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EventLog.MinimumRetentionDays Property

Gets the number of days to retain entries in the event log.

Namespace:  System.Diagnostics
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

public int MinimumRetentionDays { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Int32
The number of days that entries in the event log are retained. The default value is 7.

Use the MinimumRetentionDays property to examine the current setting for an event log. Use ModifyOverflowPolicy to change the minimum number of days that each entry in the event log must be retained.

The MinimumRetentionDays value depends on the configured overflow behavior of the event log. If the OverflowAction property for an event log is set to OverwriteAsNeeded, then the MinimumRetentionDays value is 0. If the OverflowAction property for an event log is set to DoNotOverwrite, then the MinimumRetentionDays value is -1. If the OverflowAction property for an event log is set to OverwriteOlder, then the MinimumRetentionDays value is greater than zero, and represents the number of days to retain event log entries when the event log is full.

The overflow behavior only occurs when an event log reaches its size limit. When an EventLog has its OverflowAction set to OverwriteOlder, and the event log reaches its maximum size, then new entries are written only if they can replace entries whose age exceeds the MinimumRetentionDays period. Retaining event entries for a minimum period is appropriate when the event log is archived regularly. Otherwise, you risk losing new entries when the event log reaches its limit. To avoid losing new event information, set the minimum retention days for events based on your archive schedule for a particular event log.

The following example enumerates the event logs defined on the local computer, and displays configuration details for each event log.

static void DisplayEventLogProperties()
    // Iterate through the current set of event log files, 
    // displaying the property settings for each file.

    EventLog[] eventLogs = EventLog.GetEventLogs();
    foreach (EventLog e in eventLogs)
        Int64 sizeKB = 0;

        Console.WriteLine("{0}:", e.LogDisplayName);
        Console.WriteLine("  Log name = \t\t {0}", e.Log); 

        Console.WriteLine("  Number of event log entries = {0}", e.Entries.Count.ToString());

        // Determine if there is an event log file for this event log.
        RegistryKey regEventLog = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey("System\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\EventLog\\" + e.Log);
        if (regEventLog != null)
            Object temp = regEventLog.GetValue("File");
            if (temp != null)
                Console.WriteLine("  Log file path = \t {0}", temp.ToString());
                FileInfo file = new FileInfo(temp.ToString());

                // Get the current size of the event log file. 
                if (file.Exists)
                    sizeKB = file.Length / 1024;
                    if ((file.Length % 1024) != 0)
                    Console.WriteLine("  Current size = \t {0} kilobytes", sizeKB.ToString());
                Console.WriteLine("  Log file path = \t <not set>");

        // Display the maximum size and overflow settings.

        sizeKB = e.MaximumKilobytes;
        Console.WriteLine("  Maximum size = \t {0} kilobytes", sizeKB.ToString());
        Console.WriteLine("  Overflow setting = \t {0}", e.OverflowAction.ToString());

        switch (e.OverflowAction)
            case OverflowAction.OverwriteOlder:
                Console.WriteLine("\t Entries are retained a minimum of {0} days.", 
            case OverflowAction.DoNotOverwrite:
                Console.WriteLine("\t Older entries are not overwritten.");
            case OverflowAction.OverwriteAsNeeded:
                Console.WriteLine("\t If number of entries equals max size limit, a new event log entry overwrites the oldest entry.");

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0