Windows Tip: Log System Startup and Shutdown Time

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Windows OS has a pretty nifty tool – the Events Viewer. It logs everything – user activity, system events, complete with time stamps. It’s useful for when your computer is having an issue, so you can check the logs of the Events Viewer to try and identify – not troubleshoot – the cause of the issue. It also logs startup and shutdown times; you just need to know how to view that data in an intelligible form.

Events Viewer logs Windows startup and shutdown times automatically, assigning them event IDs:

  • Startup ID = 6005
  • Shutdown ID = 6006

Once you know what ID stands for the event you are looking for, you can filter the events and create a custom view:

launch the Event Viewer → choose Create Custom View to the right → open Events Log drop-down menu → expand Windows Logs → choose System.

Find the box <All Event IDs> and enter 6005, 6006 → the list will display startup and shutdown time stamps for all users.

If you wish to filter the list further, you can type the user’s name.

Alternatively, you can create separate lists for startup and shutdown events.

You can make Events Viewer memorize this setting: name your custom list → enter brief description → you are done.

The next time you launch the Events Viewer, it will show you the list of startup and shutdown events. If you are not happy with the how the list looks, you can export it to a CSV or an XML file. Before you do, make sure the list has the information you need and delete the rest to avoid cluttering your file with the irrelevant data. To do so:

on the right side click View → in the sub-menu choose Add/Remove columns → choose the columns to remove or add the columns you need.

Export to XML: to the right, see the option Export Custom View → name the file → save as XML.

Export to CSV: on the right, click Save all Events in Custom View as → Save as → the save window will have a drop-down menu → choose CSV → name the file. The CSV file can be viewed in MS Excel so that you can sort the data to your heart’s content.