View SQL Server Agent Error Log (SQL Server Management Studio)

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server yesAzure SQL Database (Managed Instance only) noAzure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) noParallel Data Warehouse


On Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, most, but not all SQL Server Agent features are currently supported. See Azure SQL Database Managed Instance T-SQL differences from SQL Server for details.

This topic describes how to view the SQL Server Agent error log in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio.

Log File Viewer displays log information from many different components. When Log File Viewer is open, use the Select logs pane to select the logs you want to display. Each log displays columns appropriate to that kind of log. The logs that are available depend on how Log File Viewer is opened.

Before You Begin

Limitations and Restrictions

Object Explorer only displays the SQL Server Agent node if you have permission to use it.



To perform its functions, SQL Server Agent must be configured to use the credentials of an account that is a member of the sysadmin fixed server role in SQL Server. The account must have the following Windows permissions:

  • Log on as a service (SeServiceLogonRight)

  • Replace a process-level token (SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege)

  • Bypass traverse checking (SeChangeNotifyPrivilege)

  • Adjust memory quotas for a process (SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege)

For more information about the Windows permissions required for the SQL Server Agent service account, see Selecting an Account for SQL Server Agent Service and Setting Up Windows Service Accounts.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To view the SQL Server Agent error log

  1. In Object Explorer, click the plus sign to expand the server that contains the SQL Server Agent error log that you want to view.

  2. Click the plus sign to expand SQL Server Agent.

  3. Click the plus sign to expand the Error Logs folder.

  4. Right-click the error log you want to view and select View Agent Log.

    The following options are available in the Log File Viewer -server_name dialog box:

    Load Log
    Open a dialog box where you can specify a log file to load.

    Open a dialog box that lets you export the information that is shown in the Log file summary grid to a text file.

    Refresh the view of the selected logs. The Refresh button rereads the selected logs from the target server while applying any filter settings.

    Open a dialog box that lets you specify settings that are used to filter the log file, such as Connection, Date, or other General filter criteria.

    Search the log file for specific text. Searching with wildcard characters is not supported.

    Stops loading the log file entries. For example, you can use this option if a remote or offline log file takes a long time to load, and you only want to view the most recent entries.

    Log file summary
    This information panel displays a summary of the log file filtering. If the file is not filtered, you will see the following text, No filter applied. If a filter is applied to the log, you will see the following text, Filter log entries where: .

    Selected row details
    Select a row to display additional details about the selected event row at the bottom of the page. The columns can be reordered by dragging them to new locations in the grid. The columns can be resized by dragging the column separator bars in the grid header to the left or right. Double-click the column separator bars in the grid header to automatically size the column to the content width.

    The name of the instance on which the event occurred. This is displayed as computer name\instance name.

    Displays the date of the event.

    Displays the source feature from which the event is created, such as the name of the service (MSSQLSERVER, for example). This does not appear for all log types.

    Displays any messages associated with the event.

    Log Type
    Displays the type of log to which the event belongs. All selected logs appear in the log file summary window.

    Log Source
    Displays a description of the source log in which the event is captured.

  5. When finished, click Close.