Check In Your Work to the Team's Codebase

Use the Pending Changes page to check in your code to the team’s codebase.

Checking in a bug fix

Required permissions

You must be one of the Contributors for your team project. See Team Foundation Server Default Groups, Permissions, and Roles.

What do you want to do?

  • Specify the files you want to check in

  • Associate work items

  • Check in your changes

  • Resolve check-in policy warnings

  • Perform a gated check in

  • Work from the command prompt

  • Get tips

Specify the files you want to check in

You can specify which file changes you want to check in by dragging them between the Included Changes and Excluded Changes sections of the Pending Changes page. You can also scope your check-in as you work in other areas of Visual Studio:

  • In Solution Explorer, select one of the following:

    • The solution

    • One or more of the code projects

    • One or more files

    After you select the items, open their shortcut menu, and choose Check In.

  • In Source Control Explorer, select one or more items with pending changes or one or more folders that contain items with pending changes. (Items with pending changes are indicated by this symbol: TFSC Checked-Out Status Icon). Open the shortcut menu for the selected items, and choose Check In.

Associate work items

When you change files in your codebase, you typically do so to complete a task, fix a bug, or satisfy the demand of some other kind of work item. When you check in the changes, you should associate such work items with the changes you are checking in. Benefits of doing so include:

  • A team member who looks at the work item can link directly to the changeset to see the work that you did.

  • A team member who reviews the history of a file you changed can view the changeset and see the work items that were the justification for the change.

  • If you build your changes in your automated build system (for example with a CI Build or a Gated Check-in Build, your team members can see in which completed build the task was completed or the bug was fixed.

To associate work items with your check-in:

  • Choose the Add Work Item by ID link in the Related Work Items section.

  • Drag a work item from a query window into the Related Work Items section.

Next to each work item, select how it should be related to your check-in: Associate or Resolve (available only if the work item is not already in a state that precludes this relationship, such as Resolved, Done, or Closed).


You can open the shortcut menu of an associated work item and then choose:

  • Open Work Item to open the work item in a provisional tab. If you want to see the work item in a regular tab, open the shortcut menu for the tab and choose Open Tab (Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + Home).

  • Remove Work Item if you do not want to associate the work item with your check-in.

  • New Linked Work Item, Create Copy of Work Item, or Link to An Existing Item.

Check in your changes

To check in your changes

  1. In Team Explorer, choose Home iconHome, and then choose Pending Changes.

  2. On the Pending Changes page, enter a Comment so that teammates who later need to review and understand the history of your files will understand what you did. For example: Implemented shopping cart controller.

  3. Some teams prefer (and in some cases implement a check-in policy to require) their members to provide certain kinds of information about each check-in. If an Administrator of your team project has enabled check-in notes, then you can type the information into each field in the Notes section.

  4. Choose the Check In button.

One of the following outcomes occurs.

Your changes are checked in

All the included file changes from your workspace along with the comment, check-in notes, and links to related work items are stored on the server as a single changeset on your server.

Conflicts block your check in

The system presents you with conflicts between your changes the latest version of the files on the server. See Resolve File Conflicts.

Your check in is blocked because it violates a check-in policy.

Administrators of your team project can implement check-in policies to encourage your team to follow best practices. For example, a check-in policy can encourage team members to associate at least one work item with their changes. For more information, see Set and Enforce Quality Gates.

In some cases, you might want to override these check-in policies. In the Policy Warnings section, choose Override Warnings.

In the Reason box, explain why you are overriding the policy.

Check in to a folder that is controlled by a gated check-in build process

Gated Check-in dialog box

If you are checking in changes into version control folders that are controlled by a gated check-in build process, the Gated Check-in dialog box appears. For information about how to complete your check-in operation, see Check in to a Folder that is Controlled by a Gated Check-in Build Process.

Work from the command prompt