How to Export Event Viewer Logs

By Janet Leste

Windows Event Viewer stores important troubleshooting information about the computer hardware and operating system and can provide valuable insight for solving a variety of problems that may arise. When a log reaches capacity, older events get overwritten by newer events and important troubleshooting information may be lost. To save this information so it can be viewed later, many users find it useful to export the contents of the logs at a regular interval. Windows logs can be exported in a variety of formats including log-file format (*.evt), comma delimited (*.csv) or as a text file (*.txt). If you are using Windows 7, they can also be exported in XML (*.xml) format.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Windows NT or later

Step 1

Click the "Start" menu and type "eventvwr.msc" into the Windows 7 "Search" field and press the "Enter" key on your keyboard. If you are using an earlier version of Windows, click the "Start" menu, select "Run...," type "eventvwr.msc," and press the "OK" button.

Step 2

Highlight the event log you wish to export. Note that if you want to export the security log, you must be logged on with an account that is a member of the "Administrators" local security group.

Step 3

Select "Save Log File as..." from the "Action" menu.

Step 4

Select one of the available file formats from the "Save as type" drop-down menu.

Step 5

Enter a meaningful name for the file. For example, you might save the Application log as "AppLog_mmddyy.evt," where "mmddyy" represent the current date.

Step 6

Click the "Save" button.

Tips & Warnings

  • Log files saved in a comma delimited (*.csv) or text (*.txt) format can be opened in a word processing or spreadsheet program, but the binary data that is stored with some log entries will be lost. Files saved in the event log (*.evt) format retain all data, but can only be opened from the Event Viewer program.
  • You can only export logs in the event log (*.evt) format from the local computer. If you are using Event Viewer to view the logs of a remote computer, you must export log files in either a comma delimited (*.csv) or text (*.txt) format.