Connect to team projects

Last Update: 10/24/2016

Team Services | TFS "15" | TFS 2015 | Previous versions

To share code, build apps, track work, and collaborate with team members, you connect to a team project from one of the following clients:

From each of these clients, you can quickly switch context to a different team project and connect under a different account name. 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 Git or set up TFVC.

Connect from the web portal

  1. If you're not a member of a Team Services or TFS security group, ask your account or project admin to add you.

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

    Team Services: 

    TFS (on-premises):


    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.

  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.

  4. Choose your team project or team from the set of available links, or choose Browse to access all team projects and teams.

    Web portal, TFS, Oerview page

To switch context to a different team project

  • Choose the team project you want to work on.

    Choose another team from the team project menu

    To learn more about each hub and the tasks you can perform, see Work in the web portal.

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 the web portal from Team Explorer

  • Open the web portal from the home page.

    Connect to Team Web Access

Connect from Visual Studio or Team Explorer

  1. If you haven’t already, download and install Visual Studio or Team Explorer.

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

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

  4. From the Connect page, choose the Connect to Team Project link to select a different account, TFS, or team project to connect to.

    connect to team projects

    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.


    If you selected just one team project, you’ll see the Home page for that project. The pages that appear differ based on the resources enabled and the source control system selected for your team project.

    Home page with Git

    Team Explorer Home page with Git as source control

    Home page with TFVC

    Team Explorer Home page w/ TFVC as source control

    To learn more about each page and the tasks you can perform, see Work in Team Explorer.

    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 Team Services

  1. From the Connect page, choose the Connect to Team Project link to log on with different credentials.

    connect to team projects

    The Switch User link appears only when you are actively connected to a team project hosted on Team Services.

    Connect to Team Foundation Server dialog box

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

To change accounts

  • 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.

Additional resources you may find of interest:

If all you need is a code repository and bug tracking solution, then start with the Git get started guide and Manage bugs.

To start planning and tracking work, see Get started with Agile tools to plan and track work.

User accounts and licensing

To connect to a team project, you need your user account added to the team project. This is typically done by the account owner (Team Services) or a project administrator (TFS).

Team Services provides access to the first 5 account users free. After that, you need to pay for more users (Team Services). For on-premises TFS, each user account must have a TFS client access license (CAL). All Visual Studio subscriptions and paid Team Services users include a TFS CAL. Find out more about licensing from the Visual Studio licensing white paper.

In addition, you can provide access to stakeholders in your organization who will have limited access to select features as described in Work as a Stakeholder.

Configure Visual Studio to connect to TFS Proxy

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 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.

What other clients support connection to TFS?

In addition to connecting through a web browser and Visual Studio, you can connect to a team project from these clients:

Requirements and client compatibility

Some tasks or features aren’t available when you connect to a later version of TFS than which your client supports. See Requirements and compatibility.

Determine your platform or TFS version

See Feedback and support

Clear the cache on client computers

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 10
      Drive:\Users<i>UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\6.0\Cache

    • Windows 8
      Drive:\Users<i>UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\4.0\Cache

    • Windows Vista or Windows 7
      Drive:\Users<i>UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\2.0\Cache

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

What can I do if I can’t connect?

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.