Deprecation Note

We published the last version of Graylog Documentation before the release of Graylog 4.2. Now, all documentation and help content for Graylog products are available at

There will be no further updates to these pages as of October 2021.

Do you have questions about our documentation? You may place comments or start discussions about documentation here:


Graylog enables you to configure a retention period to automatically delete older messages - this is to help you control the costs of storage in Elasticsearch. But we know it’s not ideal deciding between keeping less messages in Graylog or paying more for hardware. Additionally, many of you are required to store data for long periods of time due to compliance requirements like PCI or HIPAA.

The Archiving functionality allows you to archive log messages until you need to re-import them into Graylog for analysis. You can instruct Graylog to automatically archive log messages to compressed flat files on the local filesystem before retention cleaning kicks in and messages are deleted from Elasticsearch. Archiving also works through a REST call or the web interface if you don’t want to wait until retention cleaning to happen. We chose flat files for this because they are vendor agnostic so you will always be able to access your data.

You can then do whatever you want with the archived files: move them to cheap storage, write them on tape, or even print them out if you need to! If you need to search through archived data in the future, you can move any selection of archived messages back into the Graylog archive folder, and the web interface will enable you to temporarily import the archive so you can analyze the messages again in Graylog.


Archiving is a commercial feature and part of Graylog Enterprise.