Removing the Team Foundation Server association in Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel files

Here's a handy tip if you find yourself needing to disassociate or unbind a Microsoft Project (.mpp) or Microsoft Excel (.xls) file from a Team Foundation Server, perhaps because you changed the name of the server, the server no longer exists, etc.

Microsoft Project

Yogita Manghnani, a PM for TFS, posted the following process in the Team Foundation Server MSDN forum.

  1. Close Microsoft Project
  2. Right click on the mpp file and choose Properties.
  3. Choose the Custom tab in the Properties window.
  4. Choose any Property listed there named "VS  Team System Data Do Not Edit" and click Remove.
  5. Click Apply or Ok.
  6. Open the mpp file, and you will get a message saying its not associated with any TFS server. Click Ok and Save it.
  7. You will not get the error message every time you open the mpp file as long as you save it once after the message is received.

Microsoft Excel

Dennis Habib, a developer for TFS, provides the following process.  Since this involves editing the registry, all of the usual caveats apply.

  1. Close Excel.
  2. Disable the TFS addin by going to HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftOfficeExcelAddinsTfcOfficeShim.Connect and change the ‘LoadBehavior’ from ‘3’ to ‘0’.
  3. Open the .xls file.
  4. Wipe out the contents of the custom document properties (File -> Properties -> Custom).
  5. Save the file and exit Excel.
  6. Re-enable the TFS addin.
Comments (13)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Buck Hodges on removing the Team Foundation Server association in Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel…

  2. Anonymous says:

    That won’t work for MS Project Server projects.  If the file is published to the Project Server db, you have to remove all TFS custom properties, Save, close (which checks in the file to the db), and then uninstall Team Explorer.  After doing so, open the project from the Project Server db, save, then close it.  At this point, the association is gone.  You can then re-install Team Explorer. Not very user-friendly…

  3. says:

    I have got MPP file stored i sharepoint. How do I edit properties of that.

    I have also tried getting the file saved to my local disk, and checking it’s custom properties. but couldn;t find any property as "VS  Team System Data Do Not Edit".

    Can you guide?

  4. Buck Hodges says:

    If I understand the question correctly, you would need to check out the file in Sharepoint, make the change described above, and then check it back in.


  5. Seth Eliot says:

    3 1/2 years later, this blog post is still valuable…I searched all over for this info before finding it here.  Thanks!

  6. Buck Hodges says:

    Seth, glad to hear it helped.  I’ll follow up to see about getting this into the docs.


  7. Anonymous says:

    thanks worked perfect!

  8. Anonymous says:

    how can i do this with project server 2010??

  9. Anonymous says:

    after 6 years it worked perfectly, thanks:)

  10. Anonymous says:

    To me this seems a little easier.  It looks like a lot of steps but is pretty fast:

    For my MS Excel 2010 file (xlsx) I rename it to a .zip file, extract it, go to the 'docProps' and delete the 'custom.xml' file.  Then go back to the folder that was created by unzipping and zip it back up.  Rename to xlsx and you are done.

    The first time you open the excel file after this you may get some warning messages but all my data was there and the link to the TFS server was removed.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very very much!

    It saved my project

  12. Anonymous says:

    This tip worked very well. Had to check-out the .mpp file from sharepoint, view the sharepoint docs in explorer to access "properties" of the file, make the changes, and check in the file to sharepoint.

  13. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

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