Change default date range in Google Analytics with a Chrome Extension

[Update – May 2015] Updated description so that it matches the latest version of the extension on GitHub

[Update – September 2014] I moved the extension project to GitHub, and updated this post accordingly

This is a continuation from my previous post on the same subject.

I promised a Chrome Extension that opens Google Analytics page and sets today’s date as the default date range. You can grab it from GitHub.

To add it to your Chrome:

  1. download and unzip the extension to some folder
  2. open your Chrome Extensions page (type chrome://extensions in the address bar or press the Settings button (top right) then Tools/Extensions)
  3. drag and drop the extracted ganalytics-lastDay.crx file to the Extensions page, a Drop to install message should appear
  4. confirm the dialog

To configure the extension, simply open it and follow the instructions (which are the same as in my previous post). If you need to change the Analytics code at any moment, you just go back to the chrome://extensions page, find the extension and click on (the ridiculously small) Options button.

In case you want to play with date ranges, follow the instructions on the GitHub page.

The files you want to play with are background.js and conf.js, which both contain the getURL() function (duplicated, because using shared JS files in Chrome Extensions turned out to be a bit tricky). That function takes the portion of the URL manually pasted by the user and builds the full Analytics URL with it. As you can see, there’s 2 variables involved: today and yesterday. You can change these dates using Date‘s functions, like this:

var date = new Date(), today = '', oneMonthAgo = '';

today += date.getFullYear();
today += pad2(date.getMonth() + 1);
today += pad2(date.getDate());

date.setMonth(date.getMonth() - 1);
oneMonthAgo += date.getFullYear();
oneMonthAgo += pad2(date.getMonth() + 1);
oneMonthAgo += pad2(date.getDate());

return '' + code +'/%3F_u.date00%3D' + oneMonthAgo + '%26_u.date01%3D' + today +'/=';

Of course, you may also want to change the default landing page: just go to that page in Google Analytics and change the ?#home part in the URL with whatever you want, like for example

return '' + code +'/%3F_u.date00%3D' + oneMonthAgo + '%26_u.date01%3D' + today +'/=';

Something that can also be useful for bookmarklets: if you monitor more than one website/app with Analytics, you may want to have a bookmark for each of them (or you may want to have the extension open Analytics for a specific webpage). Each webpage/app has its own code, so you can either paste the code for the webpage you want the extension to open, or maybe hardcode the correct combination of link and code on different bookmarklets.

5 thoughts on “Change default date range in Google Analytics with a Chrome Extension

  1. Thanks for the date range extension work but I still have a problem – which I think only Google can fix with a “today()” date field in Analytics. I want to keep the same Analytics page open permanently and, at a second after midnight, the “end date” changes to the the new day’s date. I need this because I want to use Analytic’s facility to send automatic reports to people but the end date needs updating automatically – can you see a way to do that?



      • Thanks for that info – yes it seems that a JS fn and the “reload” tab fn should be able to do what I want but I have no clue about creating extensions – suggestions for an appropriate place to start?


      • well I followed the official documentation by Google, but it’s very verbose.. There’s plenty of tutorials (and video guides too), so I guess it’s a matter of tastes from there. Maybe you can play with the extension I linked on this post, it’s quite simple! To use the reload() function I think you need to add the chrome.tabs permission to the manifest; actually, I don’t think a reload would be enough: you need to make your script call the getUrl() function (in shared.js), so it can feed the correct args to the URL..


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