I use Windows Server 2008 as my development operating system. I have been able to test that the SMTP Server on the machine can successfully send emails (I receive them in my inbox) but the log file is not being written to. Any ideas why the log files for the SMTP server is not getting updated?

The "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)" is running as the Local System account. And the Local System account has permissions on the log files folder.

1 Answer 1


You might have to wait until the process flushes its log buffer and writes to the log file. I know for the HTTP service you can manually flush the buffer and force it to write to file using this:

netsh http flush logbuffer

I'm looking around for something equivalent to that for the SMTP service.


Or, take a look at this from Steve Schofield's blog:

I was working on installing Windows Server 2008 x64 edition. I discovered the SMTP Service wasn't logging. SMTP was working and emails were going out. My install is 'custom' and installs just the modules we needed. Turns out, there is a small dependency on the ODBC logging module so the SMTP service logging would work. More importantly iislog.dll. Here are the instructions to fix and reproduce the behavior.

To correct it. I'm assuming you have the SMTP Service already installed and it's not logging.

1) Install ODBC Logging module (role service in Server Manager)

2) Stop / Start the SMTP Service

3) Verify your SMTP service is configured for logging. It's not on by default.

4) Try a local telnet test (assuming the telnet client is installed)

5) Look at your log folder.

  • To add the ODBC Logging Module: Server Manager > Roles > Web Server (IIS) > Add Role Services > Health and Diagnostics > ODBC Logging Jun 8, 2009 at 20:01
  • The blog link above seems to be broken, Here's what I believe to be the page: (iislogs.com/steveschofield/2008/02/29/…) Aug 3, 2016 at 7:57
  • 1
    @donothingsuccessfully Thanks, looks like a winner. Edited the link.
    – squillman
    Aug 3, 2016 at 13:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.