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Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) Support

This extension provides TFVC support by way of the Source Control Viewlet in Visual Studio Code.

Here are the currently supported features provided by the extension:

  • Execute all basic version control actions such as add, delete, rename, move, etc.
  • View local changes and history for your files
  • Include and Exclude changes (and move files between the two states)
  • Merge conflicts from updates
  • Check-in and update local files
  • Integrated TFVC Output window
  • Support for a TFS proxy
  • Associate work items to check-ins (TEE CLC only)
  • Support for Local workspaces created with either Visual Studio, the JetBrains IDEs or Eclipse (details)

Team Foundation Version Control Viewlet

Quick Start

Below is a short list of steps to get up-and-running with TFVC support. Be sure to check out the other TFVC documentation on this page.

Getting Started Videos

Below are a few videos to help get you started using TFVC quickly.


Azure DevOps Services

If you are using the extension with Azure DevOps Services, ensure you have an Azure DevOps Services organization. If you do not have one, sign up for Azure DevOps Services.

Team Foundation Server

If you are planning on using the extension with Team Foundation Server, you must be running Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 or later. Earlier versions of Team Foundation Server are not supported.


First, you will need to install Visual Studio Code 1.11.1 or later.

The Visual Studio Code Extension

To install the extension with the latest version of Visual Studio Code (version 1.11.1 is the latest as of this writing), bring up the Visual Studio Code Command Palette (F1), type install and choose Extensions: Install Extensions. In the Search Extensions in Marketplace text box, type team. Find the Azure Repos extension published by Microsoft and click the Install button. Restart Visual Studio Code.

TFVC Command Line Client

In order to provide TFVC support in Visual Studio Code, the extension relies on the use of a TF command line client. Therefore, you will need to have one already installed and configured. TFVC support will not work without an available command line client.

Visual Studio IDE (Windows)

With a typical installation of Visual Studio, the Windows version of the TFVC command line client (tf.exe) is available under the Program Files (x86) folder. It will typically be placed in a location similar to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\TF.exe. On the 2017 version of Visual Studio Community, it can be found in a location similar to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\TeamFoundation\Team Explorer\TF.exe. Visual Studio Community can be downloaded from here.

Eclipse, JetBrains IDEs (Windows, macOS, Linux)

If you typically use Eclipse or one of the JetBrains IDEs (e.g., Android Studio, IntelliJ), you will need to download and extract a version of the Team Explorer Everywhere Command Line Client (TEE CLC). As of this update, the latest version can be downloaded from After downloading, extract it to a folder and open a Terminal window.

From that Terminal window, ensure that at least Java 8 is installed and available (run java -version to check the version). Once Java is configured properly, you will need to accept the TEE End User License Agreement by running tf eula. Make sure to read the EULA and accept it by entering y. The extension will not function properly until this EULA is accepted.

If you are using the TEE CLC, see how to set it up by viewing this video.


Azure DevOps Services

If you are connecting to Azure DevOps Services, you will need a personal access token (PAT). The latest version of the extension will prompt for your token and store it securely. In previous versions of the extension, you needed to create a token and store it in your Visual Studio Code settings.

If you do not have a personal access token yet, you will need to create one on your Azure DevOps Services organization. To create the token, go here to read how. You can also view our video on how to do the same.

  • TFVC repositories require tokens with All Scopes. Anything less will cause the extension to fail.

In addition to connecting to Azure DevOps Services using a personal access token (PAT), the TF.exe command line client needs its own access to the remote repository, otherwise TFVC will fail:

  • Open a command prompt with the correct version of TF.exe in its PATH
  • Enter "tf workspace"
  • If this opens a login prompt, enter your credentials
  • You can then close the Workspace window

Team Foundation Server

If you are connecting to Team Foundation Server, you will only need your NTLM credentials (domain name, server name and password). It is assumed that you have the proper permissions on the TFS Server.

Configure TFVC Support

To configure TFVC support, you must provide the location to the TF command line client used by the extension to perform TFVC actions. To set this location, add the following entry to Settings (File > Preferences > Settings):

    "tfvc.location": "<path-to-tf-command-line>"

If you plan to use the TFVC command line provided by the Visual Studio IDE, the value to provide will be similar to C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\\Common7\\IDE\\TF.exe.

If you plan to use the TEE CLC, the value to provide will be similar to /home/username/TEE-CLC-14.114.0/tf. On Windows, the entry should point to tf.cmd. On macOS and Linux, it should point to the script tf. If you are using the TEE CLC, see how to do this by viewing this video.

Team Foundation Version Control

To get an overview of the TFVC support provided by the extension, view this video. Although it demonstrates the extension running on Windows, the TFVC functionality will work the same on macOS and Linux. Further information is detailed below.

Open a local TFVC Repository folder

Once you have installed the extension, open either the root folder or a sub-folder of the TFVC repository. Once a Team Services or Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 (or later) repository is detected by the extension, you will need to provide your credentials (if credentials weren't already found). If you are required to provide your credentials, there will be an indicator in the status bar whose message will indicate that you need to sign in.

The indicator looks like this:

Team Error indicator

To sign in, run the team signin command or simply click on that indicator. If your repository is hosted on Azure Repos, you will be prompted to enter your personal access token. When you do, it will be stored securely on your computer and used to connect. If your repository is on Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 or later, you will be prompted to enter your username and password. After both are provided, they will be stored securely on your computer and used to connect to your TFS server.

Once your credentials are verified, the status bar indicators will be active and the remaining commands will be ready to use. The stored credentials will be used for each connection to the server until they are either removed by the team signout command or overwritten by a subsequent team signin command.

Note: In order for the extension to be activated, a repository folder must be opened. The extension won't be activated if only a single file in the repository is opened.

The TFVC Source Control Viewlet

Team Foundation Version Control Viewlet

This is the Team Foundation Version Control Viewlet. It displays lists of any conflicting changes (to be resolved before the next check-in), included changes (changes to be included in the next check-in), excluded changes (changes to keep but excluded from check-in). The viewlet also provides right-click context menus to allow additional functionality like Undo, Include and Exclude.

Check In and Refresh

TFVC Check In Refresh

  • Check In – This check mark button is used to check in your changes. You will not be prompted for a comment so make sure you provide one before clicking.
  • Refresh – This circular arrow button runs the TFVC Status command and processes the results.

The '...' Menu

This menu provides access to additional commands provided by the TFVC source provider.

TFVC ... Menu

  • Sync – This option runs the Get command and handles any conflicts or errors.
  • Associate Work Items – In order to associate work items to your check-in, select this option. The list of work items assigned to you (or returned from your custom query) will be displayed for you to choose. Choosing one adds it to your check-in comment.
  • Check In – Use this option to check in your changes.
  • Undo All - If there are file modifications, this command will prompt for confirmation and then undo all of the changes.
  • Show TFVC Output – Use this option to display the TFVC Output window which shows the TFVC commands run during this session.
  • Switch SCM Provider... > – This option is provided by VS Code and allows you to change between the available source control providers (e.g, Git, TFVC, etc.).

Resolving Conflicts

When conflicts need to be resolved, you can use these commands to do so. There are inline icons which also provide this functionality.

TFVC Resolve Conflicts

  • Open Diff – Opens the diff view between the modified file and the versioned file.
  • Open File – Opens the modified file in the editor.
  • Resolve: Take Theirs – Resolves the conflict as Take Theirs.
  • Resolve: Keep Yours – Resolves the conflict as Keep Yours.
  • Undo – Reverts the changes made to the file.

Note: Resolving conflicts between branches is not supported in the extension. At this time, these conflicts are best addressed in an IDE or at the command line.

File Explorer

Access to renaming a file is provided on Visual Studio Code's File Explorer menu.

TFVC Rename

  • Delete (TFVC) – To properly delete a file in TFVC using the Delete command, use this option on Visual Studio Code's File Explorer. Since 1.119.0, the extension will no longer automatically promote candidate deletions to a TFVC delete.

  • Rename (TFVC) – To properly rename a file in TFVC using the Rename command (instead of Delete and Add), use this option on Visual Studio Code's File Explorer. You will prompted for a new file name.

Additional Information

Specifying a TFS Proxy

To configure a TFS proxy server, you must provide the URL to that server in the Visual Studio Code Settings (File > Preferences > Settings):

  "tfvc.proxy": "http://servername:9999/proxy"

Restricting Status changes to the current VS Code Workspace

By default, TFVC support shows status across the entire mapped workspace regardless of the folder you may have open in Visual Studio Code. If you prefer to see just the status of changes for the currently opened VS Code workspace, you can do so by setting the following flag in the Visual Studio Code Settings (File > Preferences > Settings):

  "tfvc.restrictWorkspace": true

Frequently Asked Questions

I received the "It appears you have configured a non-English version of the TF executable. Please ensure an English version is properly configured." error message after configuring TF.exe. How can I get the extension to work properly?

When TF.exe is configured as the tool to communicate with your TFS server (the TEE CLC does not have this problem), it will output status messages in the language of the configured operating system. So if the operating system is configured for German, the status messages will be output in German. The extension parses the output of TF.exe to show status in the SCM Viewlet. Today, the extension expects the messages to be output in English (thus the error message you received). This message is an attempt to identify the issue.

While there isn't a fix (e.g, an update to TF.exe that allows it to always output English status messages), one workaround is to rename the folder on disk from where the localized resources are being loaded by TF.exe. If the folder containing the localized resources cannot be located, the .NET Framework will fallback to the resources stored in TF.exe itself (the English ones). To locate the folder that needs to be renamed, open the folder that contains the TF.exe you have configured. In that folder are folders such as de, fr, it, es. Simply rename that folder with another name and restart Visual Studio Code. If you would rather not update that particular installation of Visual Studio (as such a change would affect Visual Studio as well), you can install the standalone Team Explorer 2017 version of Visual Studio, configure the TF.exe that ships with it and rename the folder in that instance.

Is it required that I have a TFVC workspace already on my local machine to use the TFVC support?

Since release 1.116.0, yes, it is a requirement that you have an existing workspace on your local machine.

Can I use the Team Explorer Everywhere Command Line Client (TEE CLC) to provide the TFVC functionality on Windows?

Yes. If you use Eclipse or one of JetBrain's IDEs (e.g, Android Studio, IntelliJ) on Windows, then you will want to use the TEE CLC to provide the TFVC support.

How do I set up the CLC on Windows?

While the TEE CLC is primarily for macOS and Linux users it can also be used on Windows. In order to use the CLC on Windows, you need to do the following:

  • Download and install a version of Java 8 for Windows.
    • Make sure to install the version (i.e., x86 or x64) that matches your processor architecture
  • Ensure the path to java.exe is a part of your PATH environment variable.
    • Check that you can successully run java -version
  • Download and unzip the latest version of the TEE CLC to a local folder of your choice.
    • The file you need to download is of the format
  • Open a command prompt and run {path-to-tf.cmd} eula and accept the End User License Agreement.
  • From within Visual Studio Code, update your tfvc.location setting to the full path to tf.cmd (e.g., C:\TEE-CLC-14.111.1\tf.cmd).
  • The last thing that you must do is run the tf workspaces command as detailed here so that the CLC is aware of the workspaces in the specified collection. (Each tool, tf.cmd and tf.exe, keeps its own local cache of workspaces.)

Finally, there's also a video that shows how to do this on Linux (the same high-level steps apply on Windows).

Which instructions do I follow to set up TFVC functionality on the macOS?

You will follow the same instructions for setting up the TEE CLC as is shown on Ubuntu in this video.

I have workspaces created with Visual Studio. Can I use the TEE CLC to work with them?

This should be possible. However, you will need to make the TEE CLC aware of those workspaces by running the tf workspaces -collection:<collection-url> command.

Using the TEE CLC, I am unable to access an existing local workspace. What can I do?

This error may mean you are attempting to access a workspace created by TF.exe from the TEE CLC. First, using the CLC, run the tf workspaces command as detailed here to help the CLC be aware of the workspaces in the specified collection. You may also need to run the tf workfold command from the local folder being accessed from Visual Studio Code. Running both commands should make the TEE CLC aware of the workspace and as well as verify that access to it is possible.

Note: You will also have to do this if you move between versions of TF.exe (e.g., workspaces created with VS2015 will not be able to be detected with the TF.exe that ships with VS2017 until tf workspaces is run with the 2017 TF.exe; and vice-versa). Each major version of TF.exe stores its workspace information in a different folder on disk. This behavior is "by-design".

My TFS server requires associating work items to a check-in via check-in policies but I can't check in with TF.exe. What can I do?

Unfortunately, TF.exe doesn't provide the ability to associate work items on check in. The most TF.exe can do is submit a check in comment with a reference to the work item (which will not actually associate the work item). In order to enable checking in to servers that have check-in policies enabled, you must use the TEE CLC (which does provide support for associating work items on check-in). Follow these instructions to set up the TEE CLC on Windows.

Many files are showing up in the TFVC Viewlet that don't show up in the Visual Studio IDE. How can I ignore them?

The Visual Studio IDE shows these files as 'Detected Changes' and simply displays the number of them. The TFVC Viewlet will display each file individually. See this issue for an example of what you may see. To properly ignore these files, create a .tfignore file and add it to the root folder of your TFVC repository. (You will also want to check this file in.) You can find the official documentation on how to do this here. To get started easily, copy this example file, place it in the root of your repository, update it as necessary and check it in. For example, if you want to ignore all files under the node_modules folder, you would add a \node_modules entry to the .tfignore file.

I already have Visual Studio installed. How can I determine the location of TF.exe?

Here's a tip from @dsolodow (original comment): When you install Visual Studio, it creates a Start Menu shortcut called "Developer Command Prompt for VS YEAR" where YEAR is 2015, 2017, etc. If you launch that, and then at that prompt run where tf.exe it will give you the full path to it that you can then put into the settings.json.

How can I acquire TF.exe? Do I need a version of Visual Studio?

Yes, you do need a version of Visual Studio. While TF.exe comes with the Community, Enterprise and Professional versions of Visual Studio 2017, there is also a free, standalone "Visual Studio Team Explorer 2017" version that contains TF.exe. You can find all of the versions of Visual Studio (including Team Explorer) on the Visual Studio 2017 Downloads page (which needs to be expanded first). It is listed under the "Visual Studio 2017" section on that page. The release notes for Team Explorer 2017 can be found here.

Where is the support for Server workspaces?

At this time, it's still on the backlog. The issue tracking support for Server workspaces is here.

What is the difference between a Local and Server workspace? How can I tell which one I'm working with?

You can read about the differences between the two in our documentation. Using tf.exe on Windows, you can determine which type of workspace you have by running tf workspace from the folder where your workspace resides. When you do, a dialog box similar to the one below will be displayed and you can see the type of workspace in the Location field (you may need to click the Advanced >> button). To change the type of workspace, update the Location field and click OK.

Azure Repos extension

Further Information

For information on other features of the extension, support, licensing, privacy, or contributing code, please review the main README file.