What is the Purpose of the Security Event Log?

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 27, 2017)

There are several types of event logs maintained by the Windows operating system. One of these is the Security event log. Windows writes to this log when auditing is turned on. Writing to the Security log is reserved for Windows only. Other applications cannot write into this particular event log.

Like events written to other event logs, some of the important elements written to the Security log include the date and time when the event occurred, the event ID, and the event source. It's also important to note the Keywords in this log since they indicate what type of audit message the event represents (i.e., "Audit Success" or "Audit Failure"). (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Partial display of the Security event log.

Events can be viewed by using the Event Viewer, and by default they are presented in reverse chronological order (i.e., the most recent event is on top). You can, however, sort the events by any of the event columns by clicking the column header.

 This tip (12923) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

How the Registry is Organized

There may come a time when you need to view or even modify the registry. In such a case, it's good to know how the ...

Discover More

Creating a Disk Partition

Partitioning your disk offers a quick and efficient means to make good use of your disk resources. By creating disk ...

Discover More

Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

The Start Menu Search Box is a great addition to Windows. It can save you a great deal of time by putting frequently used ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

What is the Purpose of the Application Event Log?

The Application event log holds messages generated by applications and services. This tip explains more about it.

Discover More

Adjusting the Size of an Event Log

Event logs are used to store information about what goes on, behind the scenes, on your system. Whether you want to ...

Discover More

What is the Purpose of the System Event Log?

The System event log holds messages generated by device drivers. This tip explains more about it.

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 + 3?

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.