Is it possible to get audit logs when users view lists or list items in SharePoint Server 2016?

On the Configure Audit Settings page in SP2016 you can select to audit: "Opening or downloading documents, viewing items in lists, or viewing item properties." which leads one to believe that it is possible.

I have read Microsoft's documentation, but the wording is very vague, but they say that "Pages (such as .aspx) aren't considered documents".

I get opening of documents in the logs, but why can't I get it to work with list items? Or is it just not possible?

I found two posts online that would indicate that it might in fact not be possible: Get all list item ID's that have been read by user - from audit log - SPList.GetItemByUniqueId - value does not fall within the expected range https://www.ultimatewindowssecurity.com/sharepoint/auditpolicy/view/listitem.aspx

Thanks for any info!

1 Answer 1


You can try to use Run a custom report and select both the options : Opening and downloading documents and editing items, for me it worked and displayed both viewed and update actions on list items.

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  • Thanks for your input! I do get events in the audit log for Update and Edit of list items, but never for Viewing an item... and the results are the same with the pre-defined reports compared to a custom report. This guy here says: "...it seems that SharePoint 2013 doesn't record events for viewing a list item. Because when you view a list item you actually open a template, the audit log has an entry for that template and not the item."
    – greycloud
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 17:51
  • I'm leaning towards it being impossible to get Views of (custom) lists and list items therein to show up in Audit logs in SharePoint, despite Microsoft's wording in the GUI. I might open a Microsoft case soon to confirm this.
    – greycloud
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 15:37

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