I there a way to query SQL Server 2005+ for the file system location of its various log files. By that I mean the text log files, not database transaction log files?

For example my SQL Agent, Error Logs and maintenance plans all write to a folder called:


enter image description here

It's this folder I need to find the name of.


As well as hunting SQL Books I had a poke around the registry under




but nothing jumps out at me.

I'd also like an "official" way to achieve this and would rather not rely on undocumented features.

3 Answers 3


EDIT: Cleaned it up a bit with a little more googling to verify; Also to note that this particular argument "ErrorLogFileName" to the SERVERPROPERTY function is undocumented and therefore unsupported by Microsoft. Use at your own risk. etc. etc.

  • +1 but I'd love to know an "official" way to do this.
    – Kev
    Feb 12, 2012 at 14:35
  • My guess is this is as close as you're going to get to official. If MS ever does officially expose it, this would be how they would do it. And I'd say it's unlikely to be taken away. As unofficial/hack/unsupported things go, this is pretty tame and pretty low risk I'd say :D
    – TetonSig
    Feb 12, 2012 at 15:05
  • Nice method. I used to manually check the SQL server config manager, but this query is faster. Feb 12, 2012 at 16:34

If you have Powershell this will get it for you. If you have SSMS 2005 installed you can run it as is after replacing "YourServerNameHere". If you're running SSMS 2008 delete the first line and un-comment the second.

Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" -EA Stop
#Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" -EA Stop

$srvObj = new-object -TypeName Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server -ArgumentList "YourServerNameHere"

Having had to analyse one of our SQL Server 2008 background trace logs I noticed that these invariably exist in the same folder as the log files.

So I can use this query to get me close enough:

DECLARE @path varchar(256)
SELECT @path = path
FROM sys.traces
WHERE id = 1

PRINT @path

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