Customizing email notifications

By using templates, you can customize the content of email messages that are sent to users to notify them of changes to work items.

About this task

Within each project area, you can customize notification messages that are sent for the following events:
  • A user is added as an approver to a work item.
  • A user has been mentioned with the Message at me (@user-name) convention.
  • A work item has been modified.

For details about the email notification template syntax, see Work item Email notification template syntax.


  1. Open the Mail Templates page:
    1. In the Team Artifacts view of the Work Items perspective, right-click the project area and select Open.
    2. Click the Process Configuration tab.
    3. Expand Project Configuration > Configuration Data > Work Items, and then click E-mail Templates.
  2. Select the template that you want to modify. The Mail subject field contains the text that appears in the email subject line. In the Mail body field, you can edit the text in either HTML or plain text. By default, HTML messages are disabled for each user.
    Screen capture of Mail Templates page. Three templates are listed: Approvals, Messages At Me, and Work Item Change Notification.
  3. After you finish editing, preview the changes by clicking Test Template. In the Template Test window, select a user in the Name field and a work item in the Work item field. Click Generate to display the new message in the Subject preview and Body Preview sections. You can make further changes in the Template subject and Template body sections, and then click Generate again to test these changes. To keep the additional changes, click Apply; otherwise, click Cancel.
    Screen capture of Template Test window
  4. Click Save to save your changes to the project area.


After you save your changes, email notifications use the modified template.