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What Are Log Files in Windows 10, and How Can You Delete Them?

Just like a well-maintained website, where all server activities are monitored and logged into a nice file, Windows 10 does the same for its Operating System. On a high-level, specifically, Windows 10 log files, or just “Windows Logs,” are categorized by roles/categories/event types — so to speak, such as, Application logs, security logs, etc.

Commonly, Windows 10 log files are also referred to as “Event Viewer” since that’s the place you need to go to view your Windows 10 logs. These said records are one of the segments of the entire Event Viewer ecosystem — which accounts for other logging activities as well — although, obviously, they belong to Windows 10 itself.

windows 10 logs are part of the event viewer ecosystem

What Information Does the Windows 10 Log Files Display?

If this is your first time looking at the Event Viewer, it may feel a bit overwhelming. But worry not, as a regular Windows 10 user, you don’t really have to bother with the intricacies involved here. The entire purpose of an “Event Viewer” is for diagnostic reasons and for someone who’s very technical. On a day-to-day basis, it’s not a solution an average Windows 10 users turn towards. (Still, good to know it’s there).

Coming to the point, there are tons of exact details provided for each event type — which I’d encourage that you explore further; however, I will cover the basic anatomy and definitions.

Types of Windows 10 Events/Logs

  1. Application Events/logs: These are records of events from the programs on your OS.
  2. Security Events/logs: Responsible for displaying security events such as logging on. Note that Windows likes to refer to these as “audits.”
  3. Setup Events/logs: Supposedly and mainly useful for enterprise organizations, these events logs activities such as Windows updates.
  4. System Events/logs: Pertains to system items files, and drivers.
  5. Forwarded Events/logs: Refers to the events that were forwarded to you from other computers. When you try to view this, it might be empty for you — and that’s normal.
types of windows 10 events
Types of Windows Logs

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How to Delete Windows 10 Log Files?

In order to delete the files, you’d need to first navigate to the Event Viewer. There have been multiple references to it, but up until this point, it hasn’t been demonstrated how to get there.

To open Event Viewer, either search for it in the start menu, or press the Windows Key + r > and then type in–> “eventvwr.msc” (without the quotes).

how to open event viewer in windows 10
Either search for it, or use the shortcut from the windows run command.

Next, you’d need to select the type of Windows 10 log event (such as, application, security, etc.), and either right-click on it, to select “clear log” (Screenshot to follow), OR, from the Actions pane, do the same.

Alternatively, you can go to properties, to discover the identical choice of clearing the log.

clearing windows 10 log files
All three methods will help you achieve the same result.

As it may apply to your curiosity, if you need to know how much space each Windows 10 event type is occupying, you can simply click on the folder, and a summary window in the middle will highlight the disk usage.

windows 10 log files disk usage
Clicking on the “Windows logs” folder will give you a summary of each event, the number of events within themselves, and the size.

Note about the image^: You’ll see the minimal sizes for mine, because I’ve cleared my logs.

Side Note: If, for some reason, you’d like to retain the log files for your records before deleting, Windows allows you to export those files.

To do so, while you’re investigating the logs, from the Actions pane, you can either save all of the logs, or an individual one (image below, for reference).

saving windows 10 log files

Conclusion

To a regular user, the log files do not play any role in their everyday life whatsoever. And while their existence is excellent for diagnostic reasons, the log files end up occupying extra disk space — which could be utilized for other purposes and deliberate arbitrary reasons.

Besides, as noticed, there were a few other logs outside of Windows’ own, that further contributes to disk usage — being nothing but an encumbrance. In all honesty, if the goal is to not have these files in your system, you’d have to routinely go into the Event Viewer and clear all the logs.

There is, however, a better alternative that this post discusses. And although it covers the same points as this one too, more precisely, it goes over automating the process through command prompt. Be sure to check it out!

Note: For the purposes of this post, it should be assumed that windows 10 log files are explicitly being referred to just the “Windows Logs.” Any other similar references should follow the same assumption.