Resolve, Close, or Reactivate a Work Item

You can use the State field of a work item to track the progress of work items from active to closed. All work items have a State field. When you resolve, close, or reactivate a work item you change its state. The states associated with a work item may vary based on the type of work item. You can create states for existing and custom types of work items. The process guidance provided for a type of work item determines how to use the states to track a work item.

When you change the state of a work item as your work moves forward it enables your team to track progress against your project goals. For example, you can generate a list of work items of a specific type that are active or closed. Unless a work item has been customized, all work items are created in an active state. For code defects or bugs, the resolved state enables one team member to indicate that the issue has been addressed and they can automatically reassign it to the team member who opened the issue.


When you change the state of a work item to closed, the work item remains in the Team Foundation database. You can continue to create queries and generate reports with the data contained in the closed work item.  

This procedure explains how to change the work item state by using Team Explorer. The steps are almost identical when you use any one of the other Team Foundation clients: Team Explorer, Team Web Access, Office Excel, or Office Project. For more information about how to modify work items using each Team Foundation client program, see Modify a Work Item.


The following guidance is based on the work item transitions available for the Bug work item for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) Agile Software Development for Team Foundation, one of the process templates which are included with Team Foundation. If your project uses a different process, the work item states might be different.

Required Permissions

To perform these procedures, you must be a member of the Contributors group or have your View work items in this node and you Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

To resolve, close, or reactivate a work item

  1. Open the work item.

  2. Locate the State field on the work item form, and follow one of these steps:

    • Click Resolved to indicate that the work required to address the Bug or other work item type has been completed.

      The Assigned To field automatically changes to the team member who opened the work item.

    • Click Closed to indicate that the resolved status of the Bug or other work item type has been verified.

    • Click Active to reactivate the work item, which indicates that more work is required before the Bug work item can be resolved.

  3. In the Reason list, click the reason that best describes why you changed the status.


    To indicate that you are closing a work item as it is no longer relevant, in the Reason list, click Obsolete.

  4. In the Description box, type additional information about the change as appropriate.

  5. Click Save Work Item.

See Also


Working with Team Foundation Clients

Other Resources

Creating, Copying, and Updating Work Items