Bulk modify work items

Visual Studio Team Services | Visual Studio 2015 | Previous versions

When you want to change one or more fields in several work items, you can bulk modify. For example, you might want to change the priority of several bugs or reassign several tasks to the same team member.

Use the web portal to quickly modify one or more fields for work items that will contain the same value. Use Excel to update multiple fields with different values. If you already work in Microsoft Project, then you can use it to perform bulk updates.

Query and select work items

From the Query results page, select the work items you want to modify. You can craft your query using the query editor or search box.

Select the work items you want to modify

Or, you can multi-select work items from any backlog.

Reassign work items or edit a field

With work items selected, open the context menu for any selected item, and reassign all of them. By doing this, you can quickly assign them to a member of your team or to another sprint or iteration.

Assign to link from work item context menu

Or, edit all the selected work items at one time. Enter a value for each field that you want to update.

Bulk modify (TWA)

For audit purposes, you can type a description for your bulk update task.

Save all work items that you bulk-modified.

Bulk modify save results (TWA)

Work items shown in bold text indicate that local changes have not yet been saved to the data store.

Copy or clone a work item

You can’t change the work item type of an existing work item. However, you can clone an existing work item and specify a new type. Open the work item you want to change, copy it—including all links—and choose the work item type you want.

Copy work item dialogue

The cloned work item is automatically linked to the original work item through a Related link type.

If you have a large number of work items whose type you want to change, you can export them using Excel, copy them to a new Excel list, and reimport them by specifying a different work item type. See Bulk add or modify work items with Excel.

Bulk modify tags

Feature availability: Bulk update of work items to add/ or remove tags from the web portal is currently supported only when you connect to VS Team Services. To bulk edit work items when connecting to an on-premises TFS, use Excel.

From the Edit work items dialog, select Tags (Add) or Tags (Remove).

Here we choose to add the Beta tag to the selected work items.

Edit work items - Add tags

Related notes

If you're just getting started, review these topics for more information about work item tracking:

To bulk edit links, you can use these clients:

To refine your search parameters, check out these topics:

Bulk modify the backlog

If you work in VS Team Services or connect to an application server running TFS 2015 Update 1, you can access the bulk edit function from any backlog page.

If you work from an on-premises TFS, use the backlog Create Query feature to create a query with the backlog items. Then, open the query in Excel to bulk modify the backlog.

To change the list order of the backlog, you update either the Backlog Priority or Stack Rank field.

Add multiple values to a field

If you have implemented a custom control that supports multiple values, you can use Excel to bulk edit the field, but you can't modify it using the web portal. In the web portal, you can only select a single value for the field.

Delete work items from the data store

See Remove or delete work items.