Filter Events in a Trace (SQL Server Profiler)

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Managed Instance

Filters limit the events collected in a trace. If a filter is not set, all events of the selected event classes are returned in the trace output. It is not mandatory to set a filter for a trace. However, a filter minimizes the overhead that is incurred during tracing.

You add filters to trace definitions by using the Events Selection tab of the Trace Properties or Trace Template Properties dialog box.

Filter events in a trace

  1. In the Trace Properties or Trace Template Properties dialog box, select the Events Selection tab.

    The Events Selection tab contains a grid control. The grid control is a table that contains each of the traceable event classes. The table contains one row for each event class. The event classes may differ slightly, depending on the type and version of server to which you are connected. The event classes are identified in the Events column of the grid and are grouped by event category. The remaining columns list the data columns that can be returned for each event class.

  2. Select Column Filters.

    The Edit Filter dialog box appears. The Edit Filter dialog box contains a list of comparison operators that you can use to filter events in a trace.

  3. To apply a filter, select the comparison operator, and type a value to use for the filter.

  4. Select OK.


  • If you set filter conditions on the StartTime and EndTime data columns of the Events Selection tab, then make sure that:

    • The date you enter matches this format: YYYY/MM/DD HH:mm:sec.


    • Use regional settings to display date and time values is checked in the General Options dialog box. To view the General Options dialog box, on the SQL Server Profiler Tools menu, select Option.


      • The date you enter is between January 1, 1753 and December 31, 9999.
  • If tracing events from the osql utility or from the sqlcmd utility, always append % to filters on the TextData data column.


The checkbox for Exclude rows that do not contain values may filter out rows with:

  • NULL values
  • Empty strings (which technically are values)

while NOT filtering out events where the column itself is not present.

Next steps