Advanced Flows Functionality

This document covers advanced functionality available in the flows report that lets you drill in more deeply on your data, or ask a more precise question.

Conversion Criteria - Counting Method

Your selected counting method determines how many times Mixpanel will count a particular user's activity. Mixpanel Flows can be calculated by uniques, totals, or sessions, the same as the Funnels report.

By default, Flows calculations are based on uniques. To change to a different counting method, click on the word Uniques in the conversion criteria, and select between totals or sessions from the drop-down list.



Unique flows count a single entry per user (determined by distinct_id). Each can do the first step only once, and this is on the first time they perform the Step A event in the date range. Even if a particular user completes the funnel multiple times in the date range, they will only be counted towards conversion once, and on the first time they entered in the span of the funnel.


Totals flows count multiple entries per user.  Users can re-start the flow and every time a user starts the flow they are counted. Users may re-enter a totals flows only after they have exited their previous attempt. Users exit a flow in 3 ways:

  1. They complete the last required step in the flow
  2. They fail to get to the last required step in the conversion window and time out,
  3. They are excluded from the current flow by an exclusion step.


Sessions ensure every step in the flow is performed in the same session. Like totals flows, users will be allowed to re-start the flow in subsequent sessions. Learn more about Sessions here.

Conversion Criteria - Conversion Window

The Conversion Window determines how much time a user has to finish the last required step in the flow. By default, all customers have 30 days to complete a flow from the timestamp they perform the Step A event. To adjust this conversion window, click on the words 30 days in the conversion criteria. You will be able to adjust both the unit of time and the amount. 


The maximum amount of time you can choose for the conversion window is 366 days, or otherwise equivalent (12 months, 52 weeks, etc).

Conversion Criteria - Hold Property Constant

Holding a property constant in flows requires that a user retain the same value of a given event property for an event to be considered part of the flow. 

For example, let's say your product is an e-commerce retail site, and you want to see flows between Add to Cart > Purchase as long as they purchased the same item - meaning they must be interacting with the same item in every step of the flow - you would hold the Item Name property constant. 

The way this is calculated depends on whether you have selected a counting method that does not allow users to re-enter the flow ("Uniques") or allows re-entry ("Totals" or "Sessions). 

  • Uniques: When you select "Uniques" and hold a property constant, because users of this counting method only enter the flow once and on the first time they do the Step A event, Mixpanel will hold constant the property value from the first Step A event.  
  • Totals or Sessions: When you select "Totals" or "Sessions" and hold a property constant, since these counting methods allow users to re-enter the flow, Mixpanel will hold the property constant that is set with each new re-entry at the Step A event.

To add a property constant to your flows, select the Holding property constant button in the conversion criteria section.


Some things to keep in mind are that you are only able to select event properties that apply to all of the required steps. Also, you can select multiple properties, but when you do ALL must be kept constant.

Expand Event by Property

You can choose to expand the results of your report by a particular property to see how that property may impact user flows. You can select multiple properties. For instance, what if I wanted to understand how the specific Purchase Type changes the most common flow that leads to a Purchase event?

Click the Expand button, select an event, and then select a property under that event.


You can also expand on a specific event in the chart below by right clicking on an event and selecting Expand by property.


Breakdown and Compare by Cohorts

Beside the Filter button, select the Breakdown button to select one or more cohorts from the drop-down list. You will be shown both users in and not in the cohort.


If you have selected multiple cohorts, the chart below will be broken down by those cohorts. Cohorts will appear in the chart in different colors, making it easy to follow the paths the cohorts took in your flows.

In the following example, the cohorts “Android Users” and “iPhone Users” are being compared. As shown in the Legend on the left of the chart, “iPhone Users” are indicated in purple, “Android Users” in orange.


To see the percentage breakdowns of these cohorts in more detail, click on a node to highlight the strongest path to that node. The box that pops up shows the percentage of each cohort that followed that path.

In the following example, of the users that reached this Exit Tutorial event, 22.2% of users are iPhone users, 77.8% of users are Android users.


Hide Events

You can choose to hide events from the flows report to simplify and clarify the results. This is useful if you have common events that add noise because they are not relevant to the workflow you are examining.

Click the Hide Events button at the top of the chart and check any events you want to hide from the query, then click Apply.


You can also choose to hide a specific event from the flow by right clicking on it in the Flows chart. 


Custom Events in flows

Custom events as start/end events

You may pick custom events as the starting or ending events directly in the query. For custom events that are composed of multiple events, paths consisting of either event are combined into a single flow.

Custom events as intermediate events

Mixpanel automatically considers the most used and common custom events in your project, displaying them in intermediate steps instead of showing the underlying events. When a custom event is shown instead of the underlying event, it is annotated with the custom event icon to indicate that the event displayed is a custom event.


Click here to learn more about all the event types shown in the flows report.

Mixpanel uses the following criteria to decide which custom events are shown in user flows:

  1. Custom events that are shared with all users in the projects are the only ones picked to be shown in flows right now
  2. Only the 50 most frequently queried custom events in the project are used in flows analysis.
  3. If custom events have overlapping definitions (e.g. both custom events operate on the same event), we will choose the more frequently queried custom event to show in the report.

Expanding custom events

You may also expand custom events by event name to view the underlying events if required.


Disabling custom events

You can disable custom events for flows by toggling the Show Custom Events in the dropdown menu below. Custom events that have been manually chosen as steps in the flow will continue to show up, but no other other custom events will be shown.


Beta Capabilities

Have you ever wished to apply some more targeted Funnel Criteria to a Flow? Examples of this could be: 

  • Time to Convert Window - i.e What are the event flows of users for only the first 7 minutes after Signing up?
  • Holding a Property Constant - i.e What are the event flows in between Song Play and Add to Playlist but only if it's for the same song?
  • Exclusion Steps - i.e What are the event flows between Add to Cart and Checkout, but only if the user does not Abandon their Cart in between?
  • Sessions specifications - i.e What are the event flows for only a single session from Signing up? Only the first 3 sessions?

If these are questions you have been looking to answer, check out our Conversion and Drop-off Flows beta!

Did this answer your question?



Please sign in to leave a comment.