Every time I connect to Team Foundation Server using Visual Studio 2008 I’ve been bombarded with a dialog message pestering me that I’m not logged into Windows Live Messenger.

TFS Error

It’s puzzled me for a while, why on earth would Visual Studio 2008 want to connect to Windows Live Messenger? I had completely forgot that I had installed the TFS Power Tools (October 2008 ed.)

One of the TFS Power Tools features is a “Team Members” view in the “Team Explorer” tree which allows you to start collaborating with your fellow team members via one of the relevant chat/collaboration tools such as Live Messenger or Microsoft Office Communicator (for those in the corporate environment). It’s this feature which baulks if you don’t have either Live Messenger or Office Communicator running and signed in, before Visual Studio’s Team Explorer panel loads up.

I don’t actually use this feature, so here is how to turn it off!

Go to the “Team Explorer” panel in Visual Studio 2008 connect to your TFS server and pick down the tree till you can see the “Team Members” node.

 TFS Team Members List

Right click the “Team Members” node and select “Personal Settings”, which will prompt up the following dialog:

  Personal Settings

You’ll notice that by default it has selected Windows Live Messenger, so in the “Collaboration” group, click “Change…” which will prompt you with the “Choose a Collaboration Provider” dialog (below), and then select “None”.

  Choose a Collaboration Provider

As you back out of the dialog messages, you should see that the “Collaboration Provider” is updated.

 Personal Settings

Voila, no more nuisance messages! If you want to turn it back on, well just follow the steps above but select either Windows Live Messenger or Microsoft Office Communicator when asked to choose.


This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links too. permalink to the original post here