Use Search in Application Insights

Transaction search is a feature of Application Insights that you use to find and explore individual telemetry items, such as page views, exceptions, or web requests. You can also view log traces and events that you've coded.

For more complex queries over your data, use Log Analytics.

You can find Search in the Azure portal or Visual Studio.

In the Azure portal

You can open transaction search from the Application Insights Overview tab of your application. You can also select Search under Investigate on the left menu.

Screenshot that shows the Search tab.

Go to the Event types dropdown menu to see a list of telemetry items such as server requests, page views, and custom events that you've coded. At the top of the Results list is a summary chart showing counts of events over time.

Back out of the dropdown menu or select Refresh to get new events.

In Visual Studio

In Visual Studio, there's also an Application Insights Search window. It's most useful for displaying telemetry events generated by the application that you're debugging. But it can also show the events collected from your published app at the Azure portal.

Open the Application Insights Search window in Visual Studio:

Screenshot that shows Visual Studio open to Application Insights Search.

The Application Insights Search window has features similar to the web portal:

Screenshot that shows Visual Studio Application Insights Search window.

The Track Operation tab is available when you open a request or a page view. An "operation" is a sequence of events that's associated with a single request or page view. For example, dependency calls, exceptions, trace logs, and custom events might be part of a single operation. The Track Operation tab shows graphically the timing and duration of these events in relation to the request or page view.

Inspect individual items

Select any telemetry item to see key fields and related items.

Screenshot that shows an individual dependency request.

The end-to-end transaction details view opens.

Filter event types

Open the Event types dropdown menu and choose the event types you want to see. If you want to restore the filters later, select Reset.

The event types are:

  • Trace: Diagnostic logs including TrackTrace, log4Net, NLog, and System.Diagnostic.Trace calls.
  • Request: HTTP requests received by your server application including pages, scripts, images, style files, and data. These events are used to create the request and response overview charts.
  • Page View: Telemetry sent by the web client used to create page view reports.
  • Custom Event: If you inserted calls to TrackEvent() to monitor usage, you can search them here.
  • Exception: Uncaught exceptions in the server, and the exceptions that you log by using TrackException().
  • Dependency: Calls from your server application to other services such as REST APIs or databases, and AJAX calls from your client code.
  • Availability: Results of availability tests.

Filter on property values

You can filter events on the values of their properties. The available properties depend on the event types you selected. Select Filter Filter icon to start.

Choosing no values of a particular property has the same effect as choosing all values. It switches off filtering on that property.

Notice that the counts to the right of the filter values show how many occurrences there are in the current filtered set.

Find events with the same property

To find all the items with the same property value, either enter it in the Search box or select the checkbox when you look through properties on the Filter tab.

Screenshot that shows selecting the checkbox of a property on the Filter tab.

Search the data


To write more complex queries, open Logs (Analytics) at the top of the Search pane.

You can search for terms in any of the property values. This capability is useful if you've written custom events with property values.

You might want to set a time range because searches over a shorter range are faster.

Screenshot that shows opening a diagnostic search.

Search for complete words, not substrings. Use quotation marks to enclose special characters.

String Not found Found
HomeController.About home
United States Uni
united AND states
"united states"

You can use the following search expressions:

Sample query Effect
apple Find all events in the time range whose fields include the word "apple".
apple AND banana
apple banana
Find events that contain both words. Use capital "AND", not "and".
Short form.
apple OR banana Find events that contain either word. Use "OR", not "or".
apple NOT banana Find events that contain one word but not the other.


If your app generates a large amount of telemetry, and you're using the ASP.NET SDK version 2.0.0-beta3 or later, the adaptive sampling module automatically reduces the volume that's sent to the portal by sending only a representative fraction of events. Events that are related to the same request are selected or deselected as a group so that you can navigate between related events.

Learn about sampling.

Create work item

You can create a bug in GitHub or Azure DevOps with the details from any telemetry item.

Go to the end-to-end transaction detail view by selecting any telemetry item. Then select Create work item.

Screenshot that shows Create work item.

The first time you do this step, you're asked to configure a link to your Azure DevOps organization and project. You can also configure the link on the Work Items tab.

Send more telemetry to Application Insights

In addition to the out-of-the-box telemetry sent by Application Insights SDK, you can:

  • Capture log traces from your favorite logging framework in .NET or Java. This means you can search through your log traces and correlate them with page views, exceptions, and other events.

  • Write code to send custom events, page views, and exceptions.

Learn how to send logs and custom telemetry to Application Insights.

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to common questions.

How much data is retained?

See the Limits summary.

How can I see POST data in my server requests?

We don't log the POST data automatically, but you can use TrackTrace or log calls. Put the POST data in the message parameter. You can't filter on the message in the same way you can filter on properties, but the size limit is longer.

Next steps