How to View a Computer's Log On History?

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In the world of modern computing, individuals who use a desktop or laptop device, be it their own machine or a public station, are required to log on in order to access the full functionality of the machine. Not only is a computer login interface an excellent way to personalize content, but it can also allow administrators of the device to view a complete record of all login attempts. With that in mind, understanding how to access your Windows login history may provide you with a valuable overview of your computer and how it's being used. Fortunately, accessing your computer log can be accomplished quickly and easily.

Your PC History Log

In order to determine how often and precisely when your device is being used, you'll need to access your computer's Event Viewer. To get started, press your "Window" key plus the "R" button, which should bring up the "Run" dialog window. When this window appears, you'll need to manually activate the Event Viewer by typing "eventvwr.msc." After pressing enter, the Event Viewer window should open on your desktop. If it doesn't, this may mean that you typed in the key commands incorrectly.

Reviewing Windows Server Login Log

Once you've opened the Event Viewer window, you'll need to click on the "Windows Log" button, followed by the "Security" listing within the directory. Once this is accomplished, you'll likely be able to view a complete listing of login attempts on the computer, which will include both date and time and the specific action which occurred, such as logons and logoffs. This is not the full extent of review available to you, however. You can also click the "Special Logon" entry in this window to view the exact login name used. Once you've clicked "Special Logon," the login account name will be displayed under the "Account Name" tab.

Your Computer Log and Security

Keep in mind that, while this information can help shed light on any activity taking place with your computer that you may not have known about, it's possible for a user to delete any log files present in the Event Viewer. With that in mind, you shouldn't consider this record of information to be foolproof. If you suspect that an unauthorized user may be accessing your computer, it's in your best interest to change all login information and ensure that access is restricted solely to those that you trust explicitly. Hopefully, these steps will help you eliminate any anomalies taking place with your computer.

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