Viewing Large Text and Log Files

Log files can become quite big, and if you generate scripts of type Data in SSMS, the script files easily reach 1GB or more in size.

But which viewer or editor can you use to open a 20GB text file? Certainly not Notepad, and even Notepad++ struggles and is unresponsive for a long time.


BareTail is a log file viewer with a nice “Follow Tail” option which allows you to watch web server and other log files while they are written.

Pros: Line coloring based on text in lines. Updated files are marked in the tabs. Save config to file.

Cons: Pre-UAC application, so saving the configuration fails if it is installed under C:\Program Files\. Cannot copy large texts to clipboard. No Search.

Large Text File Viewer

Large Text File Viewer is a text file viewer. Opens large text files immediately, and loads the file in the background without blocking the UI.

Searching for text displays a dialog with the estimated search time, which is about 1 hour for 20GB or 75M lines.

Support for Unicode, but no UTF-8.


The V File Viewer displays files in text and in hex mode which is great for analyzing large binary files, or detecting the encoding of large text files.

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