Accessing Azure AD B2C audit logs

Azure Active Directory B2C (Azure AD B2C) emits audit logs containing activity information about B2C resources, tokens issued, and administrator access. This article provides a brief overview of the information available in audit logs and instructions on how to access this data for your Azure AD B2C tenant.

Audit log events are only retained for seven days. Plan to download and store your logs using one of the methods shown below if you require a longer retention period.


You can't see user sign-ins for individual Azure AD B2C applications under the Users section of the Azure Active Directory or Azure AD B2C pages in the Azure portal. The sign-in events there show user activity, but can't be correlated back to the B2C application that the user signed in to. You must use the audit logs for that, as explained further in this article.

Overview of activities available in the B2C category of audit logs

The B2C category in audit logs contains the following types of activities:

Activity type Description
Authorization Activities concerning the authorization of a user to access B2C resources (for example, an administrator accessing a list of B2C policies).
Directory Activities related to directory attributes retrieved when an administrator signs in using the Azure portal.
Application Create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on B2C applications.
Key CRUD operations on keys stored in a B2C key container.
Resource CRUD operations on B2C resources. For example, policies and identity providers.
Authentication Validation of user credentials and token issuance.

For user object CRUD activities, refer to the Core Directory category.

Example activity

This example image from the Azure portal shows the data captured when a user signs in with an external identity provider, in this case, Facebook:

Example of Audit Log Activity Details page in Azure portal

The activity details panel contains the following relevant information:

Section Field Description
Activity Name Which activity took place. For example, Issue an id_token to the application, which concludes the actual user sign-in.
Initiated By (Actor) ObjectId The Object ID of the B2C application that the user is signing in to. This identifier is not visible in the Azure portal, but is accessible via the Microsoft Graph API.
Initiated By (Actor) Spn The Application ID of the B2C application that the user is signing in to.
Target(s) ObjectId The Object ID of the user that is signing in.
Additional Details TenantId The Tenant ID of the Azure AD B2C tenant.
Additional Details PolicyId The Policy ID of the user flow (policy) being used to sign the user in.
Additional Details ApplicationId The Application ID of the B2C application that the user is signing in to.

View audit logs in the Azure portal

The Azure portal provides access to the audit log events in your Azure AD B2C tenant.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal
  2. Switch to the directory that contains your Azure AD B2C tenant, and then browse to Azure AD B2C.
  3. Under Activities in the left menu, select Audit logs.

A list of activity events logged over the last seven days is displayed.

Example filter with two activity events in Azure portal

Several filtering options are available, including:

  • Activity Resource Type - Filter by the activity types shown in the table in the Overview of activities available section.
  • Date - Filter the date range of the activities shown.

If you select a row in the list, the activity details for the event are displayed.

To download the list of activity events in a comma-separated values (CSV) file, select Download.

Get audit logs with the Azure AD reporting API

Audit logs are published to the same pipeline as other activities for Azure Active Directory, so they can be accessed through the Azure Active Directory reporting API. For more information, see Get started with the Azure Active Directory reporting API.

Enable reporting API access

To allow script- or application-based access to the Azure AD reporting API, you need an Azure Active Directory application registered in your Azure AD B2C tenant with the following API permissions:

  • Microsoft Graph > Application permissions > AuditLog.Read.All

You can enable these permissions on an existing Azure Active Directory application registration within your B2C tenant, or create a new one specifically for use with audit log automation.

Follow these steps register an application, grant it the required Microsoft Graph API permissions, and then create a client secret.

Register application in Azure Active Directory

To register an application in your Azure AD B2C tenant, you can use the current Applications experience, or our new unified App registrations (Preview) experience. Learn more about the new experience.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Select the Directory + subscription filter in the top menu, and then select the directory that contains your Azure AD B2C tenant.
  3. In the left menu, select Azure Active Directory (not Azure AD B2C). Or, select All services and then search for and select Azure Active Directory.
  4. Under Manage, select App registrations (Legacy).
  5. Select New application registration.
  6. Enter a name for the application. For example, managementapp1.
  7. For Application type, select Web app / API.
  8. Enter any valid URL in Sign-on URL. For example, https://localhost. The endpoint doesn't need to be reachable, but must be a valid URL.
  9. Select Create.
  10. Record the Application ID that appears on the Registered app overview page. You use this value in a later step.

Assign API access permissions

  1. On the Registered app overview page, select Settings.
  2. Under API ACCESS, select Required permissions.
  3. Select Add, and then Select an API.
  4. Select Microsoft Graph, and then Select.
  5. Under APPLICATION PERMISSIONS, select Read all audit log data.
  6. Select the Select button, and then select Done.
  7. Select Grant permissions, and then select Yes.

Create client secret

  1. Under API ACCESS, select Keys.
  2. Enter a description for the key in the Key description box. For example, clientsecret1.
  3. Select a validity Duration and then select Save.
  4. Record the key's VALUE. You use this value for configuration in a later step.

You now have an application with the required API access, an application ID, and a key that you can use in your automation scripts. See the PowerShell script section later in this article for an example of how you can get activity events with a script.

Access the API

To download Azure AD B2C audit log events via the API, filter the logs on the B2C category. To filter by category, use the filter query string parameter when you call the Azure AD reporting API endpoint.$filter=loggedByService eq 'B2C' and activityDateTime gt 2019-09-10T02:28:17Z

PowerShell script

The following PowerShell script shows an example of how to query the Azure AD reporting API. After querying the API, it prints the logged events to standard output, then writes the JSON output to a file.

You can try this script in the Azure Cloud Shell. Be sure to update it with your application ID, client secret, and the name of your Azure AD B2C tenant.

# This script requires the registration of a Web Application in Azure Active Directory:

# Constants
$ClientID       = "your-client-application-id-here"       # Insert your application's client ID, a GUID (registered by Global Admin)
$ClientSecret   = "your-client-application-secret-here"   # Insert your application's client secret
$tenantdomain   = ""       # Insert your Azure AD B2C tenant; for example,
$loginURL       = ""
$resource       = ""           # Microsoft Graph API resource URI
$7daysago       = "{0:s}" -f (get-date).AddDays(-7) + "Z" # Use 'AddMinutes(-5)' to decrement minutes, for example
Write-Output "Searching for events starting $7daysago"

# Create HTTP header, get an OAuth2 access token based on client id, secret and tenant domain
$body       = @{grant_type="client_credentials";resource=$resource;client_id=$ClientID;client_secret=$ClientSecret}
$oauth      = Invoke-RestMethod -Method Post -Uri $loginURL/$tenantdomain/oauth2/token?api-version=1.0 -Body $body

# Parse audit report items, save output to file(s): auditX.json, where X = 0 thru n for number of nextLink pages
if ($oauth.access_token -ne $null) {
    $headerParams = @{'Authorization'="$($oauth.token_type) $($oauth.access_token)"}
    $url = "`$filter=loggedByService eq 'B2C' and activityDateTime gt  " + $7daysago

    # loop through each query page (1 through n)
    Do {
        # display each event on the console window
        Write-Output "Fetching data using Uri: $url"
        $myReport = (Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing -Headers $headerParams -Uri $url)
        foreach ($event in ($myReport.Content | ConvertFrom-Json).value) {
            Write-Output ($event | ConvertTo-Json)

        # save the query page to an output file
        Write-Output "Save the output to a file audit$i.json"
        $myReport.Content | Out-File -FilePath audit$i.json -Force
        $url = ($myReport.Content | ConvertFrom-Json).'@odata.nextLink'
        $i = $i+1
    } while($url -ne $null)
} else {
    Write-Host "ERROR: No Access Token"

Here's the JSON representation of the example activity event shown earlier in the article:

    "id": "B2C_DQO3J_4984536",
    "category": "Authentication",
    "correlationId": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000",
    "result": "success",
    "resultReason": "N/A",
    "activityDisplayName": "Issue an id_token to the application",
    "activityDateTime": "2019-09-14T18:13:17.0618117Z",
    "loggedByService": "B2C",
    "operationType": "",
    "initiatedBy": {
        "user": null,
        "app": {
            "appId": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000",
            "displayName": null,
            "servicePrincipalId": null,
            "servicePrincipalName": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"
    "targetResources": [
            "id": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000",
            "displayName": null,
            "type": "User",
            "userPrincipalName": null,
            "groupType": null,
            "modifiedProperties": []
    "additionalDetails": [
            "key": "TenantId",
            "value": ""
            "key": "PolicyId",
            "value": "B2C_1A_signup_signin"
            "key": "ApplicationId",
            "value": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"
            "key": "Client",
            "value": "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3809.132 Safari/537.36"
            "key": "IdentityProviderName",
            "value": "facebook"
            "key": "IdentityProviderApplicationId",
            "value": "0000000000000000"
            "key": "ClientIpAddress",
            "value": ""

Next steps

You can automate other administration tasks, for example, manage users with .NET.