FAQs about queries in Azure Boards and Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2022 - Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018

The Query Editor supports finding work items by specifying query clauses based on fields, operators, and values. You can save and share these queries with others in your team. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about work item queries.


Can I use a wildcard in my query?

Yes. The wildcard character is an asterisk (*). For samples, see Query by titles, IDs, and rich-text fields.

While both query and semantic searches find and list work items, the filter features and results presentation are different. To learn more, see Functional work item search, Semantic search vs. managed work item queries.

Can I export a query and import to another project?

Yes. You can save a query as a .wiq file, update the syntax, and then import it to another project, organization, or collection.
To learn more, see Cross-service and enhanced query operations.

What are all the query filter functions?

Can I filter the Query Results?

Can I run several queries at the same time?

Yes. Open a query in a new browser tab to run several queries at the same time.

What query macros are only supported from the web portal?

The following macros are only supported from the web portal: @CurrentIteration, @CurrentIteration +/- n, @Follows, @MyRecentActivity, @RecentMentions, @RecentProjectActivity, @TeamAreas. Queries that contain these macros won't work when opened in Visual Studio/Team Explorer, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Project.

How do I quickly navigate to queries I view frequently?

  • Favorite those queries and other artifacts that you view frequently. Choose the star icon to favorite a query.
  • Favorited queries ( favorited icon) are listed in the Queries>Favorites page. Also, you can select one from the queries selector, as shown in the following image.

Screenshot of favorited queries breadcrumb selector.
Or, you can select from any of your favorited items by choosing the inbox icon and choose Favorites.

Screenshot of your favorites listing queries.

How do I quickly navigate to queries within the same query folder?

When viewing a query, you can use the queries breadcrumb selector ( the breadcrumb icon changes to a context menu selector) to view the queries defined within the folder. To open the queries folder, choose the folder name.

Screenshot of queries breadcrumb selector.

Find work items

Where can I find work assigned to me or work that I'm following?

Open Queries>All. Under the My Queries section are two fully customizable queries: Assigned to me and Followed work items.

Where can I find recent work item activity?

  • Open Boards>Work Items and select the Recently updated view. See View and add work items.

  • You can also use the macros — @Me, @Follows, MyRecentActivity, @RecentMentions, @RecentProjectActivity — to create custom queries. These queries can filter for work items assigned to you, that you're following, and so on. To learn more about these macros, see Query macros and variables.

How do I sort on the Parent field?

You can't. Sorting a query on the Parent field isn't a supported feature.

Linked work item queries

You can't query for work items that contain links solely based on the Related link type. You can query for work items that have links by specifying Related Link Count > 0. However, the results contain all work items containing links to other work items, including Parent-Child, Predecesor-Successor, and other link types.

Can I query for work items linked across projects?

No. There's a prohibitive performance cost for trying to execute such a query, so it isn't supported.

Yes across organizations. See Link user stories, issues, bugs, and other work items; Link to a remote work item. However, you can't run a search for work items linked from other projects than the current project you're connected to.

No across collections. This feature isn't supported.

Bulk add and update work items using queries

Can I export a cross-project query to Excel?

No. Cross-project queries won't open in Excel. However, you can export a cross-project query to a .csv file, open it in Excel, and import it to Azure Boards. To learn more, see Bulk import or update work items using CSV files.

No. Cross-project queries won't open in Excel.

How do I manage dependencies across projects?

To manage dependencies in Azure Boards, you can link work items using the Predecessor/Successor link type. To learn how, see Link user stories, issues, bugs, and other work items.

Query folders

Can I change the owner of a query or folder?

No. You can only enable permissions for users and groups from the permissions window for the query or folder.

Can I move a query or a folder?

Yes. In the web portal, choose Rename from the context menu. In Team Explorer for Visual Studio, drag the folder to the new location. In Team Explorer Everywhere or Eclipse, choose Move from the context menu and select the folder to which you want to move the item.

Can I add folders to My Favorites or Team Favorites?

No. This feature isn't supported.

Are the queries and folders I create from the web portal the same as in Team Explorer?

Yes. You may have to refresh your browser or client to see changes you make in another client. For Visual Studio 2019, you must choose the legacy experience to see work item queries and folders.

Monitor progress with queries

How can I best use queries to monitor progress on a project or team?