Manage users and access in Visual Studio Team Services

Last Update: 5/9/2017

Team Services

Add users to your Team Services account so you can specify the level of features that they can use: Basic or Stakeholder. These users can join your Team Services account for free:

  • 5 users who get Basic features, like version control, tools for Agile, Java, build, release management, and more
  • Unlimited users who get Stakeholder features like working with your backlog, work items, and queries
  • Unlimited Visual Studio subscribers who also get Basic features, and in some cases, additional features with specific extensions, like Test Manager

Need more users with Basic features or Visual Studio subscriptions? ▼

When your account stays within the free limits, you don't have to pay for users to join your account. You only have to pay if you have more than 5 users who need Basic features, and they don't have Visual Studio subscriptions. You can pay for additional users in the Visual Studio Marketplace, return to your Team Services account, add these users, and assign them Basic access. This lets you pay monthly for their access, and you can cancel anytime.

Visual Studio subscriptions give you flexible ways to access Team Services and to license the Visual Studio IDE and other Microsoft software for dev and test. Learn how to buy Visual Studio subscriptions from the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Or learn how to manage purchased Visual Studio subscriptions in the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration portal. Make sure to sign in with the ID that you used to purchase your subscriptions.

You can add people to team projects, rather than to your account. Team Services automatically assigns them Basic features, if your account has seats available, or Stakeholder features, if not. Learn how to add members to team projects.

How does access differ from permissions? ▼

Access levels control which features are available to users, while permissions control their access to account resources. Can't access some features? For TFS, learn how to change access levels or buy more access to TFS or the Test hub.

To control access to account resources instead, learn how to add permissions or restrict permissions. To change how many users can access paid extensions in your Team Services account, learn how to change paid extension users.

When people don't need access to your Team Services account anymore, delete them from your account.

Before you get started

You'll need Team Services project collection administrator or account owner permissions.

Add users to your Visual Studio Team Services account

  1. Sign in to your Team Services account (https://{youraccount}.visualstudio.com).

    Why am I asked to choose between my "work or school account" and my "personal account"?

  2. Go to Users where you can view and assign access levels for all account users.

    Why can't I access the Users hub? ▼

    Go to Users hub

    Your account access appears in the Users hub

  3. Add the user's email address. Select their access level, based on the features they need.

    Which email addresses can I add? ▼

    You must add email addresses for "personal" Microsoft accounts unless your Team Services account authenticates users and control account access through Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Learn if your Team Services account uses your organization's directory. If your users don't have Microsoft accounts, have them sign up.

    If your Team Services account is connected to your organization's directory, all users must be members in that directory. If they're not members, have a directory administrator add them to that directory. You can then find them in that directory when you add them to your account by searching for their email addresses or display names.

    Add users from a directory when connected to your account

    Can I get more info about access levels? ▼

    You can add these users for free:

    For example, to add another Visual Studio subscriber:

    Add Visual Studio subscribers

    Team Services automatically recognizes and validates Visual Studio subscribers, and assigns access levels that match their subscriptions, no matter which access levels you give them.

    Team Services validates Visual Studio subscribers when they sign in

    Why won't my subscription validate when I sign in?

    And here's what a team might look like after adding Visual Studio subscribers, some free users who get Basic features, a Stakeholder, and paying for more users with get Basic features:

    Added users and assigned access

    Your user summary shows only the number of users with access levels assigned to them.

  4. To finish inviting and adding a user to your account, click Send Invitation.

    Each user gets an invitation email that has a link to your Team Services account.

    To sign in to your account, they can use the invitation link, or go directly to your account at https://{youraccount}.visualstudio.com.

    First-time users might be asked for extra details when they sign in to personalize their experience.

  5. After adding users to your account, you can add them to team projects.

    Why don't users appear or disappear promptly in Team Services after I add or delete them in the Users hub?

Next

Delete users from your Visual Studio Team Services account

Before you start, you'll need Team Services project collection administrator or account owner permissions.

  1. Sign in to your Visual Studio Team Services account (https://{youraccount}.visualstudio.com).

    Why am I asked to choose between my "work or school account" and my "personal account"?

  2. Go to Users. Select the user, then choose Delete.

    Go to Users hub

    Delete users from the Users hub

  3. To make sure that you've removed the user completely, check your security groups and permissions.

    Why don't users appear or disappear promptly in Team Services after I add or delete them in the Users hub?

  4. If you deleted paid users who had Basic features, and you don't want to pay for these users, you must also reduce these users in the Visual Studio Marketplace, so you're not charged in your next Azure billing cycle.

    To reduce or cancel these users for the next month, you must make updates before the last day of the current month. Your bill won't show these change until the next month because paid users are monthly purchases.

Q&A

Permissions

Q: Why can't I manage users?

A: To access the Users hub and manage users, you must have Team Services project collection administrator or account owner permissions.

Q: How do I find a project collection administrator?

A: If you have at least Basic access, you can find your project collection administrator in your Team Services account's security settings.

  1. Go to your Team Services account's security settings.

    Click gear button, Security

  2. Under Security, view your project collection administrators.

    Go to Project Collection Administrators, Members

Q: How do I find the account owner?

If you have at least Basic access, you can find the current owner in your Team Services account settings.

  1. Go to your Team Services account settings.

    Go to account settings

  2. Under Settings, find the current owner.

    Find current owner

Q: Why don't users appear or disappear promptly in Team Services after I add or delete them in the Users hub?

A: If you experience delays finding users or having them promptly removed from Team Services, like in drop-down lists and Team Services groups, after you add or delete them through the Users Hub, please report a bug at Microsoft Connect so that we can investigate.

Visual Studio subscriptions

Q: When do I select "Visual Studio/MSDN Subscriber"?

A: Assign this access level to users who have active and valid Visual Studio subscriptions. You'll need the email address that's associated with this subscription. Team Services automatically recognizes and validates Visual Studio subscribers who have Team Services as a benefit.

For example, if you select "Visual Studio/MSDN Subscriber", but you don't have a valid and active Visual Studio subscription, you can only work as a stakeholder.

Q: Which Visual Studio subscriptions can I use with Team Services?

A: These subscriptions include Team Services at no extra charge (check here for the current list):

  • Visual Studio Enterprise - monthly
  • Visual Studio Enterprise - annual
  • Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN, including subscriptions offered through BizSpark and Microsoft Partner Network (MPN)
  • Visual Studio Professional - monthly
  • Visual Studio Professional - annual
  • Visual Studio Professional with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
  • MSDN Platforms

Not eligible:

  • MSDN Operating Systems
  • MSDN Essentials
  • Visual Studio Professional (MPN)

Learn more about Visual Studio subscriptions.

Q: Which specific subscriptions do "Visual Studio Enterprise subscription" and "Visual Studio Professional subscription" include?

A: "Visual Studio Enterprise subscription" can describe:

  • Visual Studio Enterprise - monthly
  • Visual Studio Enterprise - annual
  • Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN

"Visual Studio Professional subscription" can describe:

  • Visual Studio Professional - monthly
  • Visual Studio Professional - annual
  • Visual Studio Professional with MSDN

Q: Why won't my Visual Studio subscription validate?

A: This might happen for different reasons:

Still having problems? Try these troubleshooting tips. If you need more help, contact Support.

Q: Why do Visual Studio subscribers' access levels change after they sign in?

A: Team Services recognizes Visual Studio subscribers and will automatically assign them access based on their subscription, no matter the current access level that's assigned to them.

Q: What happens if a user's subscription expires?

A: If no other access levels are available, they'll work as stakeholders. To restore access, they must renew their subscription.

Q: What happened to Visual Studio Online Professional?

A: On December 1, 2015, we replaced Visual Studio Online Professional with the Visual Studio Professional monthly subscription and will transition users automatically. While Visual Studio Online Professional purchases now appear as Visual Studio Professional monthly subscriptions on your monthly invoice, we haven't determined when users will be transitioned systematically. This transition provides an upgrade by offering access to unlimited Team Services accounts, not just one account, like Visual Studio Online Professional. The rest stays the same - monthly access to the Visual Studio Professional IDE, and pricing remains at $45 per user, per month. Learn more about Visual Studio subscriptions.

If you're buying Professional users for a specific Team Services account, which is possible only if you bought before November 2015, and want to upgrade, do this:

  1. Before the last day of the calendar month, sign in to the Azure portal, and reduce the number of paid Visual Studio Online Professional users to 0.

    This change will take effect on the 1st day of next month. This means that in the next calendar month, you won't be billed for Visual Studio Online Professional users at all.

  2. On the 1st day of the next calendar month, go to the Marketplace and buy Visual Studio Professional monthly subscriptions for the same users. Learn how to buy Visual Studio subscriptions.

    Note If you want to use your monthly Azure credits as a Visual Studio subscriber to pay for users, make sure to remove your subscription's default spending limit indefinitely. Learn more.

User access

Q: Can users with paid Basic access join other Team Services accounts?

A: No, users can only join the Team Services account where you've paid for Basic access. But those users can join any Team Services account where free users with Basic access are still available or as users with Stakeholder access for free.

Q: Why can't users access some features?

A: Make sure that users have the correct access level in the Users hub. For Team Services, learn how to manage users and access levels. For TFS, learn learn how to change access levels.

Also, some features are available only as extensions, so you'll need to install these extensions. Most extensions require that you have at least Basic access, not Stakeholder. Check the extension's description in the Visual Studio Marketplace.

For example, to search your code, you can install the free Code Search extension but you'll need at least Basic access to use the extension. To help your team improve app quality, you can install the free Test & Feedback extension, but you'll get different capabilities based on your access level and whether you work offline or connected to Team Services or TFS. To create test plans in the Test hub, you'll need to install the Test Manager extension. Some Visual Studio subscribers can use this extension for free, but users with Basic access will need paid extension access before they can use Test Manager. Learn how to get extensions for Team Services or how to get extensions for TFS. Also, learn how to buy access to the TFS Test hub.

Q: Why did I or my team member lose access to certain features?

A: This might happen for different reasons, but meanwhile, you or your team member can continue working as a stakeholder:

  • Your or your team member's Visual Studio subscription has expired. Meanwhile, they'll work as stakeholders, or you can give them Basic access until they renew their subscriptions. After they sign in, Team Services will restore their access automatically.

  • The Azure subscription used for billing is no longer active. This affects all purchases made with this subscription, including Visual Studio subscriptions. To fix this problem, visit the Azure account portal.

  • The Azure subscription used for billing was unlinked from your Team Services account. Learn more about linking your account.

  • Your Team Services account has more users with Basic access than the number of users that you're paying for in Azure. Your account includes 5 free users with Basic access, but if you need to add more users with Basic access, you can pay for these users. Otherwise, on the 1st day of the calendar month, users who haven't signed into your account the longest will lose access first. If your account has users who don't need access anymore, remove them from your account.

  • You no longer have access to features that are available only as extensions. This might happen for different reasons.

    • Your access level no longer meets your extension's requirements. Most extensions require at least Basic access, not Stakeholder. For more details, see the extension's description in the Visual Studio Marketplace.

    • The extension was uninstalled. You can reinstall the extension by visiting the extension page in the Visual Studio Marketplace.

    • If you're using a paid extension, the Azure subscription used for billing might be unlinked from your Team Services account or might no longer be active. Learn more about linking your Team Services account, or visit the Azure account portal to check your payment details.

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and your account

Q: Why do I have to add users to a directory?

A: Your Team Services account authenticates users and controls access through Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). All users must be directory members to get access.

If you're a directory administrator, you can add users to the directory. If you're not, work with your directory administrator to add users. Learn more about controlling access with a directory.

Q: How do I find out if my Team Services account controls access with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)?

A: If you have at least Basic access, here's how:

  1. Go your Team Services account settings.

    Go to account settings

  2. Under Settings, check if your account controls access with Azure AD.

    Go to Settings, check for a connected directory

    If your account is connected to your organization's directory, this means that only users from your organization's directory can join your account. Learn about controlling account access with Azure AD.

Q: My account controls access with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Can I just delete users from the directory?

A: Yes, but this removes their access to all Team Services accounts and other assets associated with that directory. You must have Azure AD global administrator permissions to
delete a user from your Azure AD.

Q: Why must I choose between a "work or school account" and my "personal account"?

A: This happens when you sign-in with an email address, like jamalhartnett@fabrikam.com, that's shared by your personal Microsoft account and by your work account or school account. Although both identities use the same sign-in address, they're still separate identities with different profiles, security settings, and permissions, so you see this screen when you sign in:

Choose work or school account, or personal Microsoft account

  • Choose Work or school account if you used this identity to create your Team Services account or signed in with this identity before. For example, choose this option if you used to sign in to Team Services here:

    Old signin for work or school accounts

    Your identity is authenticated by your organization's directory in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), which controls access to your Team Services account.

  • Choose Personal account if you used your Microsoft account with Team Services. For example, choose this option if you used to sign in to Team Services here:

    Old signin for Microsoft account

    Your identity is authenticated by the global directory for Microsoft accounts.

Q: Why can't I sign in after I choose either "personal Microsoft account" or "work or school account"?

A: This happens when your sign-in address is shared by your personal Microsoft account and by your work account or school account, but your selected identity doesn't have access. Although both identities have the same sign-in address, they're still separate identities with different profiles, security settings, and permissions.

Please try signing out completely from Team Services by following the steps below because just closing your browser might not sign you out completely from Team Services. Then sign in again to Team Services, and select your other identity:

  1. Close all browsers, including those that aren't running Team Services.

  2. Open a private or incognito browsing session.

  3. Go to this URL: http://aka.ms/vssignout

    You'll get a message that says "Sign out in progress". After you're signed out, you're redirected to the Visual Studio page @www.visualstudio.com.

    Tip If the sign-out page takes more than a minute, close the browser, and continue.

  4. Sign in to Team Services again. Select your other identity.

More support

Q: How do I get help or support for Team Services?

A: Try the Team Services forum or Team Services Support.