How to know the Process Template used to create a TFS project?

Once a TFS Team Project is created using a process template, there is no record of which process template was used to create the project for later reference. If someone create a project and left the team and another member wants to find out the process template used to create their project, then he will be in a bit of problem as he can’t directly check it any where.

The only possible way to find it is to check its work item types. For example, a project created using Scrum template will have a Backlog item of type “Product Backlog Item” as shown below.


A project created using Agile template will have a Backlog item of type “User Story” as show below.


A project created using CMMI template will have a Backlog item of type “Requirement” as show below.

CMMI Process

By checking the work item type i.e. whether it is a Product Backlog Item or a User Story or a Requirement, we can determine the process template used to create the project as Scrum or Agile or CMMI respectively.


How to know the files/folders checked-in to TFS by any user?

Some team requires the details of files/folders checked-in to TFS by users for auditing purpose. Once can achieve this goal both from web access and visual studio.

In Web Access:

Open your Team Project in Web access. Go to CODE. Here you can either select the entire root project folder or any sub folder to check the history.Then select the History link which will show the entire history of check-in related to that folder. You can switch to either Changesets or Shelvesets tab to view only related to those.


Click on Advanced search.You will see a window like below where you can query for any user for a specific date range.


In Visual Studio:

In Visual Studio, connect to your project in Team Explorer. Go to Source Control Explorer of your project. Right click on folder for which you want to find the check in history. Click on Find->Find Changesets (Or Find Shelvesets). It will open a window similar to below.


You can select check-in history of any user by selecting from “By user:” drop down. You can query for all changes, by changeset number or by a created date.

How to unlock files locked by employee who have left the organization?

Developers always checkout lots of files to their local machine, work on them and then check them into the source control. But what happens when someone checked out bunch of files, modified them and then suddenly left the organization without checking them in?

This can be a night mare for other developers who wants perform some task on those files but they can’t access the file because it has already been checked out and sitting in the workspace of someone else’s machine. You can neither delete, edit nor even delete or rename the folder containing them. This can be really frustrating when you have a deadline to meet.

In order to release a lock you can either unlock the files if you know what files are locked or better, you can remove the workspace of the developer who has left the team. When you remove the workspace, all the files and folders checked out by it’s owner will be checked in into the source control.

To Unlock a file or Remove workspace follow below steps:

  1. Open a developer command prompt:
    • Go to Start->All Programs-> Visual Studio 2013(or 2012, depending on your version of Visual Studio)->Visual Studio Tools
    • Open Developer Command Prompt
  2. Find out the workspace of the employee who left the organization by running below command. (username is for the employee who left)
    • tf workspaces /owner:<username> /collection:<collection url>
    • Ex: tf workspaces /owner:kindian06 /collection:http://kptfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection
    • This command will list all the workspace of that user.
  3. To undo the changes made to a file use below command
    • tf undo <filename with complete path> /workspace:<workspace name>;<username> /collection:<Collection Url>
    • MSDN Link for undo command
  4. To unlock a file:
  5. To remove a workspace: