Quickstart: Add users to a team project or specific team

VSTS | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

For anyone to access a team project, they must be added to one of the default security groups or a custom group. Usually you add them to the Contributors group. For a quick look at what permissions are assigned to the default groups, see Permissions and access.

The easiest way to add a number of users to a team project is to add groups defined in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Active Directory (AD).


If you're adding users to a VSTS account and you don't use Azure AD, then you need to add their "personal" Microsoft accounts to your account or team project. After you've added them to one team project, you can add them to additional team projects using the procedures provided in this topic.

Once users have been added to a team project, you can browse for that name by display name as well as account name. Also, you can add them to a specific team. To add a team, see Add a team.


Add users to a team project

If you are adding a user to VSTS for the first time, see Add account users for VSTS.

  1. Open the web portal and choose the team project where you want to add users or groups. Click the gear icon gear icon to open the administrative context.

    VSTS, TFS 2017, Team Project hub, Click gear icon to open the Admin context

  1. Open the Security page and under the Groups section, choose one of the following:

    • To add users who will require read-only access to the project, choose Readers.
    • To add users who will contribute fully to this project or who have been granted stakeholder access, choose Contributors.
    • For users who will need to administrate the project, choose Project Administrators. To learn more, see Set permissions at the project-level or project collection-level.
  2. Next, choose the Members tab.

    Here we choose the Contributors group.

    Admin context, Security page, Contributors group, Membership page


    Managing users is much easier using groups, not individual users.

    By default, the default team group and all other teams you add to the team project are included as members of the Contributors group. So, you can choose to add a new user as a member of a team instead, and the user would automatically inherit Contributor permissions.

  3. Choose gear iconAdd to add a user or a user group.

  4. Type the name of the user account into the text box. You can type several identities into the text box, separated by commas. The system will automatically search for matches. choose the match(es) that meets your choice.

    Add users and group dialog


    The first time you add a user or group to VSTS or TFS, you can't browse to it or check the friendly name. After the identity has been added, you can just type the friendly name.

  1. In Identities, specify the name of the user or group you want to add.

  2. Depending on the user, you might want to customize their permissions for other functionality in the project, such as areas and iterations or shared queries.


    Users that have limited access, such as Stakeholders, won't be able to access select features even if granted permissions to those features. To learn more, see Permissions and access.

Add users to a team

Several Agile tools, like capacity planning and team alerts, and dashboard widgets are team-scoped. That is, they automatically reference the user accounts of team members to support planning activities or sending alerts. To learn more, see About teams and Agile tools.

  1. From the team project admin context, open the Overview page, and then click the team you want to add team members to.

    Web portal, Overview page, choose team

  2. Click gear iconAdd to add a user or a user group.

  3. Enter the sign-in addresses or display name for each account you want to add. Add them one at a time or all at the same time. You can type several identities into the text box, separated by commas.

    Add users and group dialog


    You must enter user and group names one at a time. However, after entering a name, the account is added to the list, and you can type another name in the Identities text box before choosing to save your changes.

  4. To remove members, return to this page, highlight the user name and click Remove.

    Web portal, team admin context, remove a team member

  5. To add an account as a team administrator, click Add located in the Team Profile page. For details, see Add a team administrator.

Add users or groups to an access level (TFS only)

For on-premises TFS, you may need to set the access level for a user or group, particularly if those groups don't belong to the default access level. To learn more, see Change access levels.

Add users or groups to SharePoint or SQL Server Reports (TFS only)

If your TFS deployment is integrated with a SharePoint product or SQL Server Reports, you'll need to manage membership for those products separately from their websites.

Next steps

You can also control access to projects, version control, build, and work items; learn how from these topics:

To view permissions for yourself or another user, see View permissions.