Share your code with Visual Studio 2015 and VSTS Git

VSTS | TFS 2015 & TFS 2017

Share your Visual Studio solution in a new VSTS or Team Foundation Server Git repo.

This article walks you through the steps to get a Visual Studio solution on your PC into a Git repo you can share with others, even if you don't have a VSTS account. If you need to work with a Visual Studio solution hosted in an existing repo, use the Git quick start instead.

Create a local Git repo for your project

Create a new local Git repo for your project by selecting Publish to Git from the Visual Studio Status bar on the status bar in the lower right hand corner of Visual Studio. This will create a new repo in the folder the solution is in and commit your code into that repo.

Once you have a local repo, select items in the status bar to quickly navigate between Git tasks in Team Explorer.

Visual Studio Git status bar


  • Visual Studio Unpublished Changes Status Bar icon shows the number of unpublished commits in your local branch. Selecting this will open the Sync view in Team Explorer.
  • Visual Studio Pending Changes Status Bar icon shows the number of uncommitted file changes. Selecting this will open the Changes view in Team Explorer.
  • Visual Studio Repo Status Bar icon shows the current Git repo. Selecting this will open the Connect view in Team Explorer.
  • Visual Studio branch status bar icon shows your current Git branch. Selecting this displays a branch picker to quickly switch between Git branches or create new branches.

Publish your code to VSTS

  1. In the Sync view in Team Explorer, select the Publish Git Repo button under Publish to VSTS.

    Publish your code from VS directly into VSTS

  2. Verify your email and select your account in the Account Url drop down.

  3. Enter your repository name and select Publish Repository.

    Publish your VS project to a new VSTS Git repo

    This creates a new Team Project in your account with the same name as the repository. To create the repo in an existing Team Project, click Advanced next to Repository name and select a team project.

Your code is now in a VSTS repo. You can view your code on the web by selecting See it on the web .

View your VSTS Git repo on the Web

Commit and push updates

  1. As you write your code, your changes are automatically tracked by Visual Studio. You can commit changes to your local Git repository by selecting the pending changes icon ( Visual Studio Pending Changes Status Bar icon ) from the status bar.

  2. On the Changes view in Team Explorer, add a message describing your update and commit your changes.

    Add a comment and choose Commit

  3. Select the unpublished changes status bar icon ( Visual Studio Unpublished Changes Status Bar icon ) or the Sync view in Team Explorer. Select Push to update your code in VSTS/TFS.

    Push your changes

Get changes from others

Sync your local repo with changes from your team as they make updates.

  1. From the Sync view in Team Explorer, fetch the commits that your team has made. Double-click a commit to view its file changes.

    Choose Fetch to see any changes that your team has made

  2. Select Sync to merge the fetched commits into your local repo and then push any unpublished changes to VSTS.

    Choose Pull to get these commits locally

  3. The changes from your team are now in your local repo and visible in Visual Studio.

    The changes are now in your local repo

Try this next

Set up a build for your code and learn more about using Git in the VSTS Git tutorial.

Troubleshooting

I don't see the Publish button in the status bar.

A: The Publish link in the status bar ( Publish to Git from the Visual Studio Status bar ) was added in Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and will only appear when you have Git as your source control provider. If your code is already in a Git repo, you won't see the Publish button in the status bar, but the information from your local repo instead.

If you are in a previous version of Visual Studio, create a local Git repo for your project by selecting the Create new Git repository option in the New Project window when you create a new project.

You can create a local Git repo for an existing solution by right-clicking your project in the Solution Explorer and selecting Add Solution to Source Control.

How can I see what changes are in a commit before I pull it into my local branch?

A: To see what's changed in a commit, go to the Syncrhonization page in Team Explorer and right-click on the commit. Select View Commit Details. You can then right-click on any file modified by the commit and select Compare with Previous... to view the changes compared to the previous version of the file.

Choose Compare with Previous from the context menu

How do I associate my commits with work items?

A: You can include work items in your commits through Related Work Items in the Changes page in Team Explorer.

Adding work items to changes

Work items can be included in commits by adding #ID into the commit message. For example, "Fixing bug #23 in the reporting tools" would link work item 23 to the commit. The work item is linked when the commit is pushed to VSTS.

Can I use the Git command prompt with Visual Studio?

A: Visual Studio's Team Explorer and the Git command line work great together. Changes to your repos made in either tool will be reflected in the other. Make sure to install the latest release of Git for Windows, which has tools to help you connect to your VSTS/TFS repos.

See the VSTS Git tutorial and the command reference for additional help using Git from the command line.