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Connect to team projects in Team Foundation Server

You can connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) from either Team Web Access (TWA) or from Visual Studio using Team Explorer. And, you can quickly switch context to a different team or team project.

When you need to connect under a different account name, you can do that from either TWA or Team Explorer.

If you work remotely, you can configure your client to connect to a TFS Proxy server.

If you need to create a team project, then start here.

To get started with a code base, set up TFVC or set up Git.

  1. If you're not a member of a TFS security group, get added as one.

  2. Open a browser window and type a URL that uses the following form:

    http:// ServerName:8080/tfs/

    For example, to connect to the server named FabrikamPrime, type: http://FabrikamPrime:8080/tfs/.

    The default Port is 8080. Specify the port number and directory for your server if defaults aren’t used.

    When connecting from Visual Studio Online, your URL will have this form:


  3. When you access the server for the first time, a Windows Identity dialog box will appear. Fill in your credentials and choose the OK button.

    Tip: If you select the Remember me check box you won’t have to enter your credentials the next time you connect to TWA.

  4. Choose your team project or team from the set of available links.

    Overview page, Team Web Access

    To connect to a project on Visual Studio Online, follow the link to your team project…

    Team project link on server home page (Hosted)

    Or, choose Browse all to select from the list of team project collections, team projects, and teams that have been defined on the server.

To switch context to a different team project

  • Choose the team project you want to work on.

    Switch context to another team

To log on with different credentials

  1. Open Windows Security from the context menu associated with your name.

    Sign in As link on Account context menu
  2. Enter your credentials.

    Enter user name and password to access TFS

To open TWA from Team Explorer

  • Open TWA from the home page.

    Connect to Team Web Access

  1. Check with a team member to determine the names of the server, team project collection, and team project that you will connect to.

  2. If you're not a member of a TFS security group, get added as one.

  3. From Team Explorer, connect to the server and team project collection where your team project is defined.


    Select the team projects that you will work on.

    Connect to Team Foundation Server dialog box

    If it’s your first time connecting, add TFS to the list of recognized servers.

    Servers button on the Connect to Team Foundation Server dialog box. Add button on the Add/Remove TFS. Name of server in the Add TFS dialog box. OK button.

    If you selected just one team project, you’ll see the Home page for that project.

    Team Explorer home page

    If you selected more than one project, from the connect page, select the one you want to work on now.

    Connect page, lists two connected team projects

    Your client remembers the set of connections you’ve configured. You can quickly switch from one team project to another from the connect page.

To change accounts when connecting to Visual Studio Online

  1. From the connect page, choose the Select team projects link to log on with different credentials.

    ALM_CTP_Connect Connect to Team Foundation Server dialog box

    The Switch User link appears only when you are actively connected to a team project hosted on Visual Studio Online.

  2. Sign on using a valid Microsoft account—an account that is associated with a Visual Studio Online team project.

To change accounts when connecting to TFS on-premises

  • To run Visual Studio under an account that is different from your logged on Windows account, open the context menu for devenv.exe to access your run as options.

    Context menu for Visual Studio devenv.exe

    You can locate the executable in the following folder: Drive:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\.

If your remote team uses a TFS Proxy server to cache files, you can configure Visual Studio to connect through that proxy server and download files under Team Foundation version control.

  1. First, make sure that you have connected to TFS using Team Explorer as described in the previous section.

  2. From the Visual Studio Tools menu, open the Options dialog and expand the Source Control folder. On the Plug-in Selection page, confirm that Visual Studio Team Foundation Server is selected.

    Plug-in Selection page, Options dialog box
  3. On the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server page, enter the name and port number for the TFS Proxy server. Select the Use SSL encryption (https) to connect checkbox.

    VS TFVC proxy configuration page, Options dialog

    Make sure you specify the port number that your administrator assigned to TFS Proxy.

To Configure User Tools to associate a file type with a compare or merge tool, see Associate a file type with a file-comparison tool or Associate a file type with a merge tool.

A: To manage work items, you can use Excel or Project. To manage test efforts, you can use Microsoft Test Manager.

For an overview of all Team Foundation clients and the tasks they support, see Choose the Team Foundation client to support your tasks.

A: To connect to Excel or Project, go here. To link a storyboard to a work item from PowerPoint Storyboarding, go here.

A: When the on-premises TFS configuration changes, such as when moving or splitting a project collection, you might have to clear the cache.

  1. Log on to your client computer for Team Foundation by using the credentials of the user whose cache you want to clear.

  2. Close any open instances of Visual Studio.

  3. Open a browser, and browse to one of the following folders, depending on the operating system that is running on the client computer:

    • Windows 8

      Drive :\Users\ UserName \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\4.0\Cache

    • Windows Vista or Windows 7

      Drive :\Users\ UserName \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\2.0\Cache

    • Windows XP or Windows Server 2003

      Drive :\Documents and Settings\ UserName \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Team Foundation\2.0\Cache

  4. Delete the contents of the Cache directory, including all subfolders.

A: Here’s a list of the most frequently encountered connection problems and what to do about them. Start at the top and follow it in the order indicated.

  1. Verify that you have required permissions.

    If the errors that you receive indicate read-only or blocked actions, you might not have permission to act on the data.

  2. Verify that your computer is connected to the network and can access network resources.

  3. Verify that TFS hasn’t been taken offline. Talk with your TFS administrator.

  4. Verify whether your team project has been moved to another team project collection in Team Foundation Server. If it has been moved, you must create a connection to the new server name.

For additional troubleshooting tips, go here.

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