloud IAM and in BigQuery, show that your BigQuery dataset does not have a table expiry setting, and that your account is not in Sandbox mode.  

Rest assured that the issue will be resolved and if your data was available to be loaded.  It will be exported to your data destination OR to the CSV files or you will receive a full refund. 

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