Shelve Command

Last Update: 9/26/2016

Team Services | TFS 2015 | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio 2013

Stores a set of pending changes, together with pending check-in notes, a comment, and a list of associated work items on the server that is running Visual Studio Team Foundation Server without actually checking them into the version control server.

Required Permissions

If you want to use the shelve command to delete a shelveset, you must be a shelveset owner, or your Administer shelved changes permission must be set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

tf shelve  [/replace] [/comment:("comment"|@commentfile)] [shelvesetname] [/validate][/noprompt] [/login:username,[password]]

tf shelve [/move] [/replace] [/comment:("comment"|@commentfile)] 
[/recursive] [shelvesetname] itemspec [/validate] [/noprompt] [/login:username,[password]]

tf shelve /delete shelvesetname[;owner] [/login:username,[password]] [/collection:TeamProjectCollectionUrl]


Argument Description
commentfile Specifies a file system path of a file from which comments for the shelveset should be read.
comment Specifies the comment for the shelveset.
itemspec Identifies the files or folders to shelve. By default, all pending changes in the current workspace are shelved if this parameter is not specified. For more information about how Team Foundation parses itemspecs to determine which items are within scope, see Command-Line Options.
shelvesetname Specifies a name by which the shelveset can be retrieved from the Team Foundation server. You can specify an existing combination of shelvesetname *and *owner *but only if **/replace* is also specified.

You must provide a value for this parameter.
owner Identifies the current or intended owner of the shelveset by user name. By default, the current user is assigned ownership of the shelveset if one is not specified.
username Provides a value to the /login option. You can specify a username value as either DOMAIN*UserName* or UserName.
TeamProjectCollectionUrl The URL of the team project collection that contains the files or folders that you want to shelve (for example, http://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection/).
Option Description
/move Removes pending changes from the workspace after the shelve operation is successful.
/replace Replaces the existing shelveset with the same name and owner as the one that you specify.
/delete Deletes the specified shelveset. Only the /server option may be combined with this option. If you do not include the /noprompt option, a confirmation message appears when the /delete option is specified.
/comment Adds a specified comment describing the shelved changes.
/recursive Shelves all items in the specified shelveset folder, its subfolders and all items therein if the itemspec you provide is a folder.
/noprompt Suppresses any prompts for input from you.
/validate Only valid when not combined with /noprompt.

This option selects the validation check box in the **Shelve - Source Files **dialog box when it opens. When the validation check box is selected, the dialog box will evaluate the check-in policies and verify that require check-in notes have been filled in. This option is useful when the changes are being handed off for review and check-in by someone else.
/login Specifies the user name and password to authenticate the user with Team Foundation Server.
/collection Specifies the team project collection.


The shelve command of the tf command-line utility backs up pending changes, a list of associated work items, in-progress check-in notes, and comments in a shelveset on the Team Foundation Server. A *shelveset *is much like a changeset that is not committed to the server. Like a changeset, a shelveset can be retrieved from the server into a local workspace by any user who has sufficient permissions.

Shelving is an alternative to checking in pending changes that have not been tested sufficiently. Use shelving when you want to interrupt you work:

  • Share a set of local working files together with another developer or tester without checking in your changes to the version control server.

  • Set aside a group of pending changes temporarily without checking them in so that you can instead work on a higher priority issue. After you complete work on the high priority task, you can restore your shelved changes using the Unshelve Command.

If you include the /move option, the shelve command rolls back all shelved file revisions to their base workspace versions that is the last version retrieved from the server to the current workspace. Specifically, the /move option makes sure that for all the items that you shelve:

  • Uses Undo to undo the changes that were shelved. The files that were pending additions are deleted from the workspace.

  • The base workspace versions of all files for which pending editions exist are retrieved from the server into the current workspace.

  • All items in the current workspace are marked read-only.

If you include the /delete option, Team Foundation permanently removes the specified shelveset from the Team Foundation server.

For more information on how to find the tf command-line utility, see Tf Command-Line Utility Commands.


The following example creates a new shelveset on the Team Foundation Server called Reflector_BuddyTest, assigns ownership to the user Hans, then returns all items in the current workspace to the latest version downloaded during the last get operation, and a sets a read-only state.

c:\projects> tf shelve Reflector_BuddyTest;Hans /move

The following example deletes the existing shelveset, "new-feature" from the server, creates a new shelveset by that name, and retains all pending changes in the current workspace.

c:\projects> tf shelve new-feature /replace

The following example creates a shelveset named HelloWorld_TestMe that includes all pending changes to all .cs files in the C:\projects working folder and its subfolders.

c:\projects> tf shelve HelloWorld_TestMe c:\projects\*.cs /recursive

The following example deletes the HelloWorld_24 shelveset.

c:\projects> tf shelve HelloWorld_24 /delete

See Also


Shelve and Unshelve Pending Changes


Command-Line Syntax (Version Control)

Checkin Command

Changeset Command

Unshelve Command


Working with Shelvesets

Pending Changes

Other Resources

Tf Command-Line Utility Commands