View and add work items using the Work Items page

VSTS | TFS 2018.2

View work items that you created or are assigned to you. The Work>Work Items page provides several personalized pivots and filter functions to streamline listing work items. Use this page to quickly find work items defined across teams within a project.


Feature availability: The Work Items page is in preview and currently available from TFS 2018.2 and later versions.


Open the Work Items page

You can start viewing and adding work items once you connect to a project.


Choose Previous navigation when you see a top-level blue bar. Choose New navigation if you see a vertical sidebar or if you enabled the New Navigation preview feature. The vertical sidebar, along with other navigational features, is enabled when the New Navigation preview feature has been enabled for the signed-in user or the VSTS organization. To learn how to use the web portal effectively, see Navigation Basics.

For on-premises TFS users, choose Previous Navigation for guidance.

(1) Check that you have selected the right project, then (2) choose Work>Work Items.

Open Work>Work Items, new navigation

New navigation isn't supported on TFS at this time. Choose Previous navigation for guidance.


Depending on the process chosen when the project was created—Agile, Scrum, or CMMI—the types of work items you can create will differ. For example, backlog items may be called product backlog items (Scrum), user stories (Agile), or requirements (CMMI). All three are similar: they describe the customer value to deliver and the work to be performed.

For an overview of all three processes, see Choose a process.

View work items

Using the drop-down menu, you can focus on relevant items inside a project using one of the seven pivots as described next. Additionally, you can filter and sort each pivot view.

Work>Work Items
  • Assigned to me: lists all work items assigned to you in the project in the order they were last updated. To open or update a work item, simply click its title.
  • Following: lists work items that you've elected to follow.
  • Mentioned: lists work items in which you've been mentioned in the last 30 days.
  • My activity: lists work items that you have recently viewed or updated.
  • Recently updated: lists work items recently updated in the project.
  • Recently completed: lists work items completed or closed in the project.
  • Recently created: lists work items created within the last 30 days in the project.

Add a work item

Adding a work item is just one click away. Simply choose the work item type from the New Work Item drop down menu.

For example, here we choose User Story.

Work>Work Items, Add a work item


Work items you add are automatically scoped to the Currently selected team's area and iteration paths. To change the team context, see Switch project or team focus.

Enter a title and then save the work item. Before you can change the State from its initial default, you must save it.

Agile process, User story work item form

You can add tags to any work item to filter backlogs, queries, and work item lists.

Filter to create personal views

You can filter each work item pivot view by typing a keyword or using one or more of the fields provided, such as work item type (Types), State, Area Path, and Tags. The page remembers the filters you set for each pivot, supporting personalized views across all pivots.

Work>Work Items, Filter to show Bugs

Sort your view and other View options

You can sort your view by one of the column fields that you select from the View options menu.


The column fields differ depending on the view that you select. You can't change the fields supported by a view.

Work>Work Items
  • ID, Work Item Type, Title, State, Area Path, Tags (Assigned to me view): Sorts by the column selected.

  • Ascending/Descending: click to change the sort order.

  • Completed Work Items: Click the slider to choose to show completed work items in the current pivot view.

Copy selected items to the clipboard or email them

To select several items in a sequence, hold down the shift key. To select several non-sequential items, use the Ctrl key. Then, you can use Ctrl+c to copy the selected items to a clipboard. Or, you can open the context menu for the selected work items, click (actions icon), and then choose the option you want from the menu.

Work>Work Items, Following view, Select work items, context menu

Open a view as a query

You can open any view, filtered view, or selected set of work items as a query. Simply click the Open in Queries link or Open selected items in Queries option from the context menu.

Queries provide additional features that you can use, including:

  • Edit one or more fields of several work items
  • Add or remove tags from several work items
  • Change the work item type
  • Delete work items
  • Apply work item templates
  • And more

For details, see Bulk modify work items. To learn more about queries, see Use the query editor to list and manage queries.

Work Items page controls

Use the following three controls to manage your views.

Control Function
View options Set sort order, view completed items
Filter Turn filtering On/Off
full screen icon / exit full screen icon Enter or exit full screen mode


You can create and manage work items from the command line or scripts using the VSTS CLI.