Connecting to Team Foundation version control


Note: Team Foundation Version Control support is currently in preview and some functionality is not yet fully working. We'd love feedback from you on any issues at Developer Community. More changes are still to come!

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS) provide two models of version control: Git, which is distributed version control, and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), which is centralized version control. This article provides an overview and a starting point for using Team Foundation Version Control with Visual Studio for Mac.


  • Visual Studio Community, Professional, or Enterprise for Mac version 7.5 or later.
  • Visual Studio Team Services, or Team Foundation Server 2013 and later.
  • A Project in Visual Studio Team Services or Team Foundation Server, configured to use Team Foundation Version Control.


In Visual Studio for Mac, choose Visual Studio > Extensions... from the menu. In the Gallery tab, select Version Control > Team Foundation Version Control for TFS and VSTS and click Install…:

Extension manager

Follow the prompts to install the extension. Once it's installed, restart the IDE.

Using the add-in

Once the extension is installed, select the Version Control > TFS/VSTS > Connect to Team Foundation Version Control... menu item. Click Add to add a new account:

Add a TFVC Server

Choose either Visual Studio Team Services or Team Foundation Server to get started:

Connect with a TFVC Server

Enter your credentials and click Log in:

Log in to a TFVC Server

Once you've successfully logged in, select the projects that you want to access and press OK:

Choose projects

Select the Version Control > TFS/VSTS > Source Control Explorer menu item to open the source control explorer allowing you to browse the source.


Known issue: In this preview release, the first time you open source control explorer, you'll have to create a new workspace.

Source Explorer

From the Source Code Explorer, you can browse your source code on the server and perform the following actions:

  • Manage Workspaces (Create, edit, or delete).
  • Navigate between project structure.
  • Map projects.
  • Get projects.
  • Lock & Unlock files.
  • Rename files.
  • Delete files.
  • Add new file.
  • Check out.
  • Check in.
  • View history changes.
  • Compare changes.

Creating a new workspace

In the Source Control Explorer, click on the Manage Workspaces button.

Manage Workspaces

Click the Add button to create a new workspace.

Create Workspace

Provide a name for the workspace and then click Add Working Folder to map the project to a local folder on your computer.

When done, click OK, then close the Manage Workspaces dialog. You're now ready to get files though the Source Code Explorer and get started.


Problems using basic authentication

There are a number of different options available to perform authentication with a server:

  • Oauth
  • Basic
  • Ntlm

To be able to use basic authentication it is necessary to Enable Alternative authentication credentials in VSTS, by following the steps below:

  1. Sign in as the account owner to your VSTS account (https://{youraccount}
  2. From your account toolbar, select the gear icon and select Policy: Policy settings option selected
  3. Review your application connection settings. Change these settings, based on your security policies: Policy settings option selected

I do not see anything in TFVC

To set up Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) on your dev machine, you must create a workspace, as described in the Creating a new workspace section.

In Source Control Explorer, press the Manage Workspaces Button. Follow the steps to map the team project to a folder on your dev machine.

I do not see any / all of my projects

After authenticating you should see the list of projects. By default, only TFS projects to are shown. To see other types of projects, check the "See all projects" box.

Keep in mind that projects that are on the server will not appear if you don't have the correct privileges.

I am getting the error "Cannot create the workspace. Please, try again"

When trying to create a new workspace, you should make sure the following conditions are met:

  • No use of invalid characters in the workspace name.
  • The name must be less than 64 characters.
  • The local path cannot be used by any other workspaces.