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EventLog.OverflowAction Property

Note: This property is new in the .NET Framework version 2.0.

Gets the configured behavior for storing new entries when the event log reaches its maximum log file size.

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

property OverflowAction OverflowAction {
	OverflowAction get ();
/** @property */
public OverflowAction get_OverflowAction ()

public function get OverflowAction () : OverflowAction

Property Value

The OverflowAction value that specifies the configured behavior for storing new entries when the event log reaches its maximum log size. The default is OverwriteOlder.

Event logs grow in size as new events are written to them. Each event log has a configured maximum size limit; the MaximumKilobytes property defines the maximum number of kilobytes allowed for the event log file size.

Use the OverflowAction property value to examine the configured overflow behavior for an event log at its maximum size. Use the ModifyOverflowPolicy method to change the overflow behavior for an event log.


The overflow behavior takes effect only when an event log reaches its maximum file size. The overflow behavior does not affect writing a new entry to a log that can accommodate additional event log entries.

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

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.
static void DisplayEventLogProperties()
    // Iterate through the current set of event log files,
    // displaying the property settings for each file.
    EventLog eventLogs[] = EventLog.GetEventLogs();
    EventLog e;
    for ( int iCtr = 0; iCtr < eventLogs.length; iCtr++ ) {
        e = eventLogs[iCtr];
        long sizeKB = 0;

        Console.WriteLine("{0}:", e.get_LogDisplayName());
        Console.WriteLine("  Log name = \t\t {0}", e.get_Log());
        Console.WriteLine("  Number of event log entries = {0}",

        // Determine if there is an event log file for this event log.
        RegistryKey regEventLog = Registry.LocalMachine.
            + e.get_Log());

        if (regEventLog != null) {
            Object temp = regEventLog.GetValue("File");

            if (temp != null) {
                Console.WriteLine("  Log file path = \t {0}", 
                FileInfo file = new FileInfo(temp.ToString());
                // Get the current size of the event log file.
                if (file.get_Exists()) {
                    sizeKB = file.get_Length() / 1024;
                    if (file.get_Length() % 1024 != 0) {

                    Console.WriteLine("  Current size = \t {0} kilobytes",
            else {
                Console.WriteLine("  Log file path = \t <not set>");

        // Display the maximum size and overflow settings.
        sizeKB = e.get_MaximumKilobytes();
        Console.WriteLine("  Maximum size = \t {0} kilobytes", 
        Console.WriteLine("  Overflow setting = \t {0}",
        switch (e.get_OverflowAction()) {
            case OverflowAction.OverwriteOlder :
                Console.WriteLine("\t Entries are retained a minimum of "
                    + "{0} days.", (Int32)e.get_MinimumRetentionDays());
            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.");
            default :
} //DisplayEventLogProperties

Windows 98, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0