Hey Checkyourlogs Fans,

Having the right tools is crucial in server troubleshooting. PowerShell is a go-to for many administrators, offering commands like Get-Content -Tail -Wait, which can be incredibly helpful, especially when monitoring real-time log files.

Understanding the Command

The command is pretty simple:

Get-Content .\logfile.log -Tail 10 -Wait

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

Here’s what it does:

  • Get-Content: This command reads the content of a file.
  • -Tail: This parameter retrieves the specified number of lines from the end of the file.
  • -Wait: This parameter tells PowerShell to continuously monitor the file for new content and display it as it arrives.

Practical Uses

Let’s look at some ways you can use this command:

  1. Monitoring Multiple Logs: When troubleshooting server issues involving multiple components, you can open several PowerShell windows, each containing a different log file. This helps you monitor various system components simultaneously.
  2. Keeping Up with Events: In dynamic environments where events happen quickly, like web servers handling lots of requests or databases processing transactions, real-time monitoring is crucial. With -Wait, you can stay updated on what’s happening, enabling quick responses to problems.
  3. Troubleshooting Startup: Many services and applications initialize during server startup, generating log entries that can help diagnose issues. Tailing log files with -Wait lets you quickly find the cause of startup problems, reducing downtime.
  4. Resource Management: Log files often contain information about resource usage, like CPU, memory, or disk usage. By continuously monitoring these logs with -Wait, you can identify resource-intensive processes or unexpected spikes, helping with capacity planning and performance troubleshooting.

Advantages Over Other Tools

While tools like CMTrace offer more features, PowerShell’s Get-Content -Tail- Wait has its advantages:

  • No Need to Install Anything: PowerShell comes with Windows, so you don’t need to install anything extra.
  • Uses Fewer Resources: PowerShell uses fewer system resources than graphical log viewers, making it suitable for resource-constrained servers.
  • Scriptable and Automatable: You can script and automate PowerShell commands, tailoring them to your needs and integrating them into existing workflows.


In server troubleshooting, having real-time log monitoring tools is essential. PowerShell’s Get-Content -Tail -Wait command provides a simple yet effective way to monitor log files as events unfold.

By leveraging PowerShell, you can streamline troubleshooting workflows, improve system reliability, and ensure the smooth operation of critical infrastructure. So, next time you’re knee-deep in log files, remember the power of PowerShell’s Get-Content -Tail -Wait—it could be the tool you need to troubleshoot with confidence and efficiency.