ULS log viewer for SharePoint 2013

Good news for all the on-premises SharePoint Infrastructure Admins and Developers. An improved ULS Log viewer for SharePoint 2013 has been released a few days ago. I was concerned for a couple of years that there wasn’t any movement on updating my number 1 favourite SharePoint tool. However, I did see a video where Bill Baer there was a hint of how bad the tool was and they’d do something about the tool.. so here it is – a new ULS Log Viewer……

Download it here:


Some new features:

1. Monitor multiple servers simultaneously


2. Locate specific log entries via command line

3. Highlight and personalise the output if a filter match occurs

Some fixes I have noticed:

1. More stability when working with the filters

2. Multiple fixes such as filtering on pause state

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2014/08/22/uls-viewing-like-a-boss-uls-viewer-is-now-available.aspx

Can we use it for SharePoint 2010?

Yes! It works well for SharePoint 2010. However, you would need to ensure that .NET 4.5.1 is installed on the server you run ULS Viewer on. With SharePoint 2010, .NET 3.5 is used and you might not find .NET 4.5.1 on your SharePoint 2010 servers.

Download Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (Offline Installer) here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=40779

I have tested it successfully on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Retrieve / Decrypt lost password from Application Pools in IIS SharePoint

If you don’t have access to your organisations password safe or if you or your team mate has forgotten to add a password to a certain service account used in SharePoint, it is possible to retrieve the password from IIS!

There is a way to find out the application pool identity password via command line thanks to the inetsrv appcmd! :)

Open IIS and take note of the application pool name that runs the application pool identity with the password you want to retrieve.
In my example, I have demonstrated the extract of the “SecurityTokenServiceApplicationPool“, which runs the SharePoint farm service account as its identity. So, if you are after another application pool, please replace this with the corresponding Application Pool name in your IIS.

Keep in mind – this works for any IIS application pool – SharePoint web app, SharePoint service applications or non SharePoint IIS / .NET sites application pools!

Open a command prompt and run this:

&$env:windir\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe list apppool "SecurityTokenServiceApplicationPool" /text:ProcessModel.Password


Clear SharePoint cache

It may be necessary to clear the SharePoint cache, depending on the circumstance and symptoms such as unexpected results with timer jobs may occur.

Clearing the SharePoint cache can be summaried by the following 4 steps:

1. Stop the Timer service on all servers in the farm

2. Backup the Cache.ini file on all servers in the farm

3. Delete XML files on all servers in the farm

4. Start the Timer service on all servers in the farm

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Have you tried the Merge-SPLogFile command when troubleshooting?

When troubleshooting SharePoint issues, the best way to filter out all the noise from your log files and sort it for easier troubleshooting is to use the ULS Log viewer tool.

Refer to my blog post on the ULS Log viewer comparison and verdict to get a feel for the other options and see how I got to my conclusion there. http://www.jeremytaylor.net/2012/07/14/sharepoint-uls-log-viewer-tool-comparison-and-verdict/

However, this ULS Log viewer tool does not display logs from other servers in the SharePoint farm, unless obviously its a single server farm.

The way to help you with a multiserver farm is to run the Merge-SPLogFile command in the SharePoint management shell. This command “merges” all logs from other servers in the farm and combines them into one ULS log file on the local server. That file can then be opened in your favourite ULS log viewer for troubleshooting.

Note: this works in both SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010.

So how do we use it?

Here is an example of how I use it to grab all logs between say 10AM and 10:30AM on the 23rd July 2013:

Merge-SPLogFile -Path "D:\Temp\MergedLog-20130723-1000-1030.log" -StartTime "23/07/2013 10:00:00" -EndTime "23/07/2013 10:30:00"

If I know the correlation ID, then I would recommend you run the following command after updating it to your correlation ID:

Merge-SPLogFile -Path D:\Temp\MergedLog-419ac99c-81b2-0077-378d-3c23767d2955.log -Correlation 419ac99c-81b2-0077-378d-3c23767d2955




Merge-SPLogFile looks across all the servers in the farm, aggregates the logs with the correlation ID and creates the aggregated .log file.

The merged log file containing only the  information you specified and require. In this case, a certain correlation ID.

The merged log file containing only the information you specified and require. In this case, a certain correlation ID.


Open the log file up in ULSViewer!

Open the log file up in ULSViewer!


There are a lot more examples of what you can do with Merge-SPLogFile you can get by typing this in the SharePoint management shell:

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SharePoint ULS log viewer tool comparison and verdict

There has been some confusion on which SharePoint ULS log viewer to use when troubleshooting SharePoint issues. In May 2010, I blogged about the SharePoint 2010 ULS Log viewer published by Microsoft (http://www.jeremytaylor.net/2010/05/03/sharepoint-2010-uls-log-viewer).

SharePoint 2013 Alert: In August 2014, I blogged about a re-released ULS Viewer for SharePoint 2013 enhanced by Microsoft.

Read more about it here: http://www.jeremytaylor.net/2014/08/27/uls-log-viewer-sharepoint-2013/

In this post, I have discussed all the ULS log viewer tools here with screenshots and my final verdict..

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SharePoint Diagnostic Studio 2010

When troubleshooting SharePoint 2010 issues, you often find the need to have a tool that can give you performance, availability and usage metrics over a period of time across the farm.

One such tool is Microsoft’s SharePoint Diagnostic Studio 2010 that comes free as part of the SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit v2.0.
Download here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=20022

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SharePoint ULS log viewer

For the updated ULS Viewer go to: http://www.jeremytaylor.net/2014/08/27/uls-log-viewer-sharepoint-2013/

When using SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013, you will notice much said about the “ULS logging”.  Here is a tool that greatly helps when troubleshooting ULS log files. Its from Microsoft but its unsupported now as they have stopped further development / improvements on it.


ULSViewer allows users to open a ULS log file and display its contents in a user friendly format. Users can then perform advanced functions such as filtering, sorting, highlighting, loading logs, appending logs, etc in order to single out the data that is important to the user. This information can be used to diagnose problems with machines running ULS services, or to monitor machines and the events they create in realtime.

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