View an event log

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To view an event log

  1. Open Event Viewer.

  2. In the console tree, click the log you want to view.

  3. In the details pane, view the list of individual events.

  4. If you want to see more details about a specific event, in the details pane, double-click the event.


  • Performing this task does not require you to have administrative credentials. Therefore, as a security best practice, consider performing this task as a user without administrative credentials.. However, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the target computer to open the Security log, or any log when targeting a remote computer.

  • To open Event Viewer, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Event Viewer.

  • To refresh the view, on the Action menu, click Refresh. When you open a log, Event Viewer displays the current information for the log. While you view the log, the display is not updated unless you refresh the Event Viewer window. If you switch to another log and then return to the first log, the display for the first log is automatically refreshed. When you refresh the view of an event log, only the view is updated, no changes are made to the log. The Refresh command is not available for archived logs, because those files can no longer be updated.

  • For more information about the event header in the details pane, click "The event header" in Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


The event header
Add another view of an event log
Search for specific events
Connect to another computer in Event Viewer
Event Viewer overview