New tool to upgrade from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation Server or Service

Today we have released an upgrade tool for users of VSS to upgrade to either on-premises TFS or the Team Foundation Service in the cloud! It provides a wizard-based UI for upgrading a VSS repository to TFS 2010, 2012, or the service.

Compared to the old VSS conversion experience, there are quite a few improvements.

  • Wizard-based UI
  • VSS DLLs are bundled with the tool (no need to have VSS installed)
  • No manual mapping or creation of XML files
  • Lots of bug fixes
  • Support for Team Foundation Service

With mainstream support having ended back in July for VSS 2005, now is a great time to move.

You can download it now and find the documentation here.

[UPDATE 11/14/12] We will be changing the docs to indicate that you are not required to have an empty team project collection or team project for this tool to work. However, we do not validate that there will not be a collision before the migration starts, so you will need to make sure that there is no path in the destination in TFS that will be the same as what you are migrating from VSS.

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Comments (27)

  1. Good news for some people I know :-) Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Buck,

    What about migration from on-premises TFS2008 to the Team Foundation Service, which options are there? Would love to see all source-code and workitems history to be migrated :)

  3. Buck Hodges says:

    Unfortunately, we don't have smooth story for moving on-premises TFS to the Team Foundation Service. Right now the easiest way is to check in the latest code to the service and then use Excel to move the work items to the service. Clearly that leaves behind history and, in the case of work items, some fields. The other choice is the Team Foundation Integration Platform on CodePlex. However, it's a fair amount of work. It would allow you to keep history.

    It's on our backlog to produce a good import tool for this scenario.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Even having TFS indoors from my MSDN subscription as MVP, we're a small company and was looking forward to move to TFS Service as soon as it exited the beta stage, somehow I assumed that this would be a common scenario – like so many companies moved from Exchange and other services on premises to cloud based options, even before they were called "cloud" :) – and that such a tool would be already available. Will keep a look on your block – and ping my friend Tiago Pascoal, ALM MVP – for news…

  5. Hi Buck, still no changes on migrating from on -premises TFS2008 to the Team Foundation Service?


  6. Buck Hodges says:

    Alberto, unfortunately no. We know it's important, and it's high on our list. It's behind a couple of other things right now, though.

  7. I'm trying to import a 2GB VSS DB to TFS using the wizard but it fails with "Invalid access code (Bad parameter)" when I click the "List Available Projects" link button.

    How can I fix this? / Where can I get help with this problem?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey @ GiddyUpHorsey –

    This KB should help with your problem:…/949356

    if you still have issues send a mail to tfcare a~t Microsoft dt com and we'll get you sorted out.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was upgrading from VSS to TFS and my harddisk caught on fire.  What do I do now?

  10. Anonymous says:

    How do we keep the original date time information for our migrated VSS database files in TFS 2012?

  11. Buck Hodges says:

    Scott, I asked the team about it, and it does not have that capability. It is on the backlog for a future update, but I don't have a timeframe for you.

  12. Russell.robinson says:

    Hi Guys,

    Im running into an install issue with Server 2012 and the tool. I complains the compatibility is turned on and the app wont install. Reviewed all of the potential areas but compatibility is not turned on.Seems this is a known issue. Any ideas when it might be resolved/


  13. Buck Hodges says:

    Russell, unfortunately, it is blocked in the installer. Right now we don't have plans to re-release it, so you would need to run it on Win7-based OS. Sorry for the trouble.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I would like to know if the upgrade tool will work with TFS 2013?  


  15. Buck Hodges says:

    Bobby, it should work with the caveat of what OS you install it on (see previous comment).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nice, I'm on a Win7 so I should be ok. Thanks a million!

  17. Anonymous says:

    What could be the problem if the upgrade wizard stays on "sleeping for X seconds" indefinitely?

  18. Buck Hodges says:

    Justin, I checked with the team, and the only sleep call is for retries when there are connectivity issues with VSS. Is the tool unable to contact VSS?

  19. Anonymous says:


    This tool work fine but how can i specify a "usermap" with the wizard ?

    I can specify a "usermap" with the command-line but in command-line i can't migrate to VSO

    Otherwise, how can i migrate to VSO in command-line ?

    Thank you

  20. Buck Hodges says:

    kio, would you contact customer support to help work through this?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I found the right configuration :

    <TeamFoundationServer name="" port="443" protocol="https" collection="DefaultCollection"></TeamFoundationServer>

  22. Jack says:

    kio I am trying to upgrade from VSS to VSO using the wizard and keep getting the sleep for x amount of seconds message.

    When I added the visual studio online site as a server it found my empty project directory fine. I am not sure why it wouldn't be able to connect. Any ideas? Where did you set that configuration?

  23. Taylor Lafrinere says:

    @Jack – can you reach out to me at so that we can discuss this over mail?  Debugging will be easier that way.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    What is the best way to convert from vss 2005 to TFS 2015?

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I am trying to convert vss 2005 to TFS 2015.  There is no converter in the 2015 so I am wondering what is the best way to convert from vss to TFS.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  26. Taylor Lafrinere says:

    @Elizabeth, the tool at the following location works for TFS 2015 as well.  Let us know if you run into any issues.



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