View a SQL Server Audit Log

Applies to: SQL Server

This article describes how to view a SQL Server audit log in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio.


Requires the CONTROL SERVER permission.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To view a SQL Server audit log

  1. In Object Explorer, expand the Security folder.

  2. Expand the Audits folder.

  3. Right-click the audit log that you want to view and select View Audit Logs. The Log File Viewer - server_name dialog box opens. For more information, see Log File Viewer F1 Help.

  4. When finished, select Close.

Microsoft recommends viewing the audit log by using the Log File Viewer. However, if you're creating an automated monitoring system, the information in the audit file can be read directly by using the sys.fn_get_audit_file function. Reading the file directly returns data in a slightly different (unprocessed) format. For more information, see sys.fn_get_audit_file (Transact-SQL).