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I'm a developer, and I generate big log files. I've tried several log viewer applications (free or not), so far mtail I like the most. But, it lacks features.

I would like from my log viewer to:

  • handle files > than 10MB
  • filtering
  • highlight search queries
  • behave like a log viewer - do all of these in real time, and fast

The question is:

Which log viewer would you recommend on Windows?

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closed as not constructive by slhck Oct 2 '12 at 21:06

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try ReflectInsight. I handles everything the requester asked. DISCLAIMER: I'm one of the developers for ReflectInsight. – code5 Nov 4 '13 at 19:27
I saw we ban slhck for closing this thread, this thread is EXTREMELY constructive. – John Aug 23 at 11:15

7 Answers 7

up vote 30 down vote accepted

BareTail, which has a free version, works pretty well for us for years.


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I've seen this tool used in many places. – Mercer Traieste Jul 19 '09 at 16:32
BareTail is awesome. We use this all the time – pavsaund Aug 8 '09 at 7:21
Found this answer by a search. Very cool product to recommend. – T. Stone Dec 8 '09 at 21:02
I also use this too, but running it on server 2008 R2 causes somekind of memory-leak with wmiprvse.exe – maxlego Mar 27 '12 at 11:19
Positive: it opens logs VERY fast. Negative: the taskbar context menu is obnoxious. – John Aug 23 at 11:16

Installing MSYS gives you a close version to a Unix environment on Windows, you get all the main binaries. Using these tools you can achieve all the functionality you request using standard commands like tail, grep, less, etc.

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I wrote my own little logviewer just because of that, its really raw at the moment, but would be an ok starting point if anyone wanted to extend it.

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Take a look a logview4net it's free and has a different take on viewing log files.

A free (open source) log monitor / log viewer for:

* Files and folders
* Incomming UDP traffic
* EventLogs
* SQL- Server tables
* Atom and RSS feeds
* StdOut and StdErr
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Wanted money before doing anything useful. – John Oct 16 at 19:34
There's a big download button on the page and NO money needed to use it. The source code is available from here: – idstam Oct 17 at 7:13

I would recommend logFaces, it has fantastic real-time log viewer based on eclipse-style design.

enter image description here

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Although it should be noted that this software does appear to require installation on a server, as well as a client, and is commercial software requiring a licence. – Lucanos Aug 21 at 1:45
Requires Java, installed Java, rejected Java, reinstalled Java and it rejected it again so couldn't run the log viewer at all and determine if it's worth using. – John Oct 16 at 19:40
@John, if you don't mind giving some details on what specifically is "rejected" and "reinstalled", I'd be delighted to help. You will find a link to our web site in my profile, just email me. Or post your findings here. Appreciate your comment! – Dima Oct 18 at 7:33
Moved the mini error message window and spotted the initial mini main status window at about 15%. The error window stated, "The install4j wizard could not find a Java(TM) Runtime Environment on your system. Please locate a suitable 64-bit JRE. (minimum version 1.6, maximum version 1.8) I've got 8.0.600.27 on a clean install of Windows 7 64 bit. – John Oct 18 at 15:03
@John - Make sure that default JRE (referenced by PATH) is indeed the 64 bit JRE 1.6+. Sometimes when you have more than one JRE on a single machine, things can get confused. Especially if you installed 32 bit versions from browsers. To verify - open command prompt and type in "java -version", this will give you the default JRE. This must correspond to the client installer your downloaded. My guess is that you have 32 bit java lurking there and logFaces installer you got is 64 bit. – Dima Oct 18 at 16:17

My new favorite log viewer is glogg. It makes finding stuff in noisy log files very easy. It could use a few more features but does 95% of everything I need it to do, it is open source, written in C++ using Qt and runs on Linux/Windows/Mac. Give it a try.

Glogg screenshot on Windows

From the glogg description page:

glogg enables you to use regular expressions to search for interesting events in your log files. It presents a results window which, together with complex regular expressions allows easy isolation of the meaningful lines amongst the noise.

glogg has been primarily developed to help spot and understand problems in huge logs generated by embedded systems. It can be equally useful to a sysadmin digging through logs from databases or web servers.

The main design goals for glogg are:

  • it should be fast
  • it does not have any limit on the size of files it can handle
  • it provides a clear view of the matches even in heavily cluttered files.

If you think it does not do that, it is a bug and it should be fixed!

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No UNICODE / UTF8 support – Yurik Dec 6 '12 at 11:00
I can live without Unicode/UTF-8 support in a log viewer but Glogg does not (at as August 23rd, 2015) auto-reload automatically (you have to manually press F5) though it's find option is EXCELLENT. Almost ideal for viewing Apache access and MySQL query logs...almost and no dumb taskbar context menu like BareTail. – John Aug 23 at 10:54
Way too slow to load SQL queries log (266MB). – John Oct 16 at 19:34

Log Expert


  • highlighting (regex, etc.)
  • filtering (regex, etc.)
  • custom columnizer (columnizer parses lines into columns)
  • multi-file support
  • + some common features

Log Expert screenshot

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It crashes all the time on my machine (Windows 7 x64) – payala Feb 20 '13 at 20:17
Way too slow to load SQL queries log (266MB). – John Oct 16 at 19:34

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