How To Open Source Control Explorer In Visual Studio

You use Team Explorer to coordinate your code efforts with other team members to develop a software project. In addition, you can manage work and that is assigned to you, your team, or your projects. Team Explorer is a plug-in that installs with Visual Studio and Team Explorer Everywhere is a plug-in that installs with Eclipse. Developers can effectively collaborate using Team Explorer connected to projects hosted on Azure DevOps Services or an on-premises Azure DevOps Server (previously named Team Foundation Server (TFS)).


You can install the latest version of Visual Studio clients from the Visual Studio downloads page.

Additional options for connecting to Azure DevOps Services or TFS include:

For information about compatibility among client and server versions, see Requirements and compatibility.

If you don’t need Visual Studio, but want to connect to a project in Azure DevOps, you can install the free Visual Studio Community.


Connect to a project or repository

Team Explorer connects Visual Studio to projects in Azure DevOps. You can manage source code, work items, and builds. The operations available to you depend on which source control option—Git or Team Foundation version control (TFVC) —was selected to manage source code when the project was created.


If you open Visual Studio and the Team Explorer pane doesn’t appear, choose the View>Team Explorer menu option from the tool bar.

From the Connect page, you can select the projects you want to connect to and quickly switch connection to a different project and or repository. For details, see Connect to a project.

Team Explorer, Connect

The Git and TFVC repos support different pages and functions. For a comparison of the two version control systems, see Choosing the right version control for your project.

Git version control and repository

The following images show the pages available when you connect to a Git repository from Team Explorer.


Visual Studio 2019 version 16.8 and later versions provide a new Git menu for managing the Git workflow with less context switching than Team Explorer. Procedures provided in this article under the Visual Studio 2019 tab provide information for using the Git experience as well as Team Explorer. To learn more, see Side-by-side comparison of Git and Team Explorer.

Visual Studio 2019Visual Studio 2017Visual Studio 2015
Visual studio 2019, Team Explorer Home page with Git as source controlVisual studio 2017, Team Explorer Home page with Git as source control

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