Manage administrator audit logging

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2016-03-28

Learn how to configure, enable, and disable administrator audit logging in Exchange 2016, and how to view the admit audit log settings.

Administrator audit logging in Exchange Server 2016 enables you to create a log entry each time a specified cmdlet is run. Log entries provide you with information about what cmdlet was run, which parameters were used, who ran the cmdlet, and what objects were affected. For more information about administrator audit logging, see Administrator audit logging in Exchange 2016.

Admin audit logging tasks

Specify the cmdlets to be audited

Specify the parameters to be audited

Specify the admin audit log age limit

Enable or disable logging of Test cmdlets

Disable admin audit logging

Enable admin audit logging

View admin audit logging settings

  • Estimated time to complete each procedure: less than 5 minutes

  • You can only use PowerShell to perform this procedure. To learn how to open the Exchange Management Shell in your on-premises Exchange organization, see Open the Exchange Management Shell.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Administrator audit logging" entry in the Exchange infrastructure and PowerShell permissions topic.

  • Admin audit logging relies on Active Directory replication to replicate the configuration settings you specify to the domain controllers in your organization. Depending on your replication settings, the changes you make may not be immediately applied to all Exchange 2016 servers in your organization.

  • Changes to the audit log configuration are refreshed every 60 minutes on computers that have the Exchange Management Shell open at the time a configuration change is made. If you want to apply the changes immediately, close and then open the Exchange Management Shell again on each computer.

  • A command may take up to 15 minutes after it's run to appear in audit log search results. This is because audit log entries must be indexed before they can be searched. If a command doesn't appear in the administrator audit log, wait a few minutes and run the search again.

By default, audit logging creates a log entry for every cmdlet that's run. If you're enabling audit logging for the first time and want this behavior, you don't have to change the cmdlet audit list. If you've previously specified cmdlets to audit and now want to audit all cmdlets, you can audit all cmdlets by specifying the asterisk (*) wildcard character with the AdminAuditLogCmdlets parameter on the Set-AdminAuditLogConfig cmdlet, as shown in the following command.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogCmdlets *

You can specify which cmdlets to audit by providing a list of cmdlets using the AdminAuditLogCmdlets parameter. When you provide the list of cmdlets to audit, you can provide single cmdlets, cmdlets with the asterisk (*) wildcard characters, or a mix of both. Each entry in the list is separated by commas. The following values are all valid:

  • New-Mailbox

  • *TransportRule

  • *Management*

  • Set-Transport*

This example audits the cmdlets specified in the preceding list.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogCmdlets New-Mailbox, *TransportRule, *Management*, Set-Transport*

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-AdminAuditLogConfig.

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By default, audit logging creates a log entry for every cmdlet that's run, regardless of the parameters specified. If you're enabling audit logging for the first time and want this behavior, you don't have to change the parameter audit list. If you've previously specified parameters to audit and now want to audit all parameters, you can do so by specifying the asterisk (*) wildcard character with the AdminAuditLogParameters parameter on the Set-AdminAuditLogConfig cmdlet, as shown in the following command.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogParameters *

You can specify which parameters you want to audit by using the AdminAuditLogParameters parameter. When you provide the list of parameters to audit, you can provide single parameters, parameters with the asterisk (*) wildcard characters, or a mix of both. Each entry in the list is separated by commas. The following values are all valid:

  • Database

  • *Address*

  • Custom*

  • *Region

noteNote:
For an audit log entry to be created when a command is run, the command must include at least one or more parameters that exist on at least one or more cmdlets specified with the AdminAuditLogCmdlets parameter.

This example audits the parameters specified in the preceding list.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogParameters Database, *Address*, Custom*, *Region

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-AdminAuditLogConfig.

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The audit log age limit determines how long audit log entries will be retained. When a log entry exceeds the age limit, it's deleted. The default is 90 days.

You can specifiy the age limit in days. Or you can specify the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds that audit log entries should be kept. To specify a value more specific than days, use the format dd.hh.mm:ss where the following applies:

  • dd   Number of days to keep the audit log entry

  • hh   Number of hours to keep the audit log entry

  • mm   Number of minutes to keep the audit log entry

  • ss   Number of seconds to keep the audit log entry

CautionCaution:
You can set the audit log age limit to a value that's less than the current age limit. If you do this, any audit log entry whose age exceeds the new age limit will be deleted.
If you set the age limit to 0, Exchange deletes all the entries in the audit log.
We recommend that you assign permissions to configure the audit log age limit only to highly trusted users.

This example specifies an age limit of two years and six months.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogAgeLimit 913

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-AdminAuditLogConfig.

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Cmdlets that start with the verb Test aren't logged by default. This is because Test cmdlets can generate a significant amount of data in a short time. Only enable the logging of Test cmdlets for short periods of time.

This command enables the logging of Test cmdlets.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -TestCmdletLoggingEnabled $true

This command disables the logging of Test cmdlets.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -TestCmdletLoggingEnabled $false

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-AdminAuditLogConfig.

To disable admin audit logging, use the following command.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogEnabled $false

To enable admin audit logging, use the following command.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogEnabled $true

To view the admin audit logging settings that you've configured for your organization, use the following command.

Get-AdminAuditLogConfig

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