Rebuild the client cache

TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013


This topic applies to team project customization for the On-premises XML process model. For an overview of what features are supported for all three process models, see Customize your work tracking experience.

You can force a rebuild of the cache on each client computer the next time it connects to a team project collection by using the witadmin rebuildcache command.

To prevent workspace errors from occurring during version control or build operations in Team Foundation, the data cache on client computers must be updated after certain maintenance operations. After you move, restore, rename, or fail over a data-tier or application-tier server, you must refresh the cache for tracking work items and users must refresh the version control cache on client computers.


To avoid server performance issues, you should not run this command during normal operating hours.

How to run the witadmin command-line tool

To run the witadmin command-line tool, open a Command Prompt window where Visual Studio is installed. The witadmin command-line tool installs with any version of Visual Studio. You can access this tool by installing the free version of Visual Studio Community or Visual Studio Team Explorer.


If you are connecting to TFS, you must use the same version of Visual Studio or Team Explorer as TFS. For example, if you connect to a TFS 2017 instance, you must connect from Visual Studio 2017 or Team Explorer 2017. There is no Team Explorer 2015 version.

Visual Studio 2017 or Team Explorer 2017 client:

%programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\TeamFoundation\Team Explorer

or, TeamExplorer, Professional or Enterprise in place of Community, depending on the version you've installed.

Visual Studio 2015 client:

cd %programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE

Visual Studio 2013 client:

cd %programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE

Team Explorer 2013 client:

cd %programfiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\CommonExtensions\Microsoft\TeamFoundation\Team Explorer

On a 32-bit edition of Windows, replace %programfiles(x86)% with %programfiles%. You can install Visual Studio Community (which provides access to Team Explorer) or Visual Studio Team Explorer 2017 for free.


  • To use the witadmin rebuildcache command, you must be a member of the Team Foundation Administrators security group or the Project Administrators security group for the project collection that you want to manage. See Add an administrator.


Even if you log on with administrative permissions, you must open an elevated Command Prompt window to perform this function on a server that is running Windows Server 2008. To open an elevated Command Prompt window, choose Start, open the shortcut menu for Command Prompt, and choose Run as Administrator. For more information, see the Microsoft Web site.


witadmin rebuildcache /collection:CollectionURL [/noprompt]  


Parameter Description
/collection:CollectionURL Specifies the URI of the team project collection. For example:
On-premises TFS format: http://ServerName:Port/VirtualDirectoryName/CollectionName

If no virtual directory is used, then the format for the URI is the following: http://ServerName:Port/CollectionName.
/noprompt Disables the prompt for confirmation.
/? or help Displays help about the command in the Command Prompt window.


The witadmin rebuildcache command invalidates cached data on all clients for a specified team project collection. This causes the cache for each client to be refreshed the next time the client connects to the project collection.


The following command invalidates the metadata cache for all clients that connect to DefaultCollection that is defined on the server that is named AdventureWorksServer. The client caches are updated the next time they connect to the project collection.

witadmin rebuildcache /collection:http://AdventureWorksServer:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection