There may be times when you want to track the websites which have been visited on your computer in your absence or what your kids are doing on the internet behind your back(to protect them from darker side of the Internet). One option available to you is to check the cookies folder, which can give you a basic idea like visited domain names but sometimes this information isn’t enough.
Google Analytics cookies can provide some extra details, though, Analytics cookies contains information like keywords used to find a site, the date and time of the last two visits, number of times a site has been visited.
Google says that – Analytics cookies are used to define user sessions and provide “a number of key features” in the Analytics report and with a tool named Google Analytics Cookie Cruncher you can have access to all that data.
GA Cookie Cruncher is a free Windows OS(Operating System) program that allows you to analyze these cookies on your system. It’s a mere 562KB portable program, all you have to do is unzip it and launch GA Cookie Cruncher.exe.
After that you need to select the browser you like to check (Supported browser are Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari). Though the help pane tells you where the cookies folder might possible be located, it would still have been better to have an automated option.
After hitting the process button, GA Cookie Cruncher starts analyzing the cookies and saves the reports in three csv files, _utma, _utmb and _utmz to the selected directory.
Like everything Analytics have also there own limit, like If an user deletes or edits their cookies, use a private browsing session, or surf Websites which don’t use Google Analytics then it won’t be able to provide you anything at all.
Overall, GA Cookie Cruncher is an useful program and if the user wasn’t careful enough to delete cookies of his surfing session you might find some interesting information from their web activiies.