Sessions, users, and recordings


Sessions are the main data source for your Smartlook projects. Sessions are recordings and data of users on your website. Sessions begin when the user opens and interacts with your website. The session finishes when one of the following occurs:

  • the session length reaches sixty minutes
  • the session has fifteen minutes of no activity
  • you anonymize the user with the anonymize() call
  • the user clears their local cache

However, if visitors leave your website but return within fifteen minutes, Smartlook views the data as the same session.


Users are the visitors to your website. Smartlook records user interactions during these visits as sessions. All sessions have a single user. A single user can have multiple sessions.

When a user visits your websites again, Smartlook can add the new session to the existing user due to cookies. However, if the user clears their cookies between visits, Smartlook sees the user as a new user.

To avoid having return users set as new users, and to gain even more insight and data on your users, you can use the Identify API. For more information, see Identify visitor.

When can I view my sessions?

All sessions appear in the Sessions section of the app menu. You can find sessions that are currently being recorded in the Active sessions segment moments after the session begins. Sessions are moved to the Completed sessions segment up to a few minutes after the session is completed.