This article describes how PowerShell logs events to the Windows Event log.
Windows PowerShell creates a Windows event log that is named "Windows
PowerShell" to record Windows PowerShell events. You can view this log in
Event Viewer or by using cmdlets that get events, such as the
cmdlet. By default, Windows PowerShell engine and provider events are recorded
in the event log, but you can use the event log preference variables to
customize the event log. For example, you can add events about Windows
The Windows PowerShell event log records details of Windows PowerShell operations, such as starting and stopping the program engine and starting and stopping the Windows PowerShell providers. You can also log details about Windows PowerShell commands.
The Windows PowerShell event log is in the Application and Services Logs
group. The Windows PowerShell log is a classic event log that does not use the
Windows Eventing technology. To view the log, use the cmdlets designed for
classic event logs, such as
Viewing the Windows PowerShell Event Log
You can view the Windows PowerShell event log in Event Viewer or by using the
Get-WmiObject cmdlets. To view the contents of the
Windows PowerShell log, type:
Get-EventLog -LogName "Windows PowerShell"
To examine the events and their properties, use the
Sort-Object cmdlet, the
Group-Object cmdlet, and the cmdlets that contain the
Format verb (the
For example, to view the events in the log grouped by the event ID, type:
Get-EventLog "Windows PowerShell" | Format-Table -GroupBy EventID
Get-EventLog "Windows PowerShell" | Sort-Object EventID | Group-Object EventID
To view all the classic event logs, type:
You can also use the
Get-WmiObject cmdlet to use the event-related Windows
Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes to examine the event log. For example,
to view all the properties of the event log file, type:
Get-WmiObject Win32_NTEventlogFile | where LogFileName -EQ "Windows PowerShell" | Format-List -Property *
To find the Win32 event-related WMI classes, type:
Get-WmiObject -List | where Name -Like "win32*event*"
For more information, type "Get-Help Get-EventLog" and "Get-Help Get-WmiObject".
Selecting Events for the Windows PowerShell Event Log
You can use the event log preference variables to determine which events are recorded in the Windows PowerShell event log.
There are six event log preference variables; two variables for each of the three logging components: the engine (the Windows PowerShell program), the providers, and the commands. The LifeCycleEvent variables log normal starting and stopping events. The Health variables log error events.
The following table lists the event log preference variables.
|$LogEngineLifeCycleEvent||Logs the start and stop of PowerShell|
|$LogEngineHealthEvent||Logs PowerShell program errors|
|$LogProviderLifeCycleEvent||Logs the start and stop of PowerShell providers|
|$LogProviderHealthEvent||Logs PowerShell provider errors|
|$LogCommandLifeCycleEvent||Logs the starting and completion of commands|
|$LogCommandHealthEvent||Logs command errors|
(For information about Windows PowerShell providers, see about_Providers.)
By default, only the following event types are enabled:
To enable an event type, set the preference variable for that event type to $true. For example, to enable command life-cycle events, type:
$LogCommandLifeCycleEvent = $true
To disable an event type, set the preference variable for that event type to $false. For example, to disable command life-cycle events, type:
$LogProviderLifeCycleEvent = $false
You can disable any event, except for the events that indicate that the Windows PowerShell engine and the core providers are started. These events are generated before the Windows PowerShell profiles are run and before the host program is ready to accept commands.
The variable settings apply only for the current Windows PowerShell session. To apply them to all Windows PowerShell sessions, add them to your Windows PowerShell profile.
Logging Module Events
Beginning in Windows PowerShell 3.0, you can record execution events for the cmdlets and functions in Windows PowerShell modules and snap-ins by setting the LogPipelineExecutionDetails property of modules and snap-ins to TRUE. In Windows PowerShell 2.0, this feature is available only for snap-ins.
When the LogPipelineExecutionDetails property value is TRUE (
PowerShell writes cmdlet and function execution events in the session to the
Windows PowerShell log in Event Viewer. The setting is effective only in the
To enable logging of execution events of cmdlets and functions in a module, use the following command sequence.
Import-Module <ModuleName> $m = Get-Module <ModuleName> $m.LogPipelineExecutionDetails = $true
To enable logging of execution events of cmdlets in a snap-in, use the following command sequence.
$m = Get-PSSnapin <SnapInName> [-Registered] $m.LogPipelineExecutionDetails = $True
To disable logging, use the same command sequence to set the property value to
You can also use the "Turn on Module Logging" Group Policy setting to enable and disable module and snap-in logging. The policy value includes a list of module and snap-in names. Wildcards are supported.
When "Turn on Module Logging" is set for a module, the value of the LogPipelineExecutionDetails property of the module is TRUE in all sessions and it cannot be changed.
The Turn On Module Logging group policy setting is located in the following Group Policy paths:
Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Windows PowerShell User Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Windows PowerShell
The User Configuration policy takes precedence over the Computer Configuration policy, and both policies take preference over the value of the LogPipelineExecutionDetails property of modules and snap-ins.
For more information about this Group Policy setting, see about_Group_Policy_Settings.
Security and Auditing
The Windows PowerShell event log is designed to indicate activity and to provide operational details for troubleshooting.
However, like most Windows-based application event logs, the Windows PowerShell event log is not designed to be secure. It should not be used to audit security or to record confidential or proprietary information.
Event logs are designed to be read and understood by users. Users can read from and write to the log. A malicious user could read an event log on a local or remote computer, record false data, and then prevent the logging of their activities.
Authors of module authors can add logging features to their modules. For more information, see Writing a Windows PowerShell Module.
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