Configure SharePoint Hybrid Auditing in SharePoint 2016 (Preview)

APPLIES TO: no2013 yes2016 no2019 noSharePoint Online

Learn about how SharePoint 2016 Auditing generates reports for on-premises server users' file access logs for viewing in Office 365.

Microsoft SharePoint Auditing (Preview)

Microsoft SharePoint Hybrid Auditing is a new hybrid feature for SharePoint Server 2016 to help SharePoint administrators have visibility to user activities in their SharePoint environments. With this feature, SharePoint 2016 on-premise user activity logs can be uploaded to Office 365 and useful reports are generated. Configuration is simple and you can start viewing regularly updated reports in the Office 365 admin center.

SharePoint Hybrid Auditing is currently in Preview mode:

  • It is not recommended or supported to use this feature in production environments.

  • No data completeness or latency SLA is guaranteed.

  • As SharePoint Online is continually changing, may see differences between the audit events on SharePoint Online versus the ones from SharePoint Server (on-premises)


Before you configure the SharePoint Hybrid Auditing feature, ensure you are:

  • A member of the Farm Administrators group

  • A service application administrator (Full Control) for the User Profile Service

  • An Office 365 Global Administrator or a SharePoint Online Administrator

  • Logged into Office 365 and SharePoint Server from a server in your SharePoint Server farm

  • Able to launch the Hybrid Picker as a Farm Administrator with elevated permissions

Elevate the privileges on the on-premises SharePoint farm account. The on-premises SharePoint farm account must be granted elevated privilege on each SharePoint server in the farm before you launch the Hybrid Picker to deploy the on-premises Hybrid Auditing feature. You must:

  • Determine the Windows Service Account representing the SharePoint farm account. This is the Windows Service Account identity for the SharePoint Timer Service

  • Add the SharePoint farm account to the Local Administrators group on each SharePoint server in the farm.

  • Recycle the SharePoint Timer Service on each server in the SharePoint farm´╗┐


This elevated privilege is only required for the duration of the SharePoint Hybrid Auditing feature deployment to allow the SharePoint farm account to create a new EventLog "OfficeDataLoader". The local administrator rights can be removed post provisioning.

The configuration of Hybrid Auditing uses the Hybrid Picker in the SharePoint Online admin center.

Please read Hybrid picker in the SharePoint Online admin center to make sure you have met all the prerequisites before you configure the Hybrid Auditing feature.

Part I: Turn On Audit Log Search Recording

  1. Log in to your SharePoint Server 2016 on-premises as a Farm administrator.

  2. Browse to your O365 online tenant admin website and login with your tenant admin username and password.

  3. Select the app launcher icon in the upper left corner and choose Admin.

  4. In the Office 365 Admin center, scroll down to Admin Centers select Compliance.

  5. From the navigation pane, select Search & investigation, and then click Audit log search.

  6. Under Audit log search, select Start recording user and admin activities link (if you have already performed this action, the link will not show up).

  7. Click Turn on.

    Start recording user and admin activities

Part II: Turn On SharePoint Hybrid Auditing

Hybrid auditing uses the Hybrid Picker for configuration. Follow the steps in Hybrid picker in the SharePoint Online admin center.

Part III: Check Audit Log Report

  1. In the Office 365 Admin center, select Compliance.

  2. In the Security & Compliance Center, click Search & Investigation.

  3. Click Audit Log Search.

  4. You can now start searching for on-premises auditing events in this same search UX alongside your Office365 auditing events.


You may need to wait approximately 30 minutes before on-premise auditing events show up in this display. > While SharePoint Hybrid Auditing is in preview mode, it is possible to have some missing auditing events. > Only a subset of the file activities is currently being uploaded from on-premises to Office 365.

To learn more about O365 Auditing log search and how to use filtering to get tailored results, see Search the audit log in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.

How to turn off SharePoint Hybrid Auditing

The SharePoint Hybrid Auditing feature uses the Microsoft SharePoint Insights service to upload activity logs to the O365. To discontinue uploading the logs to Office 365 you must stop the Microsoft SharePoint Insights service.

Make sure you have SharePoint OnPrem Farm Administrator privilege and Local Administrator privilege in SharePoint OnPrem VM.

Select one of the two following ways to stop the service in SharePoint 2016.

Stop the Insights Service using PowerShell

  1. Open SharePoint 2016 Management Shell.

  2. Run the following cmdlet:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell
(Get-SPService "Microsoft SharePoint Insights").Instances | Stop-SPServiceInstance 

Stop the Insights Service in SharePoint Central Administration

  1. On the SharePoint Server 2016 Central Administration website, click System Settings.

  2. On the System Settings page, in the Servers section, click Manage services in this farm.

  3. Select Microsoft SharePoint Insights service, and then in the Action column click Disable Auto Provision

  4. Click OK.

    Disable service in farm

  5. On the System Settings page, in the Servers section, click Manage services on server.

  6. On the Services on Server page, switch server to each custom role server, and click Stop in the Action column.

What actions do I need to take after an In-Place-Upgrade?

Microsoft SharePoint Insights service must be restarted after an in-place-upgrade.

  1. Open "SharePoint 2016 Management Shell".

  2. Run the following:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell 
Stop-SPService -Identity "Microsoft SharePoint Insights" -IncludeCustomServerRole 
Start-SPService -Identity "Microsoft SharePoint Insights" -IncludeCustomServerRole 

What data/logs will be uploaded to Office 365?

All the audit logs under the folder SPUnifiedAuditEntry are uploaded to Office 365 for generating reports. The location of the folder can be found in SharePoint 2016 Central Administration.

For more information see Search the audit log in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center

  1. On the SharePoint Server 2016 Central Administration website, click Monitoring under Central Administration.

  2. In the Reporting section, click Configure usage and health data collection.

  3. In the Usage Data Collection Settings, Log file location can be found as follows.

    Usage data collection file location

Search the audit log in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center

TechNet Forums: Hybrid Auditing