TFS 2012 – Issue: Manage Group Membership missing from admin after TFS 2008 to TFS 2012 Upgrade



After an upgrade from TFS 2008 you are unable to edit permissions even though you are part of the appropriate groups. In this case it is an upgrade from TFS 2008 to TFS 2012 that did not have any errors on the way through. Everything looked like it worked, but…

Updated 2012-10-11 – Solution improvement for additional circumstances

I found that the solution below did not always do the job and I had to add a second command line to make it work. Effectively adding an additional ACL to the logged in user if they are not in the Project Administrator list.

You get an “Unable to remove the selected identity from this group” error when trying to remove someone from contributors.

Figure: Unable to delete user from group

Applies To

  • Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server


You need to make sure that you are in the appropriate groups first. This could be simply a case of not actually having permission.

  1. I am in the Administration Console Users list… (yes I reapplied)

    Figure: Administration Console User List
  2. I am in the Team Foundation Server Administrators group…

    Figure: Team Foundation Server Administrators 
  3. I am in the Project Collection Administrators group…image
    Figure: Project Collection Administrators

If you have checked all of the permissions then we have a problem. Log in as the “TFS Service” account that you are using and see if you still can’t change things.

Now I can delete users from the Contributors group, woot… but why can’t other accounts that are administrators.


You need to add the permissions that you need as they were not part of the upgrade. To do this you need to call TFS Security and this is where things get a little complicated.

tfssecurity.exe /a+ Identity vstfs:///Classification/TeamProject/PROJECT_GUID 
        ManageMembership adm:vstfs:///Classification/TeamProject/PROJECT_GUID ALLOW 

tfssecurity.exe /a+ Identity vstfs:///Classification/TeamProject/PROJECT_GUID 
        ManageMembership domainusername ALLOW 

Figure: Command to add the missing security

In order to call TFS Security to add permissions to the Project Administrators group for the Team Project you need the Team Project GUID. Now in Visual Studio 2010 you can just right-click on the project node and you will see the GUID in the properties. But what if, like me, you don’t have 2010 to hand…

If you connect to the TFS Server and view the tbl_project table in the Collection you will see the Project Uri, which contains the GUID.

Figure: Finding the Project GUID

Now that you have the GUID for the Team Project you can execute the command above to add the missing ability to Modify Membership back into TFS.

Figure: Adding the missing security

Hopefully there will be a better way to get the Team Project GUID once the RTM version of the Power Tools becomes available and that there will be a hotfix for this annoying bug in the upgrade.

Did this fix your problem?

Upcoming Training Opportunities

These are the next five classes we have, and you can check out our full public schedule of classes.

Live Virtual PAL Evidence-Based Management Online on 19th June 2023
19-20 Jun, 2023
09:00-13:00 BST
2 half-days
APS 19th June 2023
19-22 Jun, 2023
09:00-13:00 EDT
4 half-days
Professional Scrum Product Owner Immersion (PSPO-I) online 3rd July 2023 over 8 weeks
3 Jul-21 Jul, 2023
13:00-17:00 BST
8 weekly half-days
PSPO-A 10th July 2023
10-13 Jul, 2023
09:00-13:00 BST
4 half-days

We can deliver any of our courses as private in-house training over Microsoft Teams & Mural. We also recommend training based on your accountabilities or role, you can go directly to recommended courses for Scrum MastersProduct OwnersDevelopers and Agile Leaders.

Create a conversation around this article

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin

Related Courses

No items found

Read more

Martin Hinshelwood Why do you encourage people to follow a certification path in their career journey? I would encourage you to follow a scrum certification path for the same reason that people go to university. The same reason that people do any course or certification. It gets you a foot in …
Martin Hinshelwood What will you learn on the PSM II course? There are two main things that most scrum masters will learn on the PSM II or Advanced Professional Scrum Master course. That they haven’t been working effectively as a scrum master to date. That they are there to empower and …
Martin Hinshelwood
In Scrum Events across the world, I hear repeated the phrase “that’s how agile works” when describing behaviours that are both unprofessional and the very opposite of an agile mindset. These behaviours will inhibit agility and are a result of a lack of understanding of the underlying principles. We need …
Martin Hinshelwood What is the most common Aha moment people have in a scrum course? It depends on the scrum course they are attending. The content presented in the Applying Professional Scrum (APS) course leads to very different epiphanies when compared to the content presented on an Advanced Professional Scrum Master …


We believe that every company deserves high quality software delivered on a regular cadence that meets its customers needs. Our goal is to help you reduce your cycle time, improve your time to market, and minimise any organisational friction in achieving your goals.

naked Agility Limited is a professional company that offers training, coaching, mentoring, and facilitation to help people and teams evolve, integrate, and continuously improve.

We recognise the positive impact that a happy AND motivated workforce, that has purpose, has on client experience. We help change mindsets towards a people-first culture where everyone encourages others to learn and grow. The resulting divergent thinking leads to many different ideas and opportunities for the success of the organisation.