Reading log files is most likely the most crucial activity carried out by a MEMCM (SCCM) administrator as a day-to-day activity. There have been several SCCM log viewers, over the years, including Trace32, CMTrace, and OneTrace.

To troubleshoot issues effectively, Microsoft has developed a series of log viewers capable of making server log files more readable, as a single block of text is hard for a human to interpret.

The log viewers all have the capability of filtering, error-lookup, and highlighting.

I know that some people still prefer to use Notepad for reading log files. This does not include me :).

In this blog post, I describe the different log file viewers in MEMCM (SCCM) that we have had over the years and the ones that are coming:

Why should you use SCCM log file viewers?

SCCM records all activities of the client into log files. Using notepad is not a good way for many reasons.

Some benefits of using a log viewer, created to read log files from MEMCM (SCCM) include:

  • The formatting is easy to read, even if you are new to reading log files.
  • They dynamically update the logs as further information comes in.
  • They highlight errors and warnings.
  • They provide built-in error-lookup


Before SCCM 2012, Microsoft provided a log viewer called Trace32, or the Configuration Manager Trace Log Tool.

It included Trace32 as part of the SCCM 2012 Toolkit.


sccm log viewer

Where can CMTrace be found on the client?

CMTrace is an updated version of Trace32.

Following SCCM 1806, CMTrace is in the following directory following the SCCM client installation:


CMTrace location on the MEMCM (SCCM) server

Below is the CMTrace location on the MEMCM (SCCM) server:

<SCCM installation drive\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Tools

CMTrace location during Operating System Deployment (OSD)

If you have enabled F8 Support (which you only should in a lab), you can find CMTrace at x:\sms\bin\x64 or x:\sms\bin\i386.

Support Center OneTrace

What is Support Center OneTrace?


Microsoft has recently released OneTrace, which will replace CMTrace.

Starting with SCCM 1906, CMTrace is automatically installed together with the SCCM client.

There is a good walkthrough on Adaptiva about how to use Support Center OneTrace.


If you want to read log files in MEMCM (SCCM), use one of Microsoft’s log viewers above.

The main reason for this is that you will receive highlighting of errors, and information and the log file is updated in real-time.

How do you read log files? Do you use CMTrace, OneTrace, or maybe Notepad? Please leave a comment below!


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  1. hi,

    how do you force the configuration manager support center to use OneTrace? when i open log groups, it still uses Log Viewer


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