Category Archives: 4392

Disable auto-connect to TFS on VS startup

When starting Visual Studio it automatically tries to connect to your TFS, which can be very annoying if you work offline. You will probably see:

TF30331: Team Explorer could not connect to the Team Foundation server …

You can turn this auto-connect behavior off by setting the following files in the registry:

"AutoLoadServer" = 0

Zero means do not reconnect automatically. 


Downside: you now always have to manually connect (from Team Explorer’s toolbar)

Download .REG file:

P.S. The Team Foundation Power Tools (TFPT) include a feature called Tweak UI which offers a checkbox to set this registry key – however in the October 2008 version it has a bug (creaing a string value instead of DWORD) and therefore will not work.

Q: How do I disable the Team Members feature of TFPT?

A: You can disable it from the options dialog, however this does not remove it entirely (as described here).


To turn it off completely you need to additonally set the following value in the registry:


TeamTrackerHidden = True


(Thanks to Bill Essary from Microsoft for this tip)

You can download a ready to use .REG file that does both:

Installing & Configuring Team Foundation Client (aka Team Explorer)

Caution: Make sure to carefully read the Installation Guide before installing this software.

What do I need it for?

  • Access to TFS
    Note: A plain Visual Studio still needs Team Explorer to be able to talk to TFS.
  • It installs:
    • a tiny Visual Studio with only the “Team Explorer” in it if you don’t have Visual Studio installed already.
    • a Visual Studio plug-in called “Team Explorer
    • a plug-in for Microsoft Excel 2003 or 2008
    • a plug-in for Microsoft Project 2003 or 2008
    • the Team Foundation Object Model

Where to find it?

What must be done prior to installing?


Skype Collaboration Provider for TFS


1_without_providerThe Team Foundation Server Power Tools (October 2008) introduced a new “Team Members” node, which offers the ability to quickly identify which subteams and actual team members belong to a TFS team project. Additionally you can see their online status.

Support for Office Live Communicator and Windows Live Messenger is already built-in. There is an API to extend this to other IM software as well.

Nico Orschel from our team used this API to implement support for Skype, which is the IM we primarily use at AIT TeamSystemPro Team.


Our Skype Collaboration Provider (including source code) can be found on Codeplex at:


Some screenshots:

Unbenannt   3_Skype_provider_enabled

Ways to access Team Foundation Server

Pick your favorite tool for your task/job:

From Visual Studio:

From the command line:

From the web browser:

From Microsoft Office products:

From other platforms or IDEs:

From Windows Explorer:

From other products:

From Windows Taskbar:

(*) requires Team Explorer to be installed.
($) means the product is a commercial third party solution.

Listing version control changes with check-in comments using TFS

You can easily query for changes on a team project or a specified version control folder underneath and display them in a list with the check-in comments.

By using Team System Web Access (TSWA):

Note: I’m showing this first because the dialog is very comfortable, e.g. you can filter by user or time range.

  1. In TSWA on the “Source” tab, right-click any folder (team project folder or sub-folder) and select “Find Changesets”.

  2. In the “Find Changesets” dialog, select the desired filter criteria and confirm with “Find” to generate a list of changesets with check-in comments.


By using Visual Studio Team Explorer:

  1. In Team Explorer under “Source Control”, right-click any folder and choose “View History” from the context menu.

  2. The “History” window is shown with a list of all changesets (again with check-in comments) of the folder and sub-folders, which – as far as I know – cannot be filtered further.


By using Team Foundation Sidekicks (a free tool by Attrice):

  1. Start Team Foundation Sidekicks and open the History Sidekick by clicking on the third toolbar button (the clock with an arrow on it).
  2. On the left side, select a folder by clicking on it.
  3. On the right side in the “History” tab you will see the changes with an option to filter them by user.