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View a SQL Server Audit Log


This topic describes how to view a SQL Server audit log in SQL Server 2016 by using SQL Server Management Studio.

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Requires the CONTROL SERVER permission.

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To view a SQL Server audit log

  1. In Object Explorer, expand the Security folder.

  2. Expand the Audits folder.

  3. Right-click the audit log that you want to view and select View Audit Logs. This opens the Log File Viewer – server_name dialog box. For more information, see Log File Viewer F1 Help.

  4. When finished, click Close.

Microsoft recommends viewing the audit log by using the Log File Viewer. However, if you are creating an automated monitoring system, the information in the audit file can be read directly by using the sys.fn_get_audit_file (Transact-SQL) function. Reading the file directly returns data in a slightly different (unprocessed) format. See sys.fn_get_audit_file for more information.

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