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Viewing the Windows Application Log

When SQL Server is configured to use the Microsoft Windows application log, each SQL Server session writes new events to that log. Unlike the SQL Server error log, a new application log is not created each time you start an instance of SQL Server.

View and manage the Windows application log by using Windows Event Viewer or the Log Viewer in SQL Server Management Studio.

There are three logs that can be viewed with Event Viewer.

Windows log type


System log

Records events logged by the Windows operating system components. For example, the failure of a driver or other system component to load during startup is recorded in the system log.

Security log

Records security events, such as failed login attempts. This helps track changes to the security system and identify possible breaches to security. For example, attempts to log on to the system may be recorded in the security log, depending on the audit settings in the User Manager.

Only members of the sysadmin fixed server role can view the security log.

Application log

Records events that are logged by applications. For example, a database application might record a file error in the application log.

For more information about using Event Viewer, managing the application log, and understanding the information it presents, see the Windows documentation.

To view the Windows application log

How to: View the Windows Application Log (Windows)