‘System’ User Making Unrequested Changes Within The platform


When looking at recent activity within the Activity Log, you may notice that one or more changes have been pushed to the publisher without you requesting these changes. Understandably, it may seem that the platform is making changes on your behalf; however, this is usually not the case.

Additionally, when viewing a specific object’s Settings History (accessible by hovering over an object name and clicking the 3 dots that appear in the cell), you may notice that a user called System has made changes without your knowledge.

What Is The ‘System’ User?

The reason that these System (or possibly platform Sync ) user jobs appear in the Activity Log is usually that changes have been made on the publisher’s end (with Google Ads, for example) and the platform is pulling these changes in. Additionally, any changes that you make on the publisher's end will be pulled in during the nightly sync which will result in Activity Log jobs with System or platform Sync in the user column.

The System user can also appear to be making changes when a job is canceled from the Activity Log. When any job is canceled in this way, the platform reverts any changes that have (or would have) been made. This causes the System user changes to appear in the object’s Settings History.

The System user can also appear to be making changes as seen in the object's Settings History when a scheduled action set to pause or activate objects has processed. Here's how you can verify that:

  • Check the Activity Log for when the System made such a change, and see if this is associated with a Scheduled Action job. If you'd like to see the original job made to schedule this action, search within the Activity Log for Description contains "scheduled" and look for any Action Scheduled jobs that would have the same number of objects that were edited in the corresponding Scheduled Action job.

Confirming Why The ‘System’ User Is Present

Because the presence of this user is by design, there is no fix for it. However, you can confirm that the user is making changes due to one of the reasons explained above.

  • Check the history report in the relevant publisher (e.g. Google or Microsoft) to see if any changes have been made on their end recently by any user. This may cause activity from the System user in our platform.
  • If you notice that the time of the job in the Activity Log is around 5am for Microsoft or 3am for Google, it’s almost certain that this is a case of the platform pulling in changes during the nightly sync.

You can also check if the user is reverting changes due to a canceled job by following these steps:

  1. In the Settings History screen, find the date/time that the change was made. Then go to the Activity Log, filter for this date, and narrow down the activities to the relevant ones.
  2. Check if any jobs from that date have a status of Canceled. This confirms that the changes are due to a canceled job.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: December 6th, 2023