A log is a record of all the events that have occurred in your computer. The logs record events by both a running process or a user/human. Modern logs help you track what happened and can help you troubleshoot an issue.
A Windows event log includes logs from the operating system along with the applications, such as the Internet Information Services (learn about an IIS log viewer here) or SQL Server. The logs that are created using a structured data format make them easy to search through and analyze. There are some applications that also write to the log files in a text format. One example of this is the IIS Access Logs.
What to Know About Windows Event Logs
A Windows Event Viewer is what displays the Window event logs. This application can be used to view and navigate the logs, to search or filter a particular type of log, export logs for more analysis, and more. Keep reading to learn more about these and how to use them here.
Starting the Windows Event Viewer
There are several ways you can access the Windows Server 2019 Event Viewer. These include through the Windows control panel, command prompt, component services, computer management, Windows admin center, and server manager.
Tips for Using the Windows Event Viewer Interface
The Event Viewer in Windows features an intuitive user interface. You will find the main screen has been divided into three main sections – the navigation pane, the detail pane, and the action pane. It’s possible for you to create both Custom and Summary views.
The Navigation Pane
This is where you choose what event log you want to look at. The default settings have five different categories of Windows logs. The include application, security, setup, system and forwarded events. You will also find a section for Services and Applications Logs, which includes separate categories for Windows PowerShell events, Internet Explorer Events, and Hardware Events.
The Detail Pane
After you have opened the Event Viewer, the Detail pane is what shows you the Summary and Overview. You can choose an item out of the Navigation pane to see a list of different events that have occurred.
The event entries are listed in chronological order with the latest events listed at the top. You can click on any of the column headers to sort events according to that field in either descending or ascending order.
To see the detailed information about an event, just click on it. This will usually show you the date and time a specific event occurred and if you need more information, you can click the General tab. You can move to the Details tab in this view to see the raw data about the event. In this pane, you have the option to move between XML or Friendly View.
The Actions Pane
The third pane provides you with fast access for all your current selections. There are two parts of the Action pane, including the Actions available for a Navigation pane log or the Actions available for the Detail pane event.
The Bottom Line About Windows Logging
As you can see, Windows Logging can seem somewhat complex; however, when you look at how it works step by step, it makes more sense and will be easier to use. Be sure to consider the information here to make the most of the information in the Windows Log on your computer.