Workspace command (Team Foundation Version Control)

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

Visual Studio 2019 | Visual Studio 2022

The Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) workspace command provides a way for you to create, delete, view, or modify properties and mappings that are 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:<workspace-name>[;<workspace-owner>]]
[/computer:<computer-name>] [/comment:("<comment>"|@<comment-file>)]
[<workspace-name>[;<workspace-owner>]] [/login:<username>,[<password>]]
[/collection:<team-project-collection-url>] [/permission:(Private|PublicLimited|Public)]
tf workspace /delete [/collection:<team-project-collection-url>] <workspace-name>[;<workspace-owner>] [/login:<username>,[<password>]]
tf workspace [/collection:<team-project-collection-url>] [/comment: ("<comment>"|@<comment-file>)] [/newname:<workspace-name>]
[<workspace-name>[;<workspace-owner>]] [/newowner:<owner-name>] [/computer:<computer-name>] [/permission:(Private|PublicLimited|Public)] [/login:<username>,[<password>]]


The following sections describe arguments and options of the workspace command.


Argument Description
<workspace-name> Specifies a name for the workspace that you want to create, edit, delete, or display information about.
<workspace-owner> Specifies a username for the workspace. This parameter is required when the workspace owner isn't the person who's performing the command.
<computer-name> Provides a value to the /computer option.
<comment> Provides a value to the /comment option.
@<comment-file> Specifies the path of a file where the comment should be read.
<username> Provides a value to the /login option. You can specify this value as either DOMAIN\<username> or <username>.
<password> Provides a value to the /login option.
<team-project-collection-url> The URL of the project collection that contains the workspace that you want to create, edit, delete, or display information about, for example, https://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection.
<owner-name> Provides a value to the /newowner option.


Option Description
/new Creates a new workspace.
/template Specifies an existing workspace to use as a template for creating a 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 a workspace. This option is an advanced option.
/comment Provides a comment that describes 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 for workspace permissions:
    - Private: Only the owners can use, check in files to, or administer the workspace.
    - Public Limited: Any valid user can use the workspace. But 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 value is the default.
    - server: On the Azure DevOps server.
/login Specifies the username and password to authenticate the user with Azure DevOps.
/newowner Specifies the username 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. When you check in your work to the team's codebase, you commit your changes to the server. They become available to other users who are outside your workspace.

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

Create a workspace

Before you can add files to the version control server or check out items on the server, you must create a workspace or associate an existing one with the current directory. For more information, see Set up Team Foundation Version Control on your dev machine.

To make the current directory a working folder for an existing workspace on your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Enter tf workspace <workspace-name>, where <workspace-name> is the name of the existing workspace. The Edit Workspace dialog box appears.
  2. Select click here to enter a new working folder.
  3. In the Source Control Folder box, enter the server path that you want to map the current directory to.
  4. In the Local Folder box, enter the current directory.
  5. Select 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, TFVC creates a new workspace on the current computer. TFVC also 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 that's based on the current computer name. When you create a workspace by using a template, TFVC doesn't retrieve the files that it maps to from the server. Use the get command to synchronize the new workspace with the latest version on the server. For more information, see Get command.

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 (*) wildcard 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 that are downloaded to the client computer. Another way to limit downloaded files is to cloak files that you don't need to have in your workspace. For more information, see Optimize your workspace. This approach provides faster download times and saves disk space on the client computer.

Delete a workspace

If you delete a workspace that contains pending changes, TFVC cancels the pending changes as part of the delete process. Deleting a workspace doesn't delete the files and folders on the client computer that were in that workspace.


Commands that run manually require the /noprompt option to bypass user acknowledgement. Be careful if you use the PowerShell Start() method to run commands. The /noprompt option can be automatically set in PowerShell.

When deleting a workspace you need to provide the <workspace-owner> and <workspace-name>

You can use the workspace command to retrieve those values. For more information, see workspaces command. To find the <workspace-owner> value, run the following command:

c:\projects>tf workspaces /computer:* /owner:* /collection:`<team-project-collection-url>` /format:xml

To find the <workspace-name> value, use the <OwnerId> value from the previous command's output as the <workspace-owner> value. That value has the format of an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) object ID followed by a backslash and a user principal name. Use the entire value. Then run the following command:

c:\projects>tf workspaces /owner:<workspace-owner> /computer:* /collection:`<team-project-collection-url>`

To delete the workspace, run the following command:

c:\projects>tf workspace /delete <workspace-name>;<workspace-owner> /collection:<team-project-collection-url>`

Edit 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:https://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 about 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's owned by jenh as a template:

c:\projects>tf workspace /new /template:Beta1;jenh /collection:https://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 that's owned by jenh so that you can see its properties and mappings. If you have the AdminWorkspaces permission, you can change the workspace properties and mappings.

c:\projects> tf workspaces Beta1;jenh