Deleting Events in Your Event Logs

by Barry Dysert
(last updated June 6, 2016)

Event logs do take up some space on your hard drive, but they don't grow forever. By default, every event log has a retention policy that indicates old events are to be overwritten by new events whenever the event log gets full. For various reasons, though, you may want to delete events from your event logs. Unfortunately, you cannot delete specific events. You can, however, clear the entire log.

If you want to totally clear a log so that it's empty, start the Event Viewer by using the search capabilities of Windows to look for "Event Viewer" (without the quote marks). Once the program is started, use the left pane to navigate to the log you want to clear. Right-click on the log and select Properties. Windows displays the Log Properties dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Viewing an event log's properties.

By clicking the Clear Log button in the lower-right corner, you can totally clear that event log.

Even though you can't delete specific events from a log, it may be useful to create a custom view so that you're only looking at the events of interest instead of everything. To create a custom view, click the log for which you want to create the view, then on the right pane, click the "Create Custom View" link. Unless/until Microsoft gives us the ability to delete specific events, views are probably as close as we're going to get.

 This tip (11722) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Refreshing the Explorer Window

It's possible that the Windows Explorer window may occasionally get out of sync with the data it's displaying. You can effect ...

Discover More

What is the Purpose of the Security Event Log?

The Security event log captures success and failure audit events when auditing is turned on. This tip explains a bit more ...

Discover More

Using the Find Command

Finding data within files is a common need. If what you're looking for is in a flat file, you can find what you're after ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding Event Logs

Windows event logs are great resources to see what is "invisibly" going on with your system. By understanding the various ...

Discover More

Creating a Custom View in the Event Viewer

Creating a custom view in the Event Viewer allows you quick access to those events you're interested in watching over time. ...

Discover More

Filtering Event Logs

Filtering a log in the Event Viewer allows you quick access to those events you're interested in watching over time. This tip ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.