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Configure a backup schedule and plan

If you administer systems, you're probably already familiar with all the reasons why a good backup set is crucial. No one wants to be the administrator of a server that goes down without a complete set of backups in place. Fortunately, you can back up data for TFS by using the Scheduled Backups tool in the administration console. If you regularly back up those databases, you reduce the risk of losing productivity or data because of equipment failure or other unexpected events. Unlike previous methods, this tool also backs up the SharePoint databases that TFS uses, if TFS is configured to use SharePoint.


If you are using the Enterprise or Datacenter edition of SQL Server and you want to restore the collection and configuration databases to a Standard edition of SQL Server, then before you make the backup, you must turn off SQL Server compression by following the steps in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

Create a backup plan

  1. If you're not an administrator for TFS, a member of the SQL Server System Administrators group, and (if your deployment uses SharePoint Products) a member of the Farm Administrators group, get those permissions now.

    In addition, the service account for TFS (TFSService) must have SQL Server Perform Back Up and Create Maintenance Plan permissions set to Allow on each instance of SQL Server that hosts the databases that you want to back up, and Full Control on the network share, folder, or storage device where the backups will be kept.

  2. Open the administration console for TFS and on the Scheduled Backups page, launch the wizard for creating a backup schedule.

    The Schedule Backups node in the console

  3. Backups must be stored on a network-accessible location, and both the account that configures the scheduled backup and the service account for TFS must have Full Control for that location. You can also choose how long a backup set will be kept and the file extensions used for backup types.

    Specify the network path for the backups

  4. If your server is configured with SMTP support, you can select email alerts for specific events. If not, all selections will be dimmed.

    Alerts are only available if SMTP is configured

  5. Choose between two default schedules, or create your own custom schedule.

    Choose a preconfigured or custom schedule

  6. Complete the wizard. If your deployment uses reporting, you will be prompted for a password in order to back up the encryption key for reporting.

    The wizard confirms success

  7. Once you’ve configured the scheduled backups, you can allow them to run as scheduled. You can also choose to take an immediate backup, which will back up your data right away while leaving your plan in place. This is particularly recommended if your scheduled backups will not occur for a significant amount of time, or if you do not already have a recent backup available.


    If another administrator chooses to take an immediate backup, that administrator must also have Full Control on the location where the backups are saved.

Q: Where can I learn more about backups in TFS?

A: You can learn more about the kinds of backups available in Understand backing up Team Foundation Server.

Q: I don't want to use the Scheduled Backups tool. Are there other methods for backing up the system?

A: Yes. You can manually create backup plans. Learn how here.

Q: How do I restore TFS from backups?

A: You use the Restore tool, but the steps vary depending on whether you need to restore data to a new server, or whether you want to restore data to the same server.

Q: Can I move TFS?

A: Yes, you can move TFS to new hardware. You can also change its environment, such as its domain.