Set up Winlogbeatedit

The winlogbeat section of the winlogbeat.yml config file specifies all options that are specific to Winlogbeat. Most importantly, it contains the list of event logs to monitor.

Here is a sample configuration:

  - name: Application
    ignore_older: 72h
  - name: Security
  - name: System

Configuration optionsedit

You can specify the following options in the winlogbeat section of the winlogbeat.yml config file:


The name of the file where Winlogbeat stores information that it uses to resume monitoring after a restart. By default the file is stored as .winlogbeat.yml in the directory where the Beat was started. When you run the process as a Windows service, it’s recommended that you set the value to C:/ProgramData/winlogbeat/.winlogbeat.yml.

winlogbeat.registry_file: C:/ProgramData/winlogbeat/.winlogbeat.yml

The forward slashes (/) in the path are automatically changed to backslashes (\) for Windows compatibility. You can use either forward or backslashes. Forward slashes are easier to work with in YAML because there is no need to escape them.


A list of entries (called dictionaries in YAML) that specify which event logs to monitor. Each entry in the list defines an event log to monitor as well as any information to be associated with the event log (filter, tags, and so on). The name field is the only required field for each event log.

  - name: Application


This functionality is in technical preview and may be changed or removed in a future release. Elastic will work to fix any issues, but features in technical preview are not subject to the support SLA of official GA features.

The maximum number of event log records to read from the Windows API in a single batch. The default batch size is 100. Most Windows versions return an error if the value is larger than 1024. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

Winlogbeat starts a goroutine (a lightweight thread) to read from each individual event log. The goroutine reads a batch of event log records using the Windows API, applies any processors to the events, publishes them to the configured outputs, and waits for an acknowledgement from the outputs before reading additional event log records.


The name of the event log to monitor. Each dictionary under event_logs must have a name field. You can get a list of available event logs by running Get-EventLog * in PowerShell. Here is a sample of the output from the command:

PS C:\Users\vagrant> Get-EventLog *

  Max(K) Retain OverflowAction        Entries Log
  ------ ------ --------------        ------- ---
  20,480      0 OverwriteAsNeeded          75 Application
  20,480      0 OverwriteAsNeeded           0 HardwareEvents
     512      7 OverwriteOlder              0 Internet Explorer
  20,480      0 OverwriteAsNeeded           0 Key Management Service
  20,480      0 OverwriteAsNeeded       1,609 Security
  20,480      0 OverwriteAsNeeded       1,184 System
  15,360      0 OverwriteAsNeeded         464 Windows PowerShell

Channel names can also be specified if running on Windows Vista or newer. A channel is a named stream of events that transports events from an event source to an event log. Most channels are tied to specific event publishers. Here is an example showing how to list all channels using PowerShell.

PS C:\> Get-WinEvent -ListLog * | Format-List -Property LogName
LogName : Application
LogName : HardwareEvents
LogName : Internet Explorer
LogName : Key Management Service
LogName : Security
LogName : System
LogName : Windows PowerShell
LogName : ForwardedEvents
LogName : Microsoft-Management-UI/Admin
LogName : Microsoft-Rdms-UI/Admin
LogName : Microsoft-Rdms-UI/Operational
LogName : Microsoft-Windows-Windows Firewall With Advanced Security/Firewall

You must specify the full name of the channel in the configuration file.

  - name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Firewall With Advanced Security/Firewall


If this option is specified, Winlogbeat filters events that are older than the specified amount of time. Valid time units are "ns", "us" (or "µs"), "ms", "s", "m", "h". This option is useful when you are beginning to monitor an event log that contains older records that you would like to ignore. This field is optional.

  - name: Application
    ignore_older: 168h


A boolean flag to indicate that the log contains only events collected from remote hosts using the Windows Event Collector. The value defaults to true for the ForwardedEvents log and false for any other log. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

This settings allows Winlogbeat to optimize reads for forwarded events that are already rendered. When the value is true Winlogbeat does not attempt to render the event using message files from the host computer. The Windows Event Collector subscription should be configured to use the "RenderedText" format (this is the default) to ensure that the events are distributed with messages and descriptions.


A whitelist and blacklist of event IDs. The value is a comma-separated list. The accepted values are single event IDs to include (e.g. 4624), a range of event IDs to include (e.g. 4700-4800), and single event IDs to exclude (e.g. -4735). This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

  - name: Security
    event_id: 4624, 4625, 4700-4800, -4735

If you specify more that 22 event IDs to include or 22 event IDs to exclude, Windows will prevent Winlogbeat from reading the event log because it limits the number of conditions that can be used in an event log query. If this occurs a similar warning as shown below will be logged by Winlogbeat, and it will continue processing data from other event logs. For more information, see

WARN EventLog[Application] Open() error. No events will be read from this source. The specified query is invalid.

If you have more than 22 event IDs, you can workaround this Windows limitation by using a drop_event[drop-event] processor to do the filtering after Winlogbeat has received the events from Windows. The filter shown below is equivalent to event_id: 903, 1024, 4624 but can be expanded beyond 22 event IDs.

  - name: Security
    event_id: ...
      - drop_event.when.not.or:
        - equals.event_id: 903
        - equals.event_id: 1024
        - equals.event_id: 4624


A list of event levels to include. The value is a comma-separated list of levels. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

Level Value

critical, crit


error, err


warning, warn


information, info

0 or 4



  - name: Security
    level: critical, error, warning


A list of providers (source names) to include. The value is a YAML list. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

  - name: Application
      - Application Error
      - Application Hang
      - Windows Error Reporting
      - EMET

You can obtain a list of providers associated with a log by using PowerShell. Here is an example showing the providers associated with the Security log.

PS C:\> (Get-WinEvent -ListLog Security).ProviderNames
SC Manager
Security Account Manager


Boolean option that controls if the raw XML representation of an event is included in the data sent by Winlogbeat. The default is false. This option is only available on operating systems supporting the Windows Event Log API (Microsoft Windows Vista and newer).

The XML representation of the event is useful for troubleshooting purposes. The data in the fields reported by Winlogbeat can be compared to the data in the XML to diagnose problems.


  - name: Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender/Operational
    include_xml: true


A list of tags that the Beat includes in the tags field of each published event. Tags make it easy to select specific events in Kibana or apply conditional filtering in Logstash. These tags will be appended to the list of tags specified in the general configuration.


  - name: CustomLog
    tags: ["web"]


Optional fields that you can specify to add additional information to the output. For example, you might add fields that you can use for filtering event data. Fields can be scalar values, arrays, dictionaries, or any nested combination of these. By default, the fields that you specify here will be grouped under a fields sub-dictionary in the output document. To store the custom fields as top-level fields, set the fields_under_root option to true. If a duplicate field is declared in the general configuration, then its value will be overwritten by the value declared here.

  - name: CustomLog
      customer_id: 51415432


If this option is set to true, the custom fields are stored as top-level fields in the output document instead of being grouped under a fields sub-dictionary. If the custom field names conflict with other field names added by Winlogbeat, then the custom fields overwrite the other fields.


A list of processors to apply to the data generated by the event log.

See Filter and Enhance the exported data for information about specifying processors in your config.