Tips & Tricks For CMTrace

SCCM 1806+ the location is %windir%\CCM\CMTrace.exe
On the Server you can find it in <SCCM installation directory>\Tools\CMTrace.exe


Merging is great when you want to take a look at 2+ logs at the same time. I’ve used it when to look at Application Deployments and Update Installation.

  1. Open CMTrace
  2. Click File > Open
  3. Use the check boxes to select at least two log files
  4. Once selected check ‘Merge selected files’ > Open


I use this feature when I’m scrolling through the SMSTS Log and like tracking where the step successfully completed but to also see what’s happening around it in the Log.
I prefer changing the highlight color lighter blue or even green instead of the default yellow to make it easier on my eyes.

  1. Open CMTrace
  2. Open SMSTS.log
  3. Click Tools > Highlight
  4. In the pop-up box enter Win32 Code 0 > OK
  5. File > Preferences > Select the color you want (I choose green) > Ok


There are 4 options to choose when using the Filtering feature. You can combine¬†2+ options within this feature (i.e. Use the Time filter and set it “is after” a certain time to see all log entries after a specific time – do this with the Text filter to see all steps with criteria after a certain time.)

In this example I am using Filter with Highlight to see which steps were successful and which were skipped or failed

  1. Open CMTrace
  2. Open SMSTS.log
  3. Click Tools > Filter…
  4. Check the first box ‘Filter when the Entry Text’
  5. On the drop down select ‘contains’
  6. In the text box enter ‘The action’ > Click OK

Error Lookup

If you want to find a quick way to lookup an error code use this feature.

Disclaimer: This method does not always give you a description for the Error Code.

  1. Open CMTrace
  2. Open AppEnforce.log
  3. Copy the error code
  4. On the Menu Bar click Tools > Error Lookup
  5. Paste the Error Code and click Lookup

Elapsed Time

Use this feature to see how long it takes a task to run.

  1. Open CMTrace
  2. Open SMSTS.log
  3. Select the first line where the Task Sequence starts and then the line where the Task Sequence ends
  4. On the bottom you can see the elapsed time
    After I selected all the lines, I can now see that it took 1h and 45min to complete all the steps from this Task Sequence.


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