Quick Start Guide for Manual Testing using Microsoft Test Manager

This is a Quick Start Guide for manual testing. The guide helps you get started quickly by describing how to create manual tests, run them and record the results by using Microsoft Test Manager.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional


To conduct the steps in this guide, you must have Team Foundation Server installed. For more information, see Installing Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM.

The following procedures describe the key steps for this Quick Start Guide:

  1. Connect to your team project and create a plan

  2. Add details to your test plan

  3. Add manual test cases

  4. Run tests and submit any bugs

  5. Track your testing progress for the plan

Connect to Your Team Project

First, you must connect to the appropriate team project. Select the team project that is used to develop the application under test and store your requirements or user stories. This is where your testing artifacts will be stored.

Connect to Your Team Project


Only team projects that you have permission to access will be displayed. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

To connect to your team project and create a plan

  1. Open Microsoft Test Manager.


    To display the Microsoft Test Manager window, choose Start, and then choose All Programs. Point to Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and then choose Microsoft Test Manager.

  2. To add a new Team Foundation Server for the first time, type the URL, or just the name of the Team Foundation Server, and then choose Add.

    The connection string that will be used to connect to Team Foundation Server is shown in Preview.


    If you do not know the name of your Team Foundation Server, contact your system administrator.

    To conduct the steps in this guide, you must have Team Foundation Server installed. For more information, see Installing Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM.

  3. To select a team project collection, choose the arrow to view the list of team projects for this team project collection.

    For more information about team project collections and team projects, see Organizing Your Server with Team Project Collections.

  4. Select the name of your team project in the list, and then choose Connect.

    If you successfully connect to this team project, the Testing Center is displayed.


    You can select an existing test plan to use or add a new one. To select an existing test plan to use, choose the plan in the list and then choose Select Plan.

  5. To add a plan, choose Add.

    The Add test plan dialog box is displayed.

  6. Type the name for your plan in Enter the plan name, and then choose Add.

    Your plan is now added to the list and highlighted.

  7. (Optional) To create a URL that other team members can use to connect to this plan, choose Copy URL for plan.

    This copies the URL to the plan you created to the clipboard. You can now paste this URL into an email and send it to others in your team so that they can easily connect to the plan. For more information, see How to: Switch between Test Plans Using URLs.

  8. To select the plan you added, choose Select plan.

    The Contents view for your test plan is displayed. Now follow the steps in the next procedure to add the details of your test plan.

Add Details to Your Test Plan

Before you create test cases and run them, you must have a test plan. The details that you can add to your test plan are shown in the following illustration. You can update the test plan at any time. The following procedure describes the minimum changes that you might want to make to your test plan properties.

Test Plan Properties

To add details to your test plan

  1. To change to the properties view for your test plan, choose Properties.

  2. (Optional) To change to a different iteration for your team project, choose Iteration.

  3. (Optional) The default configuration provided for the test plan specifies that the tests should be run on the Windows 7 operating system using Internet Explorer 8.0 as the browser. You can just use this as a placeholder to get started, or you can create a different configuration with different default values, or different configuration variables. To add new configurations, choose In this plan under Configurations, and then choose Manage. For more information, see Test Configurations - specifying test platforms.


    Configurations are part of planning and inform the tester what is required. When the tests are run, there is no verification that the tests are actually running on that configuration.

  4. To save any changes, choose Save and Close.


    You can update your test plan at any point. For more information that is not covered in this Quick Start Guide about what you can do with your test plan, see Creating and Defining a Test Plan.

    The Contents view is displayed. You can now follow the steps in the next procedure to create your manual test cases.

Create Manual Test Cases

You can just add test cases to the default test suite that has the same name as the test plan, as shown in the following illustration.

Add Test Cases to Default Test Suite

Or you can add requirements to the test plan and add your test cases to these requirements.

Add Requirements and Test Cases to a Test Plan

When you create manual test cases, you can add the action and expected result for each test step, as shown in the following illustration. When you run this test, you will be able to mark each test step as either passed or failed.

Create a Test Case

To create manual test cases

  1. To show the contents of the test plan, choose Contents.

  2. (Optional) To create a new test suite by using a requirement, choose Add requirements.

    The Add existing requirements to this test plan dialog box is displayed.

  3. (Optional) Select any requirements that you want to add to the test plan, and then choose Add requirements to plan.


    For this Quick Start Guide the test suites that were created from the requirements are added to the default suite that is the root node with the same name as the test plan. You can add test cases or test suites to this test suite root node, but you cannot rename it. For more information about how to organize your test cases with test suites, see Organizing Test Cases Using Test Suites.

  4. To add test cases to the default test suite or a suite created from the requirements, select the test suite in the test suite hierarchy pane and then choose New in the test suite details pane.

    The New Test Case dialog box is displayed.

  5. Enter the details for your new test case including the title, actions, and expected results for each test step, and then choose Save and Close.

    The new test case is now displayed in the test suite details pane.


    If the test case is created for a test suite based on a requirement, the test case will automatically be linked to the requirement.

Run Tests

You can now run the tests in your test plan. Each pairing of the default configurations and test cases in the test plan is displayed in the Test view. You can select the tests that you want to run, as shown in the following illustration.

How to Run a Test

Then you can start the test from Test Runner.


You will be prompted to start a test and you will have the option to create an action recording. An action recording can be used to play back the actions that you perform when you run your test. For more information about action recordings, see Recording and Playing Back Manual Tests.

Start the application under test and perform the test steps. As the test runs, mark steps as either passed or failed; add comments, files or screen shots; or create a bug, as shown in the following illustration.

Test Runner for Manual Tests

To run manual tests

  1. In the center group menu bar, choose Test.

  2. To run the tests, select the test suite that contains the tests that you want to run.

    The pairings of the tests and configurations are shown in the list.

  3. Select the tests you want to run and then choose Run.

  4. Test Runner opens.

  5. In Test Runner, you are prompted to Start test and optionally you can select Create an action recording. Choose Start test.


    You can increase the speed and efficiency of tests using action recordings. For more information about how to create an action recording, see How to: Create an Action Recording.

  6. Perform the steps in the test case.

    Any data associated with a test step is displayed with the step.

  7. To mark the result of a test step, choose the drop-down for the active icon to the right of the test step and then choose either Pass or Fail.

    To pause the test at any time, choose Pause. If you are recording the test case, choosing Pause also pauses an action or video recording. To resume the test and the action or video recording, choose Resume.

    [Visual Studio 2012. 1—Visual Studio and TFS] After Pause, you can choose Save and Close. In Microsoft Test Manager, this session will appear as Paused. You can do any other work, including running other test cases, and then resume the session later.

    If you want to pause just to inspect and edit the test case, click the name of the test case.

  8. If you find a bug, choose Create bug.

    The New Bug dialog box is displayed. Any data that you have attached or collected will automatically be added to the bug. For more information, see How to: Submit a Bug using Test Runner.

  9. When you have completed the test, choose End test.

    A result for the test is now shown in Test Runner, based on the test step results. If you chose to record the test, the recording is automatically stopped and saved.


    The overall result for a test is based on the status for all the test steps that were marked. Therefore, if one test step is marked as failed then the test will have a status of failed.

    You must mark a test step with a status if it is a validation test step. Otherwise, the test will be automatically marked as failed.

  10. To save your test results, choose Save and Close.

Track Testing Progress

You can track your progress for your test plan. After you run your manual tests with Test Runner, you can immediately view your progress in the Run Tests activity. You can view the tests that have passed and failed. You can mark tests as blocked or reset tests to active when you are ready to run them again, as shown in the following illustration.

View Test Results

To track testing progress

  1. The progress bar is a graphic representation of your testing status, based on the percentage of tests in a particular state. Tests in a similar state are shown with the same color, so that you can quickly view your status. The states are defined in the following table.






    Tests that have passed.



    Tests that have failed.



    Tests that are blocked



    Tests that need to be run. This includes tests that have not been run at all, blocked tests that have been unblocked and failed tests that have to be rerun because an issue has been fixed.

    In Progress


    Any tests that are currently running

  2. To view a summary of your testing progress, move your mouse pointer over the progress bar in the Run Tests activity.

    The dialog box that shows a summary of the status of all your tests is displayed.

  3. To view the results for a specific test, select the test and then choose View results.

    The most recent test results are shown for that test together with all the details and any data that was collected when the test was run.


    You can also view the Test Results History of each time the test has been run for this test plan in these test results. For more information about how to view test results, see How to: View Manual Test Case Results Using Microsoft Test Manager.


    You can also monitor the progress of your test plan by viewing the test plan results. The test plan results include charts and numerical statistics on the tests in your test plan. The statistics include the tests that are currently passed, failed, blocked, inconclusive, warning and active. Additionally, the test plan results include detailed charts that show the failure types and resolution data. For more information, see How to: View Test Plan Results in Microsoft Test Manager.

See Also


Managing New Testing Efforts

Defining a Test Plan

How to use test plans in your team project

Creating and Managing Tests in Microsoft Test Manager

Running Tests in Microsoft Test Manager

Tracking Software Quality in Microsoft Test Mangager