How to check Windows 11 error logs

by Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take... read more
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  • If you have been facing issues with the computer, from an application crashing frequently to a BSOD error, the Windows 11 error logs could help find the underlying cause.
  • Learn how to check error logs, filter them, and create custom views.
  • Also, find out how easy it really is to create a log file in Windows 11. 
Check error logs in Windows 11

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Whenever you encounter an error in Windows, it certainly is a cause of concern. But, we often do not bother discovering what caused it or don’t know how to. If you want to find out, read this article to learn how to check error logs in Windows 11.

Error logs, as the name suggests, are the log files that store all the information as to why the error happened, the program or process that lead to it, along the exact date and time of it. But it’s certainly not easy to decipher the information listed there.

Therefore, we have dedicated this guide to help you understand how to check the error logs in Windows 11, the various types, add filters, and clear them.

Though some may consider it advanced troubleshooting, it’s actually quite simple and something all Windows users must know.

Why do I need to check Windows 11 error logs?

Before we delve into the whole technical aspect, it’s imperative that you know why checking error logs is critical in Windows 11, and the previous iterations as well.

Say, your computer crashes frequently or encounters a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) error. How do you find out the underlying issue? You go to the event logs, check for the one created at the time of the crash, look through it, and find what caused it.

Sounds simple, right! Well, there are other intricacies involved but this should paint a clear picture as to why it’s important that you check the error logs in Windows 11.

Though do remember that you are likely to come across a lot of errors and warnings here, and there’s nothing to panic about. If you don’t notice any problem with the system, simply ignore these.

Applications or services might not load from time to time, or even crash. But the OS is more than capable of fixing these minor issues, and if you come across them, it’s safe to move forward, given your computer works fine.

Take the below example for instance. A service vgc, which has to do with the Valorant game, got terminated unexpectedly, but we didn’t face any problem playing the game. Most likely, Windows would have managed to run the service on subsequent attempts.

Error log for a service that got terminated unexpectedly

However, if we had encountered problems with the game, this error log would have helped find the root cause for it.

Now that you know checking errors logs in Windows 11 is important, let’s now find out how you do it.

How do I check error logs in Windows 11?

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Event Viewer in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result.Launch Event Viewer to check Windows 11 error logs
  2. Double-click on Windows Logs in the navigation pane on the left.Windows 11 error logs
  3. You will now find the five different categories. Select any of these, and all the error logs under it will be listed on the right.Select category
  4. Now, click on any of the error logs to view all the relevant information about them.Click on error log

You now know how to check the Windows 11 error logs, but just knowing that won’t suffice. There’s still a lot out there to understand before you can actually make some sense out of these logs, and use them to your advantage.

How to understand Windows 11 error logs?

When you view a log, the general details and the Event ID is critical in identifying and eliminating the error. Apart from that, there’s an Event Log Online Help link at the bottom, which may provide some valuable insights.

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For instance, here’s a Windows 11 error log when the relevant driver for a device failed to load.

Log in Event Viewer

Are you able to make out which driver failed or the device that it was for? Probably not, and neither were we initially. But the 219 Event ID helped find out a lot of information along with the relevant fixes for the problem.

We just did a Google search for this Event ID and there were a plethora of results. Going from not knowing much to finding out the exact cause and fixes didn’t take us more than a few minutes. But this requires a proper understanding of Windows 11 error logs.

But, it’s important to mention here that not all error logs will be as descriptive. Some might have things that you wouldn’t be able to comprehend or use jargon excessively. No matter the case, a simple Google search would suffice.

What are the different types of error logs?

When you go through the Windows 11 error logs, there are basically three important categories, referred to as Event Level, under which these are placed. And, the categories define the severity of the event for which the log is created. The three categories are as follows:

  • Information: These are created when an operation goes through successfully. For instance, when a driver is loaded or an application is launched without encountering any issues.
  • Warning: These are created when the OS finds an issue with the system. These issues do not pose an imminent risk, but could be problematic in the future. For instance, if you are running low on disk space, a log will be created.
  • Error: These indicate a major problem, though most of the time, Windows takes care of these as well. As an example, if a driver or service does not load, an error log will be created. But, these are the most critical ones of all.

If you are identifying problems with the PC, ignore the Information logs, go through the Warning logs, but pay special attention to the ones categorized as Error, since these are most likely to record the problem you are looking for.

When you open the Event Viewer in Windows 11, it will list out all three, but identifying all logs for one of these levels will take up a lot of your time. This is where filtering of error logs comes to your aid. Check the next section to find out how you can do that.

How can I filter error logs?

  1. Open the Event Viewer, navigate to the particular category of logs from the left, and then click on Filter Current Log on the right.Filter current log
  2. Next, click on the Logged dropdown menu to select the duration for which you want to check the logs.Logged dropdown menu
  3. Now, select a time duration from the list of options. You can also choose the last option to create a custom range.Select duration to view Windows 11 error logs
  4. Once done, tick the checkboxes for the Event Levels that you want to filter.Event level
  5. Finally, click on OK at the bottom to filter the error logs.click OK to view Windows 11 error logs
  6. All the errors logs that fall under the choosen filters will now be listed.Windows 11 error logs are now listed

We selected the duration as 24 hours, and level as Error, and filtered the logs. Event Viewer then listed the four Windows 11 error logs that were created during that time.

How to create a custom view to check a particular category and level of logs in Windows 11?

  1. Open the Event Viewer and click on Create Custom View on the right.Create custom view
  2. Next, select the duration and Event Level, as you did earlier when creating a filter.Choose duration and event level
  3. With the By logs option selected, click on the Event logs dropdown menu, double-click on the Windows Logs entry to expand and view the various categories, and tick the checkboxes for the desired ones.Select the desired entry to view Windows 11 error logs
  4. Now, click on OK at the bottom to set filters for the new custom view.OK
  5. Enter a Name and Description for the custom view and click on OK.Enter name and duration to view Windows 11 error logs
  6. The new custom view will now be listed on the left, and all logs falling under it on the right.Custom view created

How can I clear error logs in Windows 11?

  1. Launch the Event Viewer, navigate to the relevant category, and click on Clear Log from the list of options on the right.Clear Windows 11 error logs
  2. You now have two options, either Save and Clear the error logs or directly Clear them. Choose the desired option. Choose an option
  3. If you selected Save and clear, choose the location for the file, add a name for it and click on Save.Add name and choose location
  4. Once saved, they error logs will be cleared right away and there will be none listed under that particular category.Windows 11 error logs cleared
  5. In case you saved the error logs before deleting them, these can be found under Saved Logs in the navigation pane on the left.check cleared Windows 11 error logs

The OS creates thousands of logs for each type of event, be it the successful launch of a driver and service or the most fatal errors. Like any other file, these too consume space on your hard disk, no matter how small it is.

So, if you are running out of space, or just want a more organized Event Viewer, clearing the Windows 11 error logs may help.

How do I create my own log file in Windows 11?

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Notepad in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Launch Notepad
  2. Enter .LOG in the very first line of the Notepad..LOG
  3. Click on the File menu, and select Save from the list of options.Save to create Windows 11 error logs
  4. Next, choose the location and name for the file, and click on Save at the bottom. Now, close the Notepad.Enter name
  5. Once the log file is created, the current date and time will be mentioned everytime you open it, and you can enter whatever you want to and hit Ctrl + S to save it.type in log file to create Windows 11 error logs
  6. Now, when you open the same log file the next time, the previously added entry will be listed under that date and time, and the current date and time will again be mentioned below the last entry.Reopen log file

A log file is used to basically record data. Windows uses it for errors, warnings, and information, while you can use it for other purposes.

Creating a log file is simple, and so is maintaining it. Say, you want to record the progress for a book that you are reading, just create a log file, and enter the number of pages you read each day, or as you may please.

That’s all you need to know about Windows 11 error logs. From now on, identifying the underlying cause and troubleshooting both trivial and intricate errors should not be a problem anymore.

Also, if you feel that Event Viewer does not meet all your requirements, check the best apps to view errors logs in Windows 11.

Do not hesitate to drop a comment if you have any queries or would like us to add a related topic.

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