THIS guide will show you how to access a TFS server and perform simple check-out and check-in actions via the windows shell.

There are several solutions possible ranging from:

  1. TFS Command line tools
  2. 3rd Party Non-Microsoft tools such as Tortoise Subversion (TortoiseSVN) [link]
  3. Microsoft TFS Power Tools
  4. Visual studio Team Explorer

I believe this is the most lightweight Visual Studio alternative to access TFS source controlled files.


To start off you’ll need to install Microsoft Power Tools which can be found here.

Getting Latest Source Files

1. You will need to map the ROOT TFS folder to a local folder.  As an example, I mapped the TFS Root to my local C:\TFS

2. Right-click on this TFS mapped folder, and you should see an additional Team Foundation Server menu item


3. Expand this menu and you should see the following integrated shell options:


4. Select Get Entire workspace

5. This should download all the source files from TFS into your local folder. You should see something like the following:


6. Opening and editing files is the same as any other windows file. You should still have the standard windows right-click context menu.

Adding New  Files

1. To add a new file, create a new file in the desired folder (as per normal Windows files).


2. To add the file to source control, right-click and select Add..


3. 20130128_116 means the item is Source Controlled

4. 20130128_117 means the file has been checked out by you

Checking-In a File

1. To check in your changes, right click the folder, or the file you want to check in:


2. And the standard TFS check-in popup should appear:


3. Enter a check-in comment and then hit Check In when done!