SQL Server Error Log is the best place for a Database Administrators to look for informational messages, warnings, critical events, database recover information, auditing information, user generated messages etc. SQL Server creates a new error log file every time SQL Server Database Engine is restarted.
This article explains how to recycle SQL Server Error Log file without restarting SQL Server Service.
Database administrator can recycle SQL Server Error Log file without restarting SQL Server Service by running DBCC ERRORLOG command or by running SP_CYCLE_ERRORLOG system stored procedure.
Starting SQL Server 2008 R2 you can also limit the size of SQL Server Error Log file. For more information see Limit SQL Server Error Log File Size in SQL Server. However, to increase the number of error log file see the following article for more information How to Increase Number of SQL Server Error Log Files.
Limiting SQL Server Error Log File Size
Execute the below TSQL code in SQL Server 2012 and later versions to set the maximum file size of individual error log files to 20 MB.
SQL Server will create a new file once the size of the current log file reaches 20 MB. This helps in reducing the file from growing enormously large.
We recommend you to read “Limit SQL Server Error Log File” to know how to identify the registry path for your instance of SQL Server and make changes to the below script to update the registry.
Before you make changes to Registry Settings it is recommended to Backup Registry. Learn How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
USE [master]; GO EXEC xp_instance_regwrite N'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE' ,N'Software\Microsoft\MSSQLServer\MSSQLServer' ,N'ErrorLogSizeInKb' ,REG_DWORD ,20480; GO
Recycle SQL Server ErrorLog File using DBCC ERRORLOG Command
USE [master]; GO DBCC ERRORLOG GO
Recycle SQL Server Error Log File using SP_CYCLE_ERRORLOG System Stored Procedure
Use [master]; GO SP_CYCLE_ERRORLOG GO
It is highly recommended to create an SQL Server Agent Job to recycle SQL Server Error Log once a day or at least once a week.
In this article explains how to Recycle SQL Server Error Log file without restarting SQL Server Service.