How to Delete Shared Steps in Azure Devops

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How to Delete Shared Steps in Azure Devops


Azure DevOps has become a cornerstone for many development teams, streamlining project management and collaboration. Within this robust platform, the concept of shared steps emerges as a key component, aiding in the efficiency of test case creation and execution. However, there comes a time when managing shared steps requires careful attention, and occasionally, the need arises to delete them. In this guide, we’ll walk through the process of deleting shared steps in Azure DevOps, providing insights into best practices, potential issues, and alternatives.

Understanding Shared Steps

Understanding Shared Steps

Shared steps are reusable components in Azure DevOps that allow teams to streamline test case creation by using common procedures. These steps can be shared across multiple test cases, ensuring consistency and efficiency in testing processes. While they are undoubtedly beneficial, managing them effectively is crucial to maintaining a well-organized and efficient testing environment.

Reasons to Delete Shared Steps

As projects evolve, keeping the Azure DevOps repository tidy becomes essential. Deleting shared steps can contribute to a cleaner and more manageable project structure. Additionally, reducing the number of shared steps can simplify test cases, making them easier to understand and maintain.

Step-by-Step Guide to Deleting Shared Steps

  1. Accessing the Azure DevOps portal
    • Log in to your Azure DevOps account.
    • Navigate to the project you’re working on.
  2. Navigating to the Test Plans section
    • Locate the “Test Plans” tab in the left navigation menu.
    • Click on it to access the test plans associated with your project.
  3. Locating shared steps
    • Within the test plans, find the specific suite or test case containing the shared steps you want to delete.
  4. Deleting shared steps safely
    • Open the test case that includes the shared steps.
    • Identify the shared steps you wish to delete.
    • Use the delete option to remove them.

Best Practices for Deleting Shared Steps

Best Practices for Deleting Shared Steps

Before diving into deletion, it’s wise to follow these best practices:

  • Backing up shared steps before deletion: Ensure you have a backup in case you need to refer to or restore them.
  • Communicating changes to the team: Inform your team about the upcoming modifications to avoid disruptions in ongoing projects.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Handling dependencies linked to shared steps: Check for dependencies and address them appropriately.
  • Ensuring no impact on ongoing projects: Confirm that the deletion won’t disrupt active projects.

Alternatives to Deleting Shared Steps

If complete deletion seems too drastic, consider these alternatives:

  • Archiving shared steps: Keep them in an archive for historical reference.
  • Renaming shared steps for clarity: Give shared steps more intuitive names to enhance understanding.

Impact on Test Plans and Reports

After deleting shared steps, it’s crucial to:

  • Update test plans post-deletion: Ensure test plans reflect the changes made.
  • Analyze reports after changes: Check if any reports are affected and adjust as needed.

User Feedback and Collaboration

User Feedback and Collaboration

Encourage team members to:

  • Collaborate on shared steps: Foster a collaborative environment for creating and managing shared steps.
  • Provide feedback for process improvement: Gather insights to enhance shared step management practices.

Future Considerations

To ensure ongoing efficiency, consider:

  • Monitoring shared steps usage: Keep an eye on shared step metrics.
  • Regularly reviewing and optimizing workflows: Periodically assess and optimize your use of shared steps.


In conclusion, while shared steps in Azure DevOps offer significant advantages, managing them effectively is paramount. Deleting shared steps, when done thoughtfully, can contribute to a cleaner and more streamlined project. By following best practices and considering alternatives, teams can maintain an efficient testing environment, ensuring the continued success of their projects.


Can deleted shared steps be recovered?

A: Unfortunately, once deleted, shared steps cannot be recovered. It’s advisable to have a backup before deletion.

What happens to test cases linked to deleted shared steps?

A: Test cases linked to deleted shared steps may need to be updated. Ensure to review and modify them accordingly.

Is there a limit to the number of shared steps that can be deleted at once?

A: Azure DevOps does not impose a strict limit, but it’s recommended to proceed with caution, especially in large projects.

How often should teams review and clean up shared steps?

A: Regular reviews are beneficial. Consider quarterly assessments to ensure optimal project organization.

Can shared steps be moved to a different project?

A: Currently, Azure DevOps does not support moving shared steps between projects. Plan accordingly and recreate if needed.

How to Delete Shared Steps in Azure Devops

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