Re-attribution window explained

At a glance: Learn about re-attribution windows, during which reinstalls are not attributed as new installs.

Re-attribution window

The re-attribution window is a time window that begins the first time a user installs the app and continues for a duration set by the advertiser (default 90 days.) During the re-attribution window app reinstalls aren't recorded as new installs and don't generate a new install postback unless they originate from a retargeting campaign.

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Setting the re-attribution window

The re-attribution window:

  • is set in the App Settings page
  • the default value is 90 days (3 months)
  • has a range of 1-24 months 

Installs are evaluated relative to the setting at the moment of install. As such, If you change the setting, it impacts installs (reinstalls) going forward without considering previous installs. 

  • Change the re-attribution window from 90 to 30 days:
    • Install on September 1. 
    • Re-attribution window changes on September 2. 
    • A reinstall until October 1 is regarded as a reinstall. Starting October 2, it is regarded as a new install.
  • Change the re-attribution window from 30 to 90 days:
    • Install on September 1.
    • Re-attribution window changes on September 2.
    • A re-install on October 15 is a reinstall because of the current 90-day window.   
    • A re-install on December 15 is a new install because more than 90 days have elapsed since the install on September 1. 

The following sections contain re-attribution window use cases.

First install

A lead (who never had the app installed) engages with either a user acquisition or retargeting campaign and installs the mobile app.

The following happens:

  • A new install (or organic, if no engagement is recorded), is attributed to the media source in user acquisition dashboards and data
  • A new re-attribution window commences
  • Install and in-app event postbacks are sent to the attributed media source when configured
  • Following in-app events are also attributed to the same media source

Reinstall

After the first app install, the user uninstalls and reinstalls during the re-attribution window.

The following happens:

  • The install is NOT attributed - it doesn't appear on the dashboard, nor on the data
  • NO install postback is sent to any media source
  • All following in-app events are counted as organic

Re-attribution

After the first app install, during the re-attribution window, the user uninstalls, then engages with a retargeting campaign and reinstalls.
This is called a re-attribution.

The following happens:

  • The install is attributed to the retargeting media source on the retargeting page and data ONLY
  • All following in-app events are attributed to the retargeting media source
  • The re-attribution and its following events don't appear on the user acquisition dashboards, nor on the UA data
  • An install postback is sent to the retargeting media source

For more Retargeting Attribution information, click here.

New install

The user uninstalls the app. Then, after the re-attribution window ends, the user reinstalls. This reinstall is considered as a first install and brings the same results:
  • A new install (or organic, if no engagement is recorded), is attributed to the media source on the user acquisition dashboards and data
  • A new re-attribution window commences

  • Install and in-app event postbacks are sent to the attributed media source when configured

  • Following in-app events are also attributed to the same media source

iOS app restored from iCloud backup

Regardless of the re-attribution window, when an application is backed up using iCloud and later restored (on the same device or on another device), AppsFlyer doesn't count it as a new install or reinstall. A user who restores an app from iCloud maintains their AppsFlyer ID and attribution data.

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