WEVTUTIL (Windows Events Command Line Utility) is a command-line tool included in Windows operating systems designed for retrieving information about event logs and publishers. It can also be used to export, archive, and clear logs. This tool is crucial for system administrators and forensics analysts who need to manage event logs or automate log archival processes effectively.


The basic syntax for WEVTUTIL comprises a few subcommands and possible options depending on the subcommand:

WEVTUTIL subcommand [arguments]

The primary subcommands include:

  • el or enum-logs: Lists all event logs.
  • gl or get-log: Retrieves information about a specific log.
  • sl or set-log: Modifies settings of a specific log.
  • ep or enum-publishers: Lists all event publishers.
  • gp or get-publisher: Retrieves information about a specific publisher.
  • epl or export-log: Exports events from a specified log.
  • al or archive-log: Archives a specified log.
  • cl or clear-log: Clears a specified log.

Each subcommand may require additional arguments or flags, which should be consulted in the command’s help documentation or online resources.


Each of the WEVTUTIL subcommands has its own set of options:

  • /lf:true: In epl subcommand, indicates that the export should be in a locale-independent format.
  • /ow:true: In set-log, allows overwriting of existing events.
  • /ab:true: In archive-log, auto-backup log when full.

Options like /query or /format can modify the output format:

  • /format:[XML|PlainText|etc]: Specifies the output format, useful in scripts where parsing might be needed.


Listing All Event Logs


Exporting an Event Log

Export the Application log to a file:

WEVTUTIL epl Application C:\backups\applog.evtx

Clearing an Event Log

Clear the System log:

WEVTUTIL cl System

Common Issues

  • Permission Issues: Users might encounter permission errors if they don’t run WEVTUTIL with administrative privileges. Running Command Prompt as Administrator can resolve this.
  • Syntax Errors: Incorrect command syntax or typos in log names can lead to errors. Checking the exact syntax for each subcommand and using tab completion for log names can help avoid these.


WEVTUTIL can be combined with other commands like SCHTASKS for scheduling regular log backups or clear operations:

SCHTASKS /Create /SC DAILY /TN BackupLogs /TR "WEVTUTIL al System C:\backups\systemlog.evtx"
  • EVENTVWR: Windows Event Viewer, a graphical tool to view and manage event logs.
  • TASKSCHD: Task Scheduler for automating tasks, which can utilize WEVTUTIL for log management.

For further documentation, refer to the Windows official documentation for WEVTUTIL.

This manual page will assist in leveraging WEVTUTIL to enhance event log management and automation.