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Work in Team Explorer

You use Team Explorer to manage work that is assigned to you, your team, or your team projects, and to coordinate your efforts with other team members to develop a project. Team Explorer connects Visual Studio to team projects that were created on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) or Visual Studio Online. You can manage source code, work items, and builds. Or, create a team project.

The operations available to you depend on which source control option—Team Foundation version control (TFVC) or Git—was selected to manage source code when the team project was created.

Home page with TFVC

Team project objects in Team Explorer

Home page with Git

Team Explorer Home page with Git as source code

From the Connect page, you can Create a team project, select the team projects you want to connect to, and manage your Local Git Repositories. You can also quickly switch context between team projects.

Connect page, lists two connected team projects

Based on the page you select and the options configured for your team project, here’s what you can do:


  1. My Work appears only when you have installed Visual Studio Premium or Visual Studio Ultimate.

  2. Reports appears only when your team project has been configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. Also, the option to Create Report in Microsoft Excel appears only when reporting has been configured for the team project.

  3. Documents appears only if your team project has been configured with a SharePoint Products portal.

If your team project is missing one or more pages, you may be able to add functionality to your on premises TFS deployment.

From the Settings page, you can configure administrative features for either a team project or team project collection. Configuring features in these areas requires you to be a member of a TFS administrator group.


TFS group membership

Feature area

Team project

Team Project Administrators

Configure the following areas for a team project:

Team project collection

Project Collection Administrators

Configure the following areas for a team project collection:

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 more troubleshooting tips, go here.

A: Team Web Access (TWA) connects you to TFS through a web browser. Also, you can use Excel, Project, and Project Professional to manage work items. For a complete overview of all clients, see Choose the Team Foundation client to support your tasks.

A: Yes. Members of an organization who don’t have a client access license (CAL) can access TWA as a stakeholder.

To learn more about access levels, see Change access levels.

A: If data doesn’t appear as expected, the first thing to try is to refresh your client. Refreshing your client updates the local cache with changes that were made in another client or in TFS. To refresh Team Explorer, do one of the following actions:

  • To refresh a page that you are currently viewing, choose Refresh Refresh in the menu bar (or choose the F5 key).

  • To refresh the team project you currently have selected, choose Home icon Home, and then choose Refresh Refresh (or choose the F5 key).

  • To refresh the set of teams defined for the team project that you currently have selected, choose the Connect icon, and then choose Refresh Refresh (or choose the F5 key).

    Team Explorer Connect page

A: The work item types available to you are based on the process template that was used to create your team project. You can modify or add custom work item types.

A: By installing Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Power Tools, you gain access to these additional tools through Team Explorer:

  • Process Template Editor

  • Additional check-in policies for Team Foundation Version Control

  • Team Explorer enhancements including Team Members

  • Team Foundation Power Tool Command Line

  • Test Attachment Cleaner

  • Work Item Templates

Additional requirements may apply.

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