How To: Mothball a Visual Studio Online Project for Posterity (TFS to git)

2015 January 22

So you want to retire that random app you’ve been hosting on VSO (Visual Studio Online) for the past few months/years, but you’d like to preserve the sources, change history, and associated work items. Here’s how:

  1. First, read Delete a Team Project in the MSDN documentation.
  2. Take a ZIP snapshot of your source tree as a safety. You can do this right inside the VSO web interface.

  3. Take a local clone of your VSO repository to preserve the change history.
    1. If you’re using git for VSO source control, clone the project locally via git clone per usual. Easy peasy.
    2. If you’re using TFS for VSO source control, download git-tfs and run the `git-tfs clone command as follows:

       git-tfs $/yourProject

      This will create a local git repo mirroring the TFS repo hosted with your VSO account.

  4. Export task/work items to an Excel spreadsheet by creating and exporting a new query. Note: this won’t grab attachments and other metadata.

You can then delete the VSO project in relative safety, keeping in mind that the above process doesn’t preserve attachments, images, or other attached metadata.