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Windows 7: Event Viewer: Clear All Events

Event Viewer: Clear All Events

How to Clear all Event Logs in Event Viewer using Windows PowerShell
Published by Slartybart
31 Jan 2014
Published by

How to Clear all Event Logs in Event Viewer using Windows PowerShell

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to quickly clear all event logs in Event Viewer with a one line PowerShell script.

This one line command clears each log in the Event log list one at a time.
wevtutil el gets the Event log list and passes the list to
Foreach-Object which calls
wevtutil cl for each log in the Event log list.

warning   Warning
If you are trouble shooting an issue on your computer it is NOT advisable to clear the Event logs. The Event logs provide technical information about your system that could help resolve an issue.
Only clear the Event logs if your system is running well. The logs don't use a lot of resources so it doesn't hurt to leave them in place.

Here's How:

1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt.

2. Copy and paste the command below into the PowerShell window, and press Enter.
wevtutil el | Foreach-Object {wevtutil cl "$_"}
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4. Wait for the script to finish, then you can close PowerShell if you like.

5. All events have been cleared.

This tutorial showed you how to clear all logs in Event Viewer, but you can use the wevtutil command to clear individual event logs.
Instead of using the el parameter and piping the list to Foreach-Object, you would use the cl parameter and the log name.

Copy the line following the specific event log and paste the wevtutil line (the bold line) into the PowerShell window.

To clear the
  • Application event log
    wevtutil cl Application

  • Security event log
    wevtutil cl Security

  • Setup event log
    wevtutil cl Setup

  • System event log
    wevtutil cl System
You can clear any of the Event logs the same way, all you have to know is the log name.
To get a full list of the log names, simply enter wevtutil el in the elevated PowerShell window.

Then you can use the cl parameter and the event log name to clear that specific event log (see the examples above).

Note   Note
There are two command parameters of wevtutil used in this section:
cl is the clear event log parameter
el is the event log list parameter

The results will be quite different if you use the wrong one. For any clear the log operation in this section, you will use the cl parameter.

Tip   Tip
While unrelated to clearing Event Viewer logs, this tip does clean up one particular event. WMI error 10 is erroneoulsy logged in the application log after every reboot.
This is easy to fix with MS Fixit 50688 - scroll down on the MS Fixit page and click the Microsoft Fix it button.

Joe Waldin: script source
Brink: tutorial housekeeping


16 Feb 2014   #1

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1

Nice tutorial!
Does clearing event logs make a noticeable performance improvement or a significant decrease in space used on the C drive?
My OSs were installed 4+ years ago and I've never cleared logs.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Feb 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hey David,

It makes no difference in performance, and not much hard drive space would be regained. It's mostly just if you wanted to clear the logs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #3

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1

Thanks Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Your welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #5

x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Thanks David,

Shawn is right... no performance boost or even significant space reclamation.

Reading logs is an art - clearing the logs simply removes ancient history. The MS Fixit tip at the bottom is probably more important to me because it stops a bogus error log so I don't have to think "Hey there's an error.... is it important? Nah, it's just that WMI 10 log entry..." The entries for WMI 10 are still there until you clear the event logs.

The real trick is NOT clearing the logs too often - you might lose that key piece of information.

Rule of thumb: if your system is stable and has been for a while - clear the logs. In a year or two, same conditions, clear the logs again. This really isn't something you have to do on a regular basis.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #6

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1

Thanks for the info.
My systems are stable. No problems with updates, no crashes, etc.
I just know as soon as I clear the logs something will happen, and I'll wish I had the history.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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