I have some manual tests which I can convert to almost any needed format, e.g. CSV, XML or Excel.

How to import import those manual tests to TFS? Which format is needed?

I have already looked in both user interfaces, the web-based UI and the standalone version "Testing Center", but didn't find an appropriate link or button. The ability of importing tests is rather critical to us.

In my previous company IIRC they have imported requirements from an Excel sheet, but I did not participate in that operation. So I guess it could be possible if I could just find the right button.

FYI: I am using the Visual Studio Online trial period to figure it out. Not sure how much this differs from a real TFS installation.

2 Answers 2


In Excel, I do the following

  • Go to Team Tab and then click on New List,
  • Connect to your TFS
  • Choose Input List then click OK
  • Click on choose columns so we get all the necessary ones for creating test cases.
  • The Work Item item is set to "All Work Item Types", change this to "Test Case"
  • Click Add Required and you should have about 8 columns, the click ok
  • Now you should see a slightly different excel worksheet. -Change the work item type on the first line to "Test Case" and it should auto populate the defaults

Depending on how complicate your test case is you can add and tweak columns to add test steps. When done you can publish the tests to TFS.

There is also a Grid option on the online https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/get-started/test/create-tests-vs

  • There is no "Team" tab for me, but I'm just installing Team Explorer to resolve that. Jun 5, 2015 at 15:22
  • The "Edit in Grid" of the Web-UI does not offer a possibility to import something, just to edit existing items. Jun 5, 2015 at 15:26
  • It does allow you to add " new items using grid" but you have copy and paste into the grid in a way that works for you. Importing test steps is a pain but I do it all the time... Microsoft have not provided any import tools for this. the link i provided shows you how to do this in the Q&A Jun 5, 2015 at 15:38
  • Ok, thanks, I'll try if that is an option for me. Edit in Excel, copy to clipboard, paste to Web UI - I think I got it. Jun 5, 2015 at 15:45
  • The web-UI has two edit modes: one for editing existing test cases and one for creating new test cases. The copy&paste option only works for the "create new" version. Jun 8, 2015 at 11:33

As far as I know there are two ways to import work items to TFS.

  1. Mass add/edit using Excel: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd286627.aspx

  2. Test Case Migrator(Not updated for the newest TFS version): http://tcmimport.codeplex.com/

  • It was not possible to create new tests. Although the status bar says "Operation succeeded", the tests do not appear anywhere. For existing tests, it seems impossible to create tests steps. Whenever I add steps, it converts the HTML to text which effectively removes them. I cannot use TCM because I have the 2013 version of TFS. Jun 8, 2015 at 11:36
  • Excel should be able to add features, issues, and bugs in Excel. I've never tried to add new tests. And the HTML fields such as repro steps cannot be edited in Excel. So far I haven't found a seamless solution for this yet.
    – Tom Sun
    Jun 8, 2015 at 15:23

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