How to generating an event trace log for GPUView to troubleshoot performance issues/low FPS/game stutter

Updated 06/01/2020 10:08 AM
Generating an event trace log for GPUView

If you are experiencing performance issue, you may be asked by an NVIDIA support agent for an event trace log file. Follow the steps below to generate an event trace log file that our software team can view to better understand the cause of this issue.

1) Download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10 from the URL below.

2) You may be asked to install Microsoft .NET Framework if you have not previously installed this on your PC. If prompted to install Microsoft .NET Framework, please proceed with the installation and reboot your computer after it has completed.

3) Next, choose the directory where you would like to install the Microsoft tools.  Since event trace logs can be several gigabytes in size, you may want to select a drive that has plenty of space remaining.  Click Next to proceed.

4) You will be asked if you wish to join the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).  This is optional and not required. 

5) Next screen will present you with the License Agreement.  Select Accept to proceed.

6) The final installation step will ask you to choose which features you would like to install.  Please choose Windows Performance Toolkit and then click on the Install button.  This completes the installation.

7) Open a Command Prompt window with Administrative Privileges by left-clicking over the Windows Start icon on the taskbar -> type "command prompt" to display the launch icon and right-click over the icon as shown below (the Command Prompt icon will look the same under Windows 10 and Windows 8 however the Start screen will appear differently) -> select "Run as administrator"


8) Once at the Command Prompt, navigate to the directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Windows Performance Toolkit\gpuview

If you chose a different installation path, navigate to that directory and drill down to the gpuview folder.

9) To start logging, type the command (the first time you run the command, you may need to repeat the process one time to start recording):



10) Keep the Command Prompt window and start the application.  This tool can be started at anytime so if your issue occurs at a predictable rate (eg. every 60 seconds, every 10 minutes), wait until you are close to the period when the issue will occur and then start logging.  You should not record more than 1 minute of activity because of the size of the log file it will save. Once you have reproduced the issue, go back to the desktop and type the command "log.cmd" again to stop recording.   The Command Prompt window show look similar to the screen below:


11) The final GPUView trace file can indeed get very large, very fast, depending on the game. If this happens, then instead of running "log.cmd" to start the trace process, try "log.cmd light" (you still use just the plain "log.cmd" to stop the capture). We won't get quite as much information in this trace, but more often than not it's still enough to give us a lead.

12) Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the gpuview folder.  Several new files will be saved to this folder with the extension .etl.  The only file we require is "Merged.etl".  All of the other files that end with the extension .etl can be deleted. 


12) Since the Merged.etl is quite big, we recommend compressing the file before you send it to NVIDIA.    Windows 10 includes a built in zip utility.  To use the built in Windows zip utility, right-click over the Merged.etl file -> from the pop up context menu,select Send to -> select Compressed (zipped) folder

Alternatively you can use the free 3rd party program 7-zip instead.  You may download this free program from the URL below:

13) Once you have you have compressed the Merged.etl file and have the new zip file ready, you will next need to upload the zipped file to a file sharing site such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.  

14) If you are working with an NVIDIA Customer Care support agent,  you may provide the agent with the URL to download the GPUView ETL trace file.

If you are providing driver feedback through the NVIDIA Display Driver Feedback form, you may email the URL to download the GPUView ETL trace file to  

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