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Add tags to work items to categorize and filter work

Tagging work items helps you quickly filter the product backlog or a work item query by categories that you define.


To use tagging, install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 on the application-tier servers for Team Foundation Server (TFS).

  1. From Team Web Access (TWA), open a work item and add a tag. Or, select from the list of previously assigned tags.

    Add one or more tags to a work item

    To add several tags at one time, type a comma between tags. Tags are case sensitive.

    Tags that are listed in the tag bar are already assigned to the work item.

  2. To unassign a tag, simply choose the x on the tag, Delete a tag assigned to a work item.

Open Column Options to add the Tags field to the product backlog or a work item query.

Add Tags to the selected columns to display

All tags that are assigned to the listed work items appear.

View with Tags column added

  1. Turn on filtering and choose a tag.

    Choose a tag to filter the list by that tag

    The list refreshes. Only those work items with the selected tag are displayed. Filtering the list disables add-a-backlog-item panel, stack ranking, and forecasting.

    Filtered list disables other features
  2. To apply a sub-filter, choose another tag.

  3. To show all items, choose All or choose the Turn tag filtering on or off filter icon to turn filtering off.

  • Q: How do I remove a tag from TFS?

    A: Remove the assignments that are associated with the tag. You can’t delete the tag itself. TFS automatically deletes unassigned tags after 3 days of disuse.

  • Q: What if I misspell a tag?

    A: Don't assign the misspelled tag to any work item and it will be automatically deleted within 3 days.

  • Q: Are tags associated with teams?

    A: No. Tags are associated with work items. If your team project contains multiple teams, all teams will add to and work from the same set of tags.

  • Q: Can I filter on more than one tag?

    A: You filter successively be choosing from the set of tags that appear in the filter tag bar. To start your filter process over, choose All to show all tags.

  • Q: Can I add Tags to my default column view on the product backlog page?

    A: Yes. Modify the AgileConfiguration file to include System.Tags in the set of fields to display. See Customize the Backlog Pages.

  • Q: Can I add a tag to my query?

    A: No. You can filter a work item query, but you cannot add a tag through the query editor.

  • Q: Can I add or modify tags using Team Explorer, Excel, or Project?

    A: No. You can view tags using any TFS client. However, you can only add tags and filter work item lists using TWA.