Add check-in policies

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Visual Studio 2019 | Visual Studio 2022

Team Foundation Version Control administrators can add check-in policy requirements. These check-in policies require users to take actions when they conduct a check-in to source control. For example, a user can be required to associate a work item with a changeset. For more information about check-ins, see Develop code and manage pending changes.


You can set Visual Studio check-in policies through Team Explorer as documented in this article, the tf.exe configure command, or through registry keys declared in the pkgdef of a Visual Studio extension. Policies only apply to a single installation of Visual Studio on your computer. If you have multiple installations of Visual Studio, you need to set the check-in policy on each installation.

Create a check-in policy

  1. From Visual Studio Team Explorer, select Settings, and then select Source Control under Team Project.

  2. In the Source Control Settings dialog box, select the Check-in Policy tab, and then select Add.

  3. In the Add Check-in Policy dialog box, select the policy types you want, and then select OK.

    You can select from the following policies:

    • Builds requires that the last build was successful before any new changes can be checked in.
    • Changeset Comments Policy requires users to provide check-in comments.
    • Code Analysis requires that code analysis be run before code can be checked in.
    • Custom Path Policy scopes the other policies to specific folders or file types.
    • Forbidden Patterns Policy prevents check-ins that have files with forbidden filename patterns.
    • Work Item Query Policy specifies a work item query whose results are the only legal work items to associate with a check-in.
    • Work Items requires that one or more work items be associated with every check-in.
  4. If you select Code Analysis, in the Code Analysis Policy Editor, select the checkboxes for the types of code analysis that you want, and then select OK.

    Options are:

    • Enforce check-in to include only files that are part of current solution
    • Enforce C/C++ Code Analysis (/analyze)
    • Enforce Code Analysis For Managed Code. If you select this option, select the desired rule set under Rule settings for Managed Code Analysis.

    For more information about how to use code analysis tools, see Create Code Analysis Check-In Policies.

  5. If you select Custom Path Policy, in the Custom Path Policy dialog box, select a child policy to operate on, and enter one or more values in Source Control Path Filter (RegEx) to specify allowed paths. Select Add for each value, and then select OK.

    Apply a separate Custom Path Policy for each child policy that you want to use custom paths.


    If you apply this policy to an enabled child policy, you get a message that The selected policy is currently enabled. It should be disabled or it will end up running twice. You can remove or disable the original policy from the Check-in Policy screen.

  6. If you select Forbidden Patterns Policy, in the Forbidden Patterns dialog box, list the pattern or patterns to forbid, and then select OK.

  7. If you select Work Items Query Policy, in the Query Policy dialog box, navigate to and select a saved shared work item query, and then select OK.

  8. When you're satisfied with the check-in policies settings, select OK. The new check-in policy displays with future check-ins.