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About specifying server log settings

When working with the server logs, you may need to change some of the log settings to help you more effectively capture events. For example, you may need to change the log level from the default of Warning to Info to capture events related to service creation and startup. You may also want to reduce the number of days logs are kept on disk (to save disk space) or change the location where ArcGIS Server stores its logs.

You'll specify these settings using ArcGIS Server Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop. Any changes you make are immediately reflected in the site.

Specify the log level

Events can vary in their level of detail from Severe, which indicates a problem that requires immediate attention, to Verbose, which is a detailed, informative message generated through regular use of the portal.

By default, the log level of the server is set to Warning, meaning moderate to severe problems that require attention will be logged. The following are the log level types:

Log levelDescriptionSample message


Serious problems that require immediate attention. This level only includes severe messages.

Unable to process request. Service Planning/counties/FeatureServer not found.


Moderate problems that require attention. This level also includes severe messages.

Failed to log in. Invalid username or password specified.


Common administrative messages of the server, including messages about service creation and startup. This level also includes severe and warning messages.

Folder Planning was created successfully.


Common messages from use of the server, like names of operation requests received. This level includes severe, warning, and info messages.

Checking for expired items in C:\arcgisserver\directories\arcgisjobs.


Messages providing more detail about how the server fulfills an operation, such as noting that each layer in a map service was drawn successfully, how fast the layer was drawn, and how long it took the server to access the layer's source data. This level includes severe, warning, info, and fine messages.

Beginning of layer draw: counties.


Highly verbose messages designed for developers and support technicians who want to obtain a better understanding of the server's state when troubleshooting. It's recommended that you don't use this level in a production environment; it may cause a decrease in performance. If you're not troubleshooting an issue, use the Warning level instead.

Cleaning up server directories.


Logging is turned off. Events are not logged with the server.


Specifying the number of days to keep logs on disk

By default, logs are retained on disk for a period of approximately 90 days. When a log exceeds this time frame, it is deleted. Specifying a smaller time frame, for example, 30 days, can prevent the log directory from growing bigger than expected.

Specifying the log directory

The default directory where the server writes its logs is c:\arcgisserver\logs. The log path must be set to a local directory and exist on each GIS server participating in your ArcGIS Server site. When specifying the logs directory, try to keep the location at the root level of your GIS server. You shouldn't designate a network directory as the log location.


Keep in mind that the logs directory is not related to the server directories or the configuration store location. If you modify the location of these directories, the server logs will remain in the default directory (as noted above) or the directory you specified in Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop.