Workspace command (Team Foundation Version Control)

TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Visual Studio 2019 | Visual Studio 2017 | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio 2013

The workspace command lets you create, delete, view, or modify properties and mappings associated with a workspace.


To modify or delete an existing workspace, you must be the owner or have the global Administer workspaces permission set to Allow. To create a workspace, you must have the global Create a workspace permission set to Allow. To create workspaces for other users, you must have the Administer workspaces permission set to Allow. For more information, see Default TFVC permissions.


tf workspace /new [/noprompt] [/template:workspacename[;workspaceowner]]
[/computer:computername] [/comment:("comment"|@comment file)]
[workspacename[;workspaceowner]] [/login:username,[password]]
[/collection:TeamProjectCollectionUrl] [/permission:(Private|PublicLimited|Public)]
tf workspace /delete [/collection:TeamProjectCollectionUrl] workspacename[;workspaceowner] [/login:username,[password]]
tf workspace [/collection:TeamProjectCollectionUrl] [/comment: ("comment"|@comment file)] [/newname:workspacename]
[workspacename[;workspaceowner]] [/newowner:ownername] [/computer:computername] [/permission:(Private|PublicLimited|Public)] [/login:username,[password]]



Argument Description
workspacename Specifies a name for the workspace which to create, edit, delete, or display information about.
workspaceowner Specifies a username for the workspace. This parameter is required when the workspace owner is not the person performing the command.
computername Provides a value to the /computer option.
comment Provides a value to the /comment option.
@commentfile Specifies the path of a file where the comment should be read.
username Provides a value to the /login option. You can specify a username value as either DOMAIN*UserName* or UserName.
TeamProjectCollectionUrl The URL of the project collection that contains the workspace about which you want to create, edit, delete, or display information (for example, http://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection).
ownername Provides a value to the /newowner option.


Option Description
/new Creates a new workspace.
/template Specifies an existing workspace to use as a template to create the new workspace. The new workspace uses the mappings of the existing workspace.
/delete Deletes the specified workspace.
/computer Specifies the name of the computer on which to create the workspace. This option is an advanced option.
/comment Provides a comment describing the workspace.
/newname Renames an existing workspace.
/noprompt Performs the specified workspace command without displaying a dialog box.
/collection Specifies the project collection.
/permission Specifies the options of workspace permission:
  • Private: Only the owners can use, check in files to, or administer the workspace.

  • Public Limited: Any valid user can use the workspace. However, only the owners can check in files to or administer the workspace.

  • Public: Any valid user can use, check in files to, or administer the workspace.

/location Specifies where the workspace is created:
  • local: On the client machine. This is the default.

  • server: On the TFS server.

/login Specifies the user name and password to authenticate the user with Azure DevOps.
/newowner Specifies the user name for the new owner of the workspace.


A workspace is a local copy of the files and folders on the server, plus any changes that you have made locally. When you add, edit, delete, move, rename, or otherwise change any version-controlled item, your changes are isolated in your workspace where you can make and test your changes. Your Check in your work to the team's codebase are committed to the server and become available to other users outside your workspace when you perform a check-in.

For more information on how to find the tf command-line utility, see Use Team Foundation version control commands.

Creating a Workspace

Before you can add files to the version control server or check out items on the server in order to edit them, you must create a workspace or associate an existing one with the current directory. For more information, see Create a Workspace and Get Files for the First Time.

To make the current directory a working folder for an existing workspace on your computer, type tf workspace workspacename, where workspacename is the name of the existing workspace. The Edit Workspace dialog box appears. Click click here to enter a new working folder, type the server path for which you want to map the current directory in the Source Control Folder box, type the current directory in the Local Folder box, and click OK.

When you create a new workspace, you can specify a template workspace as part of the /new option. When you specify a template workspace, Team Foundation creates a new workspace on the current computer, sets the owner to the current owner, and replicates the following workspace properties into the new workspace from the template workspace: mappings and comment. If no name is specified, the system uses a name based on the current computer name. When you create a workspace using a template, Team Foundation does not retrieve the files to which it maps from the server. Use the Get Command to synchronize the new workspace with the latest version on the server.

Single Folder Mapping

You can choose to map only the immediate children of a version control folder to a local workspace. To do this, add an asterisk wild-card character in the Source Control Folder box in the Add Workspace dialog box. For example, $/folder/*. Otherwise, by default, all the children of the version control folder are recursively mapped to the local workspace.

Single folder mapping within a version control hierarchy is useful because it limits the number of items downloaded to the client computer. Another way to limit downloaded files is to cloak files that you do not need to have in your workspace. For more information, see Optimize your workspace. This provides faster download times and saves disk space on the client computer.

Deleting a Workspace

If you delete a workspace that contains pending changes, Team Foundation cancels the pending changes as part of the delete process. Deleting a workspace does not delete the files and folders on the client computer that were in that workspace.


Commands run manually require the /noprompt option to bypass user acknowledgement. Be careful if using PowerShell's Start() method to run commands, as this option can be automatically set.

Editing a Workspace

You can change the following workspace attributes:

  • Workspace Name
  • Comment
  • Working folder mappings

If no workspace specification is provided, the workspace for the current folder is used.


The following example opens the Add Workspace dialog box and creates a new workspace. You can use the Add Workspace dialog box to edit the source control folder, owner, computer, comment, and local folders.

c:\projects>tf workspace /new /collection:http://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

The following example creates a new workspace called Beta1 and assigns jenh as the workspace owner. You must have the AdminWorkspaces permission to assign ownership of a new workspace to another user. For more information on security permissions, See Default TFVC permissions

c:\projects>tf workspace /new Beta1;jenh

The following example creates a new workspace by using the Beta1 workspace that is owned by jenh as a template.

c:\projects>tf workspace /new /template:Beta1;jenh /collection:http://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

The following example removes the Beta1 workspace from the server.

c:\projects>tf workspace /delete Beta1

The following example edits properties for the current workspace.

c:\projects>tf workspace

The following example opens the Beta1 workspace for which user jenh is the owner so that you can see its properties and mappings. If you have the AdminWorkspaces permissions, you can change the workspace properties and mappings.

c:\projects> tf workspace Beta1;jenh