I just spent a fair amount of time troubleshooting an issue that required me to look in the ULS logs for the root cause. What tools are recommended for searching/filtering/reading ULS logs?

  • We can compare features and vote for favourites based on our experience. If James suggests the ULSViewer (which I also use), I'm likely to give his experience a lot of consideration. Apr 8, 2011 at 21:50
  • 1
    If you are struggling to figure out how to use ULS Viewer, check this post out then, sharepointbulletin.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/… Feb 3, 2014 at 15:42

14 Answers 14


Realtime? ULSViewer wins hands down: http://www.harbar.net/archive/2010/10/06/ulsviewer-ndash-the-tool-that-no-sharepoint-practitioner-should-be.aspx

Update: ULS has been resumed officially with updates (Aug 2014) https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/wbaer/2014/08/22/uls-viewing-like-a-boss-uls-viewer-is-now-available/


If you are looking to dive deep and investigate all facets of the issue, including the ULS, IIS, event logs and even performance logs, you might want to look into the SharePoint Diagnostics (SPDiag) tool that is part of SharePoint Administration Toolkit, a free tool from Microsoft.

This compiles all of the logs from all servers across the farm lets you get a bird's eye view of what was going on at the given time.

It does take a few steps to set up but really can help troubleshoot an issue.

Documentation can be found on TechNet.

  • Does it work with Sharepoint 2010?
    – Dennis G
    Apr 9, 2011 at 9:06
  • There is no mention of SP2010 in the "question", but a new version just arrived so i updated Daves answer with new urls May 4, 2011 at 6:34

UlsViewer is a no brainer, you got to have it. But for debugging realtime on several web front end servers I still prefer SPTraceView by Hristo Pavlov.

This unique tool lets you watch ULS errors as they occur from multiple WFE. You install it on all WFE and one is chosen as receiver. This way you can monitor behaviour even though you don't know what WFE your users are having errors with.

It only supports MOSS currently.


Also have a look at http://spcorrelationviewwp.codeplex.com/, which allows you to retrieve the information recorded in the ULS log tagged with a specific correlation ID without leaving your site since it's a webpart.

enter image description here


The Merge-SPLogFile cmdlet is invaluable when working in a multiserver farm environment. It collects the log files from all servers into a single local file. It supports basic filtering to reduce the size of the log file that is collected.


ULS Log Reader from SPSDev: http://www.spsdev.com/UlsReader.aspx.


Stefan Gordon's ULS Viewer

enter image description here

  • Check out the original ULSViewer. It wins by far again Stefan Gordon's tool.
    – Dennis G
    Apr 9, 2011 at 9:04

Try SharePoint Log Reader on codeplex. The ability to filter on category and correlation id is great. It's a WPF application.


I want to link to my personal favourite: the MIT licensed SharePoint Log Viewer. With it one can see all logs from the entire farm live, filter by all fields, and much more.


The SharePoint ULS Viewer by Dan Winter, Microsoft.

Here is a list of SharePoint ULS log viewers out there along with comparison of features and the verdict on which one is the best:



Not being satisfied with any of the SharePoint log viewers out there, I created my own


MasterLogViewer screen shot


SharePoint LogViewer - View ULS logs the easy and efficient way http://sharepointlogviewer.codeplex.com/

SharePoint LogViewer - View ULS logs the easy and efficient way

  • It doesn't list the server name of the log viewed...
    – Dennis
    Aug 4 at 16:14

You can also check our tool SysKit Insights. We took a different approach to solve this problem, we do gather logs similar to other tools mentioned, but we also provide you with a full-blown search engine to query these logs. The built-in alerting system allows you to subscribe to important alerts that can be sent as exceptions are logged into ULS logs. We offer Express edition of Insights for free.

enter image description here

  • This is a big setup that require a SQL DB (no SQL Express available) and (preferably) a dedicated index disk.
    – Dennis
    Aug 4 at 16:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.