How to delete "Saved Logs" from the Event Viewer


Symptoms


If you frequently view many .EVT or .EVTX files in Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc) you may notice a large number of files have accumulated under Saved Logs.  These entries are persistent even if the original .EVT and .EVTX files have been deleted.

Cause


Event viewer stores saved log locations in .XML format.  The .XML files can be found in the following directory.

%programdata%\Microsoft\Event Viewer\ExternalLogs

 

Resolution


The following command can be run from a command prompt to purge the Saved Logs.

del /s /q %programdata%\microsoft\eventv~1\extern~1

You can also browse to the following location and delete the logs manually:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Event Viewer\ExternalLogs

Note: The contents of this folder are hidden so you must turn on Show Hidden Files and turn off Hide Protected Operating System Files to see them.

More Information


Event Viewer reads the saved log locations when it starts and saves them when it is closed.  The following actions should be taken to guarantee Saved Logs are deleted properly.

  • Close all instances of Event Viewer (MMC.EXE) before attempting to clear Saved Logs from a command prompt.
  • Make sure only one instance of Event Viewer is open if you are manually deleting Saved Logs from the GUI.