How to Use ULS Log Viewer to Analyze SharePoint Errors?

ULS logs are unavoidable in SharePoint administration and support. This post describes the basic usage of ULS log viewer to reveal actual error messages in SharePoint 2013/2016 environment.

Scenario: You got an E-mail from an end-user saying: They received a typical “An unexpected error has occurred.” page with some GUID, timestamp, etc. User forward the error screenshot to SharePoint support team.

how to use sharepoint uls viewer

How to get the detailed error message using ULS Viewer?

Every request SharePoint receives, assigns a correlation ID in the form of a GUID. Whenever SharePoint presents an error to an end-user, it includes the correlation ID as part of the error message. It could be challenging to find the detail that you need from an unformatted text file. However, The ULS Viewer tool lets us open and analyze ULS log files in a user-friendly format. Here is how to use SharePoint ULS viewer.

  1. To start with, Download the ULS Viewer tool to your SharePoint Web front-end server. It’s a tiny Click-and-run application, no installation is required.
  2. Open ULS Viewer application. Click on File Menu >> Open From >> File. This opens the default LOGS folder of your SharePoint hive, “C:\Program
    Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\LOGS”.  
    uls viewer sharepoint 2013 tutorial
  3. Select log file(s) based on the time stamp from the error page. You can select multiple log files at once. 
  4. Once logs files are opened, apply the filter with your correlation GUID by clicking the “Filter” icon from the toolbar. Here is mine. Set the correlation value to the GUID we received in the error screen.
    uls viewer sharepoint 2013 correlation id
  5. This filters all detailed error messages of the specific correlation ID.
    how to use uls viewer sharepoint 2013

Please note, this searches LOGS only within the current web front end. If you have multiple web front-end servers, you have to repeat this step in all servers of your SharePoint farm. To monitor live ULS logs, Use File >> Open From >> ULS (Ctrl + U) option!

You can also use PowerShell cmdlet Get-SPLogEvent to get error details from the correlation ID. Here is How to get detailed error from Correlation ID using PowerShell

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

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