Manage and organize queries in Azure Boards and Azure DevOps

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

Visual Studio 2019 | Visual Studio 2022

Organize your personal or shared queries by adding a query folder. You can then add queries to or move existing queries into those folders. You can create queries and query folders from the web portal or from a supported client, such as Visual Studio Team Explorer.


To create and manage queries in Visual Studio 2019, you need to Set the Work Items experience to the legacy option. Also, you can perform bulk drag-and-drop of queries into query folders from Visual Studio but not from the web portal.


  • You must have Stakeholder access to view and run shared queries. All project members have Stakeholder access by default. For more information, see Change the permissions for a shared query or folder.
  • You must have Basic access or higher to add and save a shared query.
  • You must have your Contribute permission set to Allow for the folder that you want to add a query to. By default, the Contributors group doesn't have this permission.


Users with Stakeholder access for a public project have full access to query features just like users with Basic access. For more information, see Stakeholder access quick reference.

  • By default, all project members and users with Stakeholder access can view and run all shared queries. You can change the permissions set for a shared query folder or shared query. For more information, see Set query permissions.
  • To add and save a query under Shared queries, you must be granted Basic access or higher. Also, you must have your Contribute permission set to Allow for the folder you want to add the query to. By default, the Contributors group doesn't have this permission.

Open a query

From your web browser, (1) check that you have selected the right project, (2) choose Boards > Queries, and then (3) choose All.

Open Boards>Queries, vertical nav

If it is your first time opening Queries, the page opens to Favorites. This page lists those queries that you have indicated are a favorite. Otherwise, you can choose All to view all queries you've defined and shared queries defined for the project.


Queries you or your team have chosen as favorites show up on the Favorites page. Favorite queries along with other objects also appear on your Project page. For more information, see Set personal or team favorites.

Run, edit, and save a query

The easiest way to define a query is to start with an existing shared query. The following example shows how to find all closed bugs by modifying the Active Bugs shared query provided with the Agile process template. Examples are based on the user interface provided through the web portal.

  1. Open a shared query. For example, from the web portal, open the Active Bugs or similar flat list query.

    Run Active bugs query


    If you're working in Visual Studio Team Explorer, open the Work page to access your queries and shared queries. If Team Explorer isn't visible, choose View>Team Explorer from the top level menu.

  2. Edit the query to find closed bugs and then run the query. Use Insert new filter line to insert a clause above the current clause. Use Remove this filter line to delete a clause. Queries are automatically scoped to the current project. To find work items defined in several projects, see Query across projects.

    Web portal, Queries page, new queries experience, Editor view of a Flat List Query

  3. Save the query to your My Queries folder.

    Save As query dialog, new experience

    To save a query to the Shared Queries folder, you need to be a member of the Project Administrators group, or have your Contribute permissions on the folder set to Allow. For more information, see Set query permissions.

Rename or delete a query

From either the Favorites or All page, choose the actions icon of a query to run, edit, rename, or delete the query.

New query experience, Favorites page, query context menu

For shared queries, you can also choose to do one of these tasks:

  • Add to team queries: Select the team to add the query as a team favorite
  • Security...: to set permissions for the query. For more information, see Set query permissions.
  • Add to dashboard: Adds a Query tile widget to the team dashboard you select. For more information, see Add widgets to a dashboard.

Add a query folder and move items into a folder


You need Delete permissions to rename or move a shared query or folder, and Contribute permissions for the folder where you move the query to. To view or set permissions, see Set permissions on queries and query folders.

You add query folders from the Boards>Queries>All page.

  1. Choose All. Expand My Queries or Shared Queries depending on where you want to add a query folder.

  2. To add a folder, choose the actions icon for an existing folder or the top container folder, and choose New folder.

    Open Actions menu, choose New folder

  3. Enter the name for the folder in the New folder dialog. If you want to change the location of the folder, select it from the Folder drop down menu.

    Enter the name and location of the folder.
  4. To move items into a folder, drag-and-drop a query onto the folder. From the web portal, you can only drag a single query from outside a folder into a folder.

    Optionally, you can choose More commands for an existing query, choose Edit, and then choose Save As. In the Save query as dialog, choose the folder you want to save the query in.

    Save query as dialog

Save a query as a team favorite

To save a shared query as a team favorite, you must be a member of the team.

To add a query to a dashboard, open the actions icon (or context icon) menu for the query and add it to a specific dashboard or as a team favorite.

Share queries with your team by adding them to a folder under the Shared Queries container. To save a query to a Shared Queries folder, get added to the Project Collection Administrators group or have your permissions set for a folder under Shared Queries.

You can only add shared queries to dashboards or as team favorites, and only if you have team administrator or project administrator permissions.

  1. To save a query as a team favorite, open More actions or the context menu for the query from the Queries page.

  2. Choose Add to team favorites, and then select from the teams listed. Only teams for which you're a member are listed.

    Screenshot of Save query as a team favorite.

Add a query tile to a dashboard

A query tile displays a count of the work items in a query. You can also quickly open the query from the dashboard. You can add a query tile to a dashboard from the Queries page using the following steps, or by following the steps outlined in Add widgets to a dashboard.


You can only add a shared query to a dashboard. And, to add or edit a widget of a team dashboard, you must be a member of the team or be granted permissions to edit the dashboard.

  1. To add a query to a dashboard from the Queries page, open the actions icon (or context icon) menu for the query.

    Screenshot of More actions menu, select Add to dashboard.

  2. From the Select a dashboard dialog, choose the dashboard you want to add the query to.

    Screenshot of Select a dashboard dialog.

  3. Open the dashboard, and verify the query tile was added. You can configure the query tile to change the default color and to specify the color for the tile based on a conditional rule you specify.

    Screenshot of Configure dialog for query tile widget.