SnakeTail: Monitor Growing Log Files

SnakeTail is a free Windows log/text file viewer than can load and open files that are being currently written to with new data. In other words, a growing log file. SnakeTail can be used to monitor Windows log files such as Event Logs for system, security, applications etc. as well as generic log files.

The program has a tabbed interface and opened tabs can be displayed in tiled or cascaded layout enabling users to monitor multiple log files at once. Different logs can also be customized to display on differently colored background for easy distinction.


Windows Event Logs can be opened from within SnakeTail without needing administrator rights. Technically the program supports large text log files, but I found the program tends to stall when files are large.

The session saving feature ensures that you don’t have to perform the same ritual of opening and closing multiple log files. Simply save your session and load it the next time.

Below is a detailed list of features of SnakeTail:

  • Monitor “large” text log files
  • Monitor Windows Event Logs (Without needing administrator rights)
  • Multiple Window Modes supported (MDI, Tabbed, Floating)
  • Save and load entire window session. Can load session file at startup when given as command line parameter.
  • Sentence highlight with colors based on keyword match (Includes regex support)
  • Tails circular logs where the log file is periodically truncated/renamed.
  • Tails log directory where the latest log file is displayed (Includes regex support)
  • Search in the entire text log file
  • Tail new log files with a simple drag drop from Windows Explorer
  • Filtering of Windows Event Logs using regular expressions
  • Display simple process statistics in window title bar (RAM + CPU usage + TRX/Sec)
  • Stop and start Windows service by right clicking in the tail window
  • Change tail window background color, text color, window icon
  • Minimize to tray
  • Low memory usage independent of log file size
  • Low cpu usage even when more than 100 lines/sec
  • Works well over remote desktop
  • Supports Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Win2k8, Win7


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