Log File Viewer F1 Help

Log File Viewer displays log information from many different components. When Log File Viewer is open, use the Select logs pane to select the logs you want to display. Each log displays columns appropriate to that kind of log.

The logs that are available depend on how Log File Viewer is opened. For more information, see Open Log File Viewer.

The number of rows that are displayed for audit logs can be configured on the SQL Server Object Explorer/Commands page of the Tools/Options dialog box. For descriptions of the columns that are displayed for audit logs, see sys.fn_get_audit_file (Transact-SQL).


  • Load Log
    Open a dialog box where you can specify a log file to load.

  • Export
    Open a dialog box that lets you export the information that is shown in the Log file summary grid to a text file.

  • Refresh
    Refresh the view of the selected logs. The Refresh button rereads the selected logs from the target server while applying any filter settings.

  • Filter
    Open a dialog box that lets you specify settings that are used to filter the log file, such as Connection, Date, or other General filter criteria.

  • Search
    Search the log file for specific text. Searching with wildcard characters is not supported.

  • Stop
    Stops loading the log file entries. For example, you can use this option if a remote or offline log file takes a long time to load, and you only want to view the most recent entries.

  • Log file summary
    This information panel displays a summary of the log file filtering. If the file is not filtered, you will see the following text, No filter applied. If a filter is applied to the log, you will see the following text, Filter log entries where: <filter criteria>.

  • Selected row details
    Select a row to display additional details about the selected event row at the bottom of the page. The columns can be reordered by dragging them to new locations in the grid. The columns can be resized by dragging the column separator bars in the grid header to the left or right. Double-click the column separator bars in the grid header to automatically size the column to the content width.

  • Instance
    The name of the instance on which the event occurred. This is displayed as computer name\instance name.

Frequently Displayed Columns

  • Date
    Displays the date of the event.

  • Source
    Displays the source feature from which the event is created, such as the name of the service (MSSQLSERVER, for example). This does not appear for all log types.

  • Message
    Displays any messages associated with the event.

  • Log Type
    Displays the type of log to which the event belongs. All selected logs appear in the log file summary window.

  • Log Source
    Displays a description of the source log in which the event is captured.


To access log files for instances of SQL Server that are online, this requires membership in the securityadmin fixed server role.

To access log files for instances of SQL Server that are offline, you must have read access to both the Root\Microsoft\SqlServer\ComputerManagement10 WMI namespace, and to the folder where the log files are stored. For more information, see the Security section of the topic View Offline Log Files.

See Also


Log File Viewer

Open Log File Viewer

View Offline Log Files