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

Using the Sort Command

Sorting data is a common task even of end users. Fortunately, The Windows command line provides us with a Sort utility so ...

Discover More

Performing Simple Calculations Using the Calculator

The next time you need to perform calculations at your computer, there's no need to fire up a big spreadsheet program or ...

Discover More

Using Powercfg to List Your Existing Power Schemes

Windows allows you to define different power schemes that control how your computer uses power. This tip shows you how to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Tracking Down Who Installed or Removed a Program or App

Managing a computer system can often involve a good deal of detective work. This tip looks at how you can use your ...

Discover More

Deleting Events in Your Event Logs

You don't need to worry about event logs filling up your disk, but you still may want to clean them out eventually. This ...

Discover More

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
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 one more than 2?

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.